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UK Broadband Set To Double Over Three Years

Posted: 10th Oct, 2006 By: MarkJ
Point Topic has predicted that the total number of UK broadband lines (DSL and Cable) will double from 9.77 million at the end of 2005 to 18.46m at the end of 2008 (64% of households)!:

The forecast is unique because it makes estimates of broadband take-up available in geographical fine detail for the first time from a public source . It is based on individual forecasts for each of the 222,000 Census Output Areas in the UK, using Point Topic's series of consumer and business surveys, combined with the its BroadBand Layer model for the UK and a wide range of broadband statistics and other sources. This makes it possible to produce forecasts for telephone exchange areas, local authorities or any other desired geography.

The forecast shows that the proportion of households with broadband will almost double, from 34% at the end of 2005 to 64% three years later. As the map shows, the remote rural areas where penetration is lowest today (dark red on the map) will grow fastest and catch up with the rest of the country to some extent. But the highest take-up will continue to be in prosperous areas of the South East of England. By end-2008 between 80% and 90% of homes will have broadband across a large part of the South East (dark green on the map).


Click to enlarge

Point Topic forecasts that by end-2008 the areas with the highest household take-up will all be in the South East. Waverley (South-west Surrey) is forecast to be the highest, with 91% of households on broadband, but many similar areas are close. Swindon, which was "the most broadband town in Britain" at the beginning of this year is forecast to be only number 11 by end-2008.

Despite the high penetration levels achieved in some areas, the forecast points to a declining growth rate. Net broadband adds are expected to fall from 1.9 million lines in the first half of 2005 to barely 1 million in the second half of 2008. The broadband market will find it increasingly difficult to maintain momentum as growth will increasingly need to come from winning over the groups which have low internet access today - such as poorer families, single people and older households.

Slowdown aside and ISP's will be pleased to know that there are still a few more years of life left in the market, even though many of those adopting broadband will probably come from existing (dialup) Internet users.

Having said that we’ve already seen some providers move into the content and value added service provisioning field, thus offering more than mere Internet access. It will be interesting to see how UK ISP’s have evolved come 2009/2010.
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