2010: UK dial-up's dying days

It'll be down to last four per cent, predicts uSwitch...

It'll be down to last four per cent, predicts uSwitch...

Dial-up internet connections will comprise just four per cent of all UK residential connections by 2010, uSwitch.com is predicting.

The price comparison website believes 76 per cent of the country will have an internet connection by 2010 - or close to 21 million households. And only around one million of those will be using dial-up to get online, it predicts.

The list from A to Z

Click on the links below to find out more...

A is for ADSL
B is for BT
C is for Cable & Wireless
D is for Dial-up
E is for Education
F is for Fibre
G is for Goonhilly
H is for HSDPA
I is for In-flight
J is for Janet
K is for Kingston
L is for Landlines
M is for Murdoch
N is for Next generation
O is for Ofcom
P is for Power lines
Q is for Quad-play
R is for Remote working
S is for Satellite phones
T is for Trains
U is for Unbundling
V is for VoIP
W is for WiMax
X is for Xbox
Y is for YouTube
Z is for Zombies

The competitive nature of the UK's broadband market has boosted fat pipe adoption by driving prices down. Back in January, uSwitch said dial-up was being priced out of the market as the cost of unlimited dial-up packages had become more expensive than the same packages on broadband for the first time.

Ian Fogg, research director at JupiterResearch, told silicon.com: "Dial-up use is falling off very quickly because there is very little or - in some cases - no price advantage for dial-up."

Most of the remaining dial-up connections are likely to be down to consumer "inertia" rather than a lack of broadband availability, according to Fogg. "BT has actually done a very, very good job in terms of getting very wide broadband availability," he told silicon.com. "Although the UK is falling compared to its peers in terms of speed, availability is one of the great British success stories."

Fogg added that some form of public sector or regulatory invention is likely to be needed to ensure broadband "blackspots" are wired up: "I don't see there being much prospect on a commercial basis to raise broadband availability much further in the UK."

Speed is more of an issue for broadband Britain. According to uSwitch, French consumers receive average speeds of 17.6Mbps compared to the UK average of just 3.6Mbps. And ADSL2+, which is due to launch in the UK early next year, launched in France back in autumn 2004, said Fogg. "So in terms of ADSL2+ availability the French market is about four years ahead," he said.

Speed has become so important that nine million broadband customers rank the quality and speed of their fat pipes as more important than value for money, according to uSwitch. And broadband providers seem to be phasing out 2Mbps broadband in favour of the faster speeds that consumers crave, it said. This is in line with the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which show the number of '2Mbps to 8Mbps' connections rising, while those of less than 2Mbps are falling.

uSwitch added that dial-up's UK demise could be accelerated if broadband providers follow the lead of Orange and turn off narrowband offerings, forcing consumers to switch to fat pipes to get their net fix.

Steve Weller, head of communications services at uSwitch, said in a statement: "We could then see the demise of dial-up brought even closer than 2010 as these connections are shut down and the decision is taken away from the last reluctant customers."

According to the ONS, almost 90 per cent of internet connections in the UK come via broadband.