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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Broadband 'taking off in the UK'
Cables superimposed on map of Britain
Is UK ready to take place on broadband world stage?
More and more Britons are signing up for high speed internet access, although the UK is still lagging behind other countries, says a study.

Broadband in the UK is growing faster than in France and Germany, according to research by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development due out in November.

The study shows that the UK has overtaken Italy for the first time, reported Computing magazine.

The figures offer a more optimistic view of the spread of high-speed services in the UK than those from net measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings, which last month put Britain near the bottom of the European league table.

On course for target?

OECD analyst Sam Paltridge said broadband in the UK was growing faster than any other European country.

"The UK can take heart from the fact that it is now growing faster than its European rivals and for the first time is growing faster than the OECD average," he said.

Broadband facts
US tops worldwide table
China jumped to 2nd place
Less than 3% of Europeans have broadband
45% of Germany's net users have broadband
UK nearing one million connections
He said it was too early to tell if the growth spurt would put the UK Government on course for its ambitious target to be the most competitive place for broadband by 2005.

The market in the UK is healthier than elsewhere, said Mr Paltridge.

"The UK has cable as well as ADSL, whereas Germany and Italy have only DSL."

BT's price cuts, its huge marketing campaign and the introduction of its no frills broadband service are all factors in the healthier looking market, he said.

One millionth connection

The delays in rolling out broadband mean the UK has some way to go to actually catch up with Germany and France.

It is still well below countries such as Japan, the US and Canada, although Mr Paltridge thinks it will grow farther.

In Europe as a whole, less than 3% of the population have a broadband connection.

The UK is gearing up to celebrate a minor milestone as E-commerce Minister Stephen Timms predicts the one millionth customer will be connected to broadband in the next fortnight.

He has been busy talking up the technology at a variety of conferences, describing UK prices as among the most competitive in the world.


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27 Sep 02 | Technology
27 Sep 02 | Technology
10 Sep 02 | Technology
09 Sep 02 | Business
28 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
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