The UK is set to add 900,000 new broadband subscribers in 2009 following strong take-up in the first half.
According to analysts Point Topic, 445,000 new broadband lines were added in the first half of 2009 taking the UK broadband subscriber pool to 17.8 million.
With take-up exceeding initial forecasts Point Topic now projects over 23 million broadband lines in the UK by the end of 2013, nearly 1.2 million more than in it last predicted.
The UK still features 9 million “no-net” homes, with Point Topic forecasting that even by 2014 6.5 million homes will still lack internet access.
While the government’s Digital Britain blueprint devotes £12 million in funding over three years to promote digital participation, Point Topic analyst Tim Johnson claims it may not go far enough.
“Allowing only 12 million to get more homes online looks pretty weak when you consider the size of the task on one side and the potential benefits on the other.”
He added that the target of 90% coverage of next-generation broadband by 2017 will also be difficult to achieve.
“We think it’s going to be easier to build networks than to change people’s minds,” says Johnson.
Point Topic forecasts that more than 7 million next-generation fibre lines will be in service by the end of 2014. By that time more than 20 million households and 1.7 million business premises will have one or more broadband lines. Next-generation access will comprise 30% of all connections, with cable claiming 21% and DSL down to 49% .