The broadband market has seen its worst quarter of growth since 2004, research suggests.
Point Topic, an Internet connectivity research company, claims market turmoil is causing the slow growth in broadband adoption, which accelerated by only 730,000 in the second quarter of 2006. The company claims this makes it the worst three months in the last two years.
Between October 2004 and March this year, the UK added an average of 75,000 broadband lines every week. In the April-June period this fell to only 56,000 lines per week. Point Topic estimates the total number of broadband lines in the UK at the end of June was more than 11.7 million.
Although the second quarter is usually the weakest, this fall was particularly sharp. Percentage growth in the quarter was only 6.6 per cent — the lowest since broadband started.
Tim Johnson, chief executive of Point Topic, said new players in the broadband market such as Carphone Warehouse and Sky are offering free broadband but this is causing confusion in the market. More than 400,000 have signed up for 'free' broadband with Carphone Warehouse but are yet to receive it.