Telecom regulators Ofcom has announced today that the UK broadband market has reached a new milestone in the level of competition, with ‘unbundled’ lines using BT’s copper network reaching 9 million.
Superfast broadband, which uses fibre optic cables to the cabinet is also beginning to see competition take hold, as the technology becomes more freely available around the country.
This is expected to see a rapid increase over the course of the coming months, Ofcom say, with BT’s rollout of superfast connections passing 100,000 per week and so far reaching around 15m customers.
Virgin’s fibre network also already supplies more than 2m households and the BT network is available to many other suppliers. This means that selling broadband services to consumers is ensuring competition in a very quickly growing market.
There are around 80 service providers in the UK offering or trialling superfast broadband apart from Virgin and BT, serving around a quarter of a million customers.
In November 2012, it was found that superfast residential broadband accounted for 13% of all broadband connections, more than doubling from 5% since November of the previous year.
The new milestone announced today has seen a 70-fold increase since 2005, a time when most people couldn’t access unbundled services, which accounted for just 123,000 lines in the UK. According to Ofcom, this also means cheaper services for consumers, with the average household paying around half the monthly fee for copper line broadband compared to 2005.
For more information, and to find market reports from the regulator, visit the Ofcom website.