Broadband take-up tipped to level out in two years

Marketing campaigns, lower prices and wider coverage mean that 60 percent of the UK will have broadband by 2008

Almost two-thirds of consumers in Western Europe will have adopted broadband by early 2008, thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns and a rise in awareness, a report published on Friday said.

Broadband adoption will settle at a rate of 60 percent in Western Europe and other advanced markets within two years, according to Datamonitor. With PC ownership likely to settle at 70 percent, this would represent a large proportion of the available market.

Consumer broadband adoption is increasing so rapidly the market is approaching maturity already and is growing at its fastest rate ever in many markets across Western Europe, according to the Datamonitor report, Consumer broadband markets approaching maturity.

Datamonitor also forecast that eight million households in the UK will have a broadband connection by the end of 2005.

Tim Gower, enterprise communications analyst at Datamonitor, said aggressive marketing campaigns were driving increased broadband adoption. "The current situation in many markets can be best described as one of rapidly increasing penetration, where broadband has effectively entered its growth sweet spot," he said.

Other factors behind the broadband boom are a dramatic increase in broadband coverage, lower prices, and new voice, video and data applications.

According to Datamonitor's research, in many countries broadband is the fastest growing consumer technology of all time, outpacing the uptake of mobile phones and dial-up Internet access.

Technologies such as broadband and managed services are helping service providers to counter a decline in traditional markets such as fixed-line voice revenues, Gower added.