Britons are standing in line to sign up for fast internet connection services, reports telecoms giant BT. A BT soundbite reveals that a new user switches to broadband every ten seconds, bringing the total number of residential ADSL users to over four million.

In addition, there are around 1.7 million cable-connected broadband surfers in the UK.

Says BT ceo Ben Verwaayen: "The take-up rate for broadband is accelerating at a terrific pace. We will be in a very strong position to hit our five million target by summer 2006, much earlier than we had previously expected."

After a slow, untra-cautious approach to consumer broadband, BT has slashed its prices, beefed-up its marketing and accelerated line upgrading programmes - three very obvious reasons for the recent surge in uptake.

As a result, more than 95% of UK homes and businesses can now receive broadband via their standard phonelines. The telco says it aims to increase that figure to 99.4% by summer 2005.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff