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UK Broadband Growth Forecast Appears Healthier than Expected

Posted: 21st Aug, 2009 By: MarkJ
The latest Point Topic forecast has revealed that UK broadband growth appears to be healthier than expected. Britain added 445,000 net new broadband lines in H1-2009 to reach over 17.8m in total, about 100,000 more than forecast at the start of 2009. The number of net additions forecast for 2009 is now 900,000, an increase of 240,000 (36%) more than before.

The forecast now projects over 23 million broadband lines in the UK by the end of 2013, nearly 1.2 million more than in its previous estimate. However the figures show there are still over 9m ‘no-net’ homes today and the number is falling only slowly. Come 2014 there will still be 6.5m homes without Internet access.

There is a long way to go to meet the Digital Britain Implementation Plan target of 90% coverage of next-generation broadband by 2017 as well. Point Topic notes that coverage is negligible today, but is expected to increase quickly over the next year and will pass 50% by 2014. At that rate the 2017 target should be achievable, although it will depend on some kind of subsidy to reach the more remote areas.

So, assuming all goes to plan and the necessary subsidies are put in place, what will the UK broadband market of 2014 look like? Some 7m people will use next-gen fibre lines and next-gen broadband as a whole will have 30% of the market, cable services ( e.g. Virgin Media ) will have 21% and DSL ( ADSL , ADSL2+ etc. ) should drop to 49%.

However history teaches us that such major developments rarely go according to plan, especially where there is reliance upon subsidies. Then again BT has already accelerated its original rollout of FTTP and FTTC next-gen broadband services so it might still be realistic.
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