UK broadband subscriptions to double by 2008

Broadband Internet adoption in Britain is set to double by the end of 2008, with most of the take-up coming from the more affluent areas in the country, according to a report from London's The Business.

The report, quoting a study by Internet research firm Point Topic, said the installed base of broadband lines would rise from 9.77 million at the end of 2005 to 18.46 million at the end of 2008.

The study also revealed that the proportion of households with broadband connection would almost double to 64% in 2008 from 34% at end-2005, the report said.

The highest take-up would continue to be in prosperous areas of the Southeast of England, where, by the end of 2008, between 80% and 90% of homes would have broadband, the report said.

Growth would also come from remote rural regions, which would grow fastest and begin to catch up with the rest of the country, the report further said.

According to Point Topic, growth would come from winning over the groups that currently had low broadband penetration, including single people, older households and low-income groups, the report said.

The research firm said Internet service providers would have to offer consumers increasingly competitive deals as the broadband Internet market reaches saturation, according to the report.

As some markets reach saturation, the forecast pointed to a declining growth rate, with the number of new broadband lines expected to fall from 1.9 million connections in the first half of 2005 to barely 1 million in the second half of 2008, the report said.