According to the ever useful ADSL Guide there are about 2000 telephone exchanges in the UK that need upgrading for DSL to cover the remaining 30% of the UK population unable to get DSL at the moment. The incumbent monopoly telco claims that they can't afford the £250 000 to £500 000 per exchange to do the upgrade - £500-1000 million in total.
Given their staggering debt levels I can understand they unwillingness to spend any more money they don't have, even if it is their own incompetence that dug them into the hole they are currently sitting at the bottom of.
Dataquest (Cable modem shipments grow) "forecasts that total xDSL equipment revenue will fall by eight per cent in 2002. It seems this reversal is due to telcos having an excess of equipment." Given this over-supply and the dire straights that many hardware companies themselves are in, one would expect this to be a good time to get discounts on DSL kit, especially if ordering 2000 exchanges worth....
Is it any wonder that the UK fails to reach the top 20 when it comes to DSL uptake world wide...?