LONDON: British telco BT has capitalised on its landline near-monopoly to triumphantly march through the ten million broadband connections barricade.

Although there are many cheaper (and superior) broadband ISPs, all are compelled to use BT home and business landline connections from which BT take a substantial cut. The sole exception is cable rival NTL.

According to BT ceo Ben Verwaayen word-of-mouth was the primary factor that allowed BT to leap the 10m broadband lines hurdle. Cynics are more likely to attribute this to the telco's wholesale monopoly status.

Verwaayen claims that broadband is now available to 99.8% of UK consumers. However, less than one-third of those opted to use BT as their retail supplier - a figure that drops to 24% when NTL's share is taken into account.

None of which curbs Verwaayen's triumphalism: "We set a five-year target of a million a year, and at the time I remember many people saying I was nuts . . . and here we are at ten million!"

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff