Government confirms one million broadband connections

A three-fold increase in broadband subscribers since the start of 2002 is good news all round, says Stephen Timms

The UK government announced on Tuesday that one million businesses and consumers have now signed up for broadband, and insisted it is still on target to make Britain the world's most extensive and competitive broadband market.

As ZDNet UK reported yesterday, over half a million people have signed up for broadband in the last six months, and the take-up rate is now some 20,000 per week.

Stephen Timms, e-commerce minister at the Department of Trade and Industry, said the figures showed that people are beginning to really appreciate the benefits of broadband.

"It is good news for consumers and operators. An increased demand will encourage providers to spread their service into more areas of the country. This means more access for consumers and greater business opportunities for the operators," said Timms in a statement.

Timms added that it is also important to raise the public awareness of broadband, through advertising campaigns and the government's UK online for business initiative.

Many in the industry have claimed that the government's aim of making Britain the most extensive and competitive market for broadband in the world by 2005 will not be achieved, but Timms was bullish about the future.

"It took five years for the UK to see a million people using mobile phones. At this pace, the UK is well on its way to being the most extensive and competitive market for broadband in the world," he said.

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