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UK broadband users flocked to BT services during the second quarter of the year, the telecommunications giant’s latest trading update reveals.

According to the broadband provider, some 72,000 net additions were recorded over the three-month period between April and June. The increase means that BT’s total home broadband subscriber base now stands at 4.9 million.

Meanwhile, BTVision, the company’s on-demand broadband TV service, added 18,000 new customers to bring overall customer numbers up to 436,000.

Despite the general improvement in market conditions, however, BT’s profits for the six months to September 30th dropped to £547 million. This represents a fall of 45 per cent from the same period last year.

Nonetheless, Ian Livingstone, BT Group Chief Executive, said the latest results were a strong indicator of the progress that the broadband provider has made in recent months and highlighted the work currently in progress to improve its broadband product portfolio.

He added: “We have had another quarter of progress but there remains a lot more to do. With total cost reductions of over £900 million in the first half, we have made significant headway towards our previous target of well over £1 billion for the full year.

“We are investing in the future of the business with an enhanced and accelerated programme of fibre deployment and wider roll out of faster broadband speeds, all within our capital expenditure plans.”

BT’s subscriber base is likely to have swollen in recent months by the company’s announcement of a nationwide service upgrade. The improvement offers customers a super fast broadband connection of up to 20Mb – compared with just 8Mb previously.

The upgrade is free of charge and is initially available through 549 exchanges covering 40 per cent of the homes and businesses in the UK. By 2010, this will grow to 55 per cent, under plans outlined by BT.

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