It transpires that three days after my last moan about broadband in Britain, BT took the decision to upgrade ALL exchanges that had a trigger level set. So all bar 100,000 households in the UK will get broadband by summer 2005.
I suspect (being a cynical sort of sod) that two things happened. Firstly, BT had successfully cherry-picked all the lucrative areas first and got their systems beta-tested on the early adopters whilst charging them a hefty penny for it.

And seecondly, the rate of successful broadband voting (80+ exchanges per week) was overtaking BT's own capacity for upgrading the exchanges. Given the beating that BT received from all sides over this, and the fact that four years and 2000 exchanges on, the cost for upgrading their exchanges has moved from "expensive" to "negligable", then I suspect they moved before OFCOM (the successor to the toothless crone OFTEL) came down on them hard. (as it has done over their standard-rate phone tarrif).

Is this a case of a monopolistic provider (BT) actually performing slightly better than terrible cos the regulator (OFCOM) has got itself a bigger set of boots to kick BT's arse with ?

We can only hope.