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New research predicts rapid growth in UK broadband coverage over the next two years, with broadband penetration reaching levels of up to 90% in some areas.
Point Topic's forecast uses data from each of the 222,000 Census areas in the UK, allowing them to paint a geographical picture of broadband take-up around the country.
The report predicts that the proportion of homes with broadband will almost double, from 34% at the start of 2006 to 64% at the end of 2008, when households with broadband installed should number 18.5 million.
The fastest growth in broadband penetration will occur in rural areas, which currently have the lowest levels of broadband use. Meanwhile, the highest take-up is expected to remain in the South East. It is predicted that 80-90 % of households in the South East will have broadband access in the next two years.
Point Topic CEO Tim Johnson believes his figures show that broadband use has grown beyong prevously predicted levels:
"Only three years ago, one analyst was forecasting that it would take until 2008 for broadband to reach 35 percent of British households. That milestone was passed last January.
"Another analyst said we would reach eight million broadband households in 2008, but we think it's going to be more than 16 million households with broadband by the end of 2008."
Despite the rapid increases in penetration levels, the forecast does point out that overall growth levels will decline as growth in the market will need to come more and more from lower income households and older people. New broadband adds are expected to fall from 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2008.
The full report can be found at http://www.point-topic.com/default.asp.