UK broadband take-up stifled by users unwilling to upgrade



UK broadband take-up is being stifled by long-term Internet users who are settled with their dial-up connection, and unwilling to upgrade to higher speed access.

But in European countries such as France and Germany, where Internet penetration is still fairly new, first-time Internet users are leapfrogging narrowband, and diving straight into high-speed Internet access packages.

'The countries where Internet penetration is greatest and has been the longest established, like the UK and Germany, have become used to dialup connections, and broadband is being sold as an upgrade,' said Tom Ewing, European market analyst at NetRatings.

A new report from Internet research firm NetRatings reveals that 28% of European Internet users now have a broadband connection. The number of high-speed Internet connections in Europe grew by 136% between April 2002 and April 2003, with the UK experiencing the largest increase of 235%. Some European markets such as France and Spain, have already overtaken the US in terms of broadband take-up.

Broadband rollout is more than doubling the amount of time that Europeans spend online. In the UK, narrowband users spend an average of seven hours a month online, while broadband users tend to spend 17 hours a month browsing online.