BT plans to lower the "trigger level" for upgrading local telephone exchanges mean more Internet users than before will be able to sign up for ADSL services, the company claims.

The company will lower the trigger levels of customer interest required before local exchanges are upgraded for broadband. The company is also setting trigger levels at a further 87 exchanges for the first time - and beginning work at 22 of these to deliver ADSL services.

BT Wholesale chief executive Paul Reynolds said: "Our growing experience of the actual work involved now allows us to be confident in lowering many of the demand levels at which we will upgrade exchanges for broadband. This is another significant step in making broadband more widely available."

BT Group chief broadband officer Alison Ritchie said: "BT is continuing to pursue ways of extending the availability and take-up of broadband in the UK. Today's announcement means that more people will have the opportunity to benefit from broadband sooner."

BT claims that over 66 per cent of households are connected to the 1,132 exchanges so far enabled by BT for ADSL.