UK telecoms giant BT is removing the distance limits on its most popular broadband services, as it aims to match analogue TV coverage by next summer, improving availability to over a million customers.

The move pushes BT closer to its target of making the high-speed internet service 512kb/sec ADSL availability "at 99.4% – on a par with the percentage of homes that can get good quality analogue TV signals for the four main terrestrial channels", according to chief broadband officer Alison Ritchie.

Households based over six kilometres away from a broadband exchange should be able to receive ADSL from September 6 this year when the reach is extended. Previously, rural homes were unable to access broadband and instead relied on slower connection speeds.

Trials in remote areas of the UK, such as the Scottish Highlands, indicate that 99.8% of lines connected to a broadband exchange should be able to receive the ASDL service, up from 96%.

BT is also increasing the range for its 1 Mb per second premium broadband service from 4km to 6km, claiming this will make it available to 96% of homes and businesses connected to a broadband exchange.

The UK would then lead the way in ADSL availability among the G7 group of leading industrial countries. Says Ritchie: "the remaining gaps in the broadband Britain jigsaw are getting smaller and smaller."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff