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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July 2005, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
UK prefers broadband to dial-up
Woman using Telewest internet connection
The price of broadband connections has been falling
Broadband has officially overtaken dial-up as the most popular way for Britons to connect to the internet, government statistics show.

Take-up of broadband connections has outstripped dial-up for some time.

But it is the first time broadband has accounted for the majority of all net connections in the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), broadband overtook dial-up in May, making up 50.7% of all net connections.

Broadband connections have grown by nearly 80% over the last year, due to falling prices and greater publicity about the technology.

Dial-up's twilight years

It has been a remarkable period of growth for high-speed net access. In January 2001, when the ONS began compiling net data, broadband accounted for less than one percent of connections.

What we are seeing is the twilight years of dial-up, its slow retirement in the UK
Ian Fogg, Jupiter Research

By contrast dial-up connections have been in decline for the last three years.

Broadband is increasingly becoming an attractive proposition, with many internet service providers upgrading their customers to faster speeds of 1Mbps (megabits per second) and 2Mbps for no extra cost.

Most recently, there has been a flurry of super-fast (8Mbps) services becoming available.

Jupiter Research predicts that by 2010, 80% of online households in Europe will have a broadband connection, with the figure likely to be even higher in the UK.

Jupiter analyst Ian Fogg said that those clinging on to their dial-up connection are doing so because of inertia.

"Some think they don't use the net enough to justify the hassle of switching," he said.

But the days of dial-up are numbered.

"What we are seeing is the twilight years of dial-up, its slow retirement in the UK," he said.

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