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Dial-up doomsday: 2010

Broadband to rule them all
Written by Gemma Simpson, Contributor

Broadband to rule them all

Dial-up's days appear to be numbered - the old favourite will be on its last legs by 2010, according to uSwitch.com, a site which offers comparisons of utilities and broadband services.

In 2010, 80 per cent of households will have internet connections but only 0.5 per cent (a measly 100,000) of these will be connected via dial-up technology, according to uSwitch.com. The remaining 21 million connections will be broadband.

There were only 300,000 broadband connections in 2001 - just two per cent of internet connections - compared with more than 11 million in 2006. By comparison, the number of dial-up connections has fallen by 51 per cent in this period, according to telecoms watchdog Ofcom.

Chris Williams, broadband product manager at uSwitch.com, said a desire for fast connections to rich-media websites and eagerness to take advantage of 'converged' digital entertainment are two reasons more people will switch to fat pipes

The new wave of 'free' and bundled broadband services - where net connections are sold alongside fixed-line and mobile phone services - hasn't hurt either.

Providers as diverse as mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, mobile operator Orange and pay-TV company Sky all offer 'free' broadband services.

Williams said the motivation behind 'free' broadband offers is the long term returns from selling premium content over both satellite and broadband platforms. Bundled services also appeal to providers for the high customer retention levels and to customers for the convenience and cost savings.

One such bundled offering, BT Fusion, which combines mobile and fixed-landline phone service, has struggled to make headway in the consumer market and has branched out to businesses with the launch of Corporate Fusion earlier this year.

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