Broadband connections leave dial-up trailing

There are now fewer dial-up connections than there were three years ago, as consumers and businesses continue to opt for always-on

The popularity of broadband continues to grow in the UK, with the number of subscriptions nearly doubling over the past year.

The number of permanent connections -- or always-on links provided by DSL or cable modems -- reached 29.5 percent of the total Internet connections in June 2004, compared to 27.8 percent in May and 16.1 percent a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics, or ONS.

This is no surprise, given the trend toward lower prices and wider availability of broadband.

Dial-up, meanwhile, becomes ever less popular, with the number of connections falling 10.3 percent since last year. There are now fewer dial-up subscriptions than when the ONS began to collect Internet data in January 2001.

When it comes to paying for Internet access, the trend is toward a fixed monthly or quarterly rate. In June 2004, 30 per cent of Internet users paid via fixed rate -- nearly double the percentage of last year.

The number using free or billed access, whereby users pay per call, fell to 35 percent from 41 percent last year. Mixed plans, which offer both a fixed rate plus per-call charges, make up 5 percent of plans.

The ONS collects its monthly Internet statistics by surveying a panel of ISPs.

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