Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Broadband Britain arrives - official | Wednesday 22nd February 2006 | 10:44AM

The inexorable march of Broadband Britain continues. In the latest official figures for the end of 2005, the National Statistics Office found that nearly two thirds of Internet connections are now broadband while dial-up continues its slow decline.

The NSO found that throughout 2005 broadband connections continued to rise and increase their market share. Broadband connections made up 64.2 per cent of all Internet connections in December 2005, up from 62.3 per cent in November 2005. In December 2004, broadband had a 43 per cent market share. Overall, this represented a year on year increase of 58.8 per cent for broadband usage.

Meanwhile, dial-up connections continued to decrease, with a year on year fall to December 2005 of 34.1 per cent. Following a peak in February 2002, Dial-up connections now account for only 35.8 per cent of all Internet connections.

National Statistics says that it is not only existing users which are switching their services. The researchers also found that between December 2004 and December 2005 there was a 5.6 per cent increase in the total number of active subscriptions to the Internet.

If so, it will also mark a change in the way ISPs promote their broadband services. Instead of marketing the benefits of broadband to sign up or transfer existing dial up users, increasingly they will be offering faster services, better content or cheaper deals in order to attract and retain customers.

However, National Statistics indicates that the great shift in customers to broadband may be coming to an end. The Office says that from now on it will not be reporting changes in the broadband market on a monthly basis but intends to switch to quarterly reporting.

Steve Malone

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