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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 12:57 GMT
UK broadband 'to triple in 2002'
Broadband Internet
Broadband is seen as the future of the internet
The European internet market in 2002 will be dominated by a boom in broadband access and a soaring number of digital televisions and Napster-like music portals, according to internet research firm Jupiter MMXI.

Jupiter predicts a boom in fast and continuous internet access all over Europe, with the number of households subscribing to broadband set to double during the year.

And in the UK and Italy, the number is expected to triple. Less than one percent of Britons have broadband access at present, placing the UK bottom of the list of seven European nations.

High costs are the biggest deterrent for Britons mulling whether to upgrade to speedier surfing, several different surveys show.

A special advertising campaign has been launched in the UK in order to promote broadband.

Tele addicts

But while the percentage of broadband connections will quickly multiply next year, it will stay well behind Belgium and Sweden with 12% and 18% respectively.

And despite of the dramatic growth expected next year, less than 15% of households in the EU will have broadband connections by 2006, Jupiter predicts.

While the UK may be lagging in the broadband stakes, it has the highest penetration of digital television in the world.

One half of British households has a digital TV at present, twice the European average predicted for the end of 2002.

Whilst digital TV take-up will increase elsewhere in Europe, southern European countries such as Italy and Spain will see the slowest growth.

Music for everyone

Jupiter also foresees a sharp increase in the competition between online song-swapping services in the post-Napster era.

Napster was forced to stop redistributing copyright material in February by the courts.

And recording companies are no longer relying solely on court cases to quash illegal file sharing, but have launched their own online services.

While the next generation of Napster clones will gain popularity in Europe, main record labels will focus on the US market at the expense of Europe.

This will help European music companies like Italian Vitaminic to steal a march on the major labels and build up their own presence on the net.

Online portals are also expected to pay more attention to their music content and channels.

By the end of 2002, internet portals such as Yahoo, MSN and AOL will become key online music destinations.

Broadband: What you need to know

See also:

03 Dec 01 | Business
UK to speed up broadband
01 Dec 01 | Sci/Tech
High prices cost broadband dear
23 Jul 01 | Business
Online music sales set to soar
05 Sep 01 | Sci/Tech
Pay and play by the hour
18 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
A glimpse of the digital future
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