BT has set the levels of customer demand needed to bring broadband to another 500 telephone exchanges.
The telco said that 56 exchanges will go into its upgrade programme as a result, because local people have already registered enough interest to meet the trigger levels.
Of the approximately 6,000 exchanges in the UK, 1,439 are currently broadband-enabled, covering 71 per cent of the population.
Demand trigger levels have been set for a further 1,300 exchanges, which would make broadband available to 90 per cent of the country's population.
Since the registration programme was launched in July 2002, around 470,000 people have registered interest through their internet service providers. Three hundred local exchanges have been upgraded and 400 are in the process of being upgraded.
Bruce Stanford, BT Wholesale director of products, said in a statement: "This roll-out has been driven by local people and this announcement sets the way to bring broadband to exchanges serving more than 750,000 more homes and businesses."
BT said that cutting the cost of upgrading exchanges - by linking exchanges to share connections back to its core network - made it possible to set trigger levels at these exchanges.
Later this month BT will launch ADSL Exchange Activate, a service designed for very small local exchanges. If a sponsor - such as a local business group - is willing to put up £45,000 in advance, BT will broadband-enable an exchange with as few as 30 customers.
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