Broadband reaches one in 10

Nearly one and a half million households in the UK now have broadband as take-up continues to grow, says Oftel

One in 10 home Internet users in the UK now use broadband connections, while 90 percent of all Net users say they are happy with the services they buy. Those are the latest figures from Oftel -- and the industry regulator is clearly pleased with progress.

In a release issued on Monday, Oftel notes there are 30,000 new broadband subscriptions every week right now, meaning the UK has over 1.4 million households with high-speed Net access.

Oftel director general David Edmonds also said consumers still benefit from "good deals on unmetered dial-up access." The government, BT and others have long maintained low broadband penetration rates in the UK are partly to do with good-value narrowband on offer.

Separate research has shown broadband adoption growing at these rates while narrowband dial-up levels remain almost static. However, it isn't that new users are jumping straight to broadband, rather that as new narrowband surfer come online they replace an equal number of consumers upgrading to broadband.

In a statement, e-minister Stephen Timms said: "It is wonderful to see the joint work of government and industry in raising awareness of the benefits of broadband really paying off."

Many consumers have chosen to focus on the lack of broadband availability in their locales, while the major service providers have concentrated on educating home users and small businesses on its advantages.

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