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Broadband Causes X-Mas MP3 Rage

Posted: 14th Dec, 2004 By: MarkJ
UK ISP Bulldog has predicted a surge in demand for broadband during January, much of which is being attributed to the Christmas rush for music file players:

It happens every year: the most desirable Christmas present, frantically sought after for months and bought at considerable expense, loses its shine by Boxing Day. But it couldn’t happen to users of the iPod, Creative Music Player or other MP3 players, could it?

Top of Britain’s ‘most wanted’ lists for the second Christmas running, sales of MP3 players are predicted to lead to ‘MP3 Rage’ according to super-fast broadband and phone company Bulldog Communications, when excitement turns to frustration at the realisation that a dial-up or standard broadband internet connection isn’t quick enough to download music seriously.

Apple’s iTunes Music Store has recorded 150 million downloads to date, an average of 25 songs per iPod owner*. At around 4 Megabytes (MB) per song, the total 100 MB average download will mean anyone with dial-up can expect to spend all of Christmas Day downloading.

As a result Bulldog, provider of super-fast 4 Megabits per second (Mbps) broadband services, is expecting a surge of registrations for its high-speed connections in the New Year as a direct result of the number of people who’ll receive MP3 players for Christmas.

“It’s the digital age equivalent of ‘batteries not included’,” said Richard Greco, Bulldog’s CEO. “Parents would spend Christmas Day hunting high and low for batteries after kids were left disappointed by unwrapping powerless toys. Now, tens of thousands of owners of iPods and other MP3 players risk being frustrated by the inadequacy of their internet connection.”

Six million iPods, representing 60% of the digital music player market, have been sold since launch in 2001 – two million of those in the last three months*. The competition is growing, with cheaper models available from firms such as Creative and BenQ - some giving up to

128 MB of memory for under £50** – further fuelling the market for music downloads.

Bulldog’s super-fast broadband and telephone services – now available to almost one and a half million homes and business across the capital – has been revolutionising internet use since it was introduced in September 2004. Users of the service describe far higher download speeds compared to slower broadband connections – one user downloaded a 4.3 MB song in just 39 seconds, compared to 1 minute 33 seconds using a 512 kbps connection.

In a process known as Local Loop Unbundling, Bulldog has installed its own high-speed network in 67 telephone exchanges expanding to 400 by the second half of 2005.
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