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UK broadband breaks mythical three million user barrier
Wednesday 10 December 2003 23:14:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Oftel has published its latest Internet Briefing document, which can be read here. As of 29th December 2003, Oftel's responsibilities will be handed over to Ofcom, the new telecommunications regulatory body in the UK.

The 3,000,000 broadband users has happened very quickly after the previous 2,000,000 barrier was broken, and for good reason, activations are taking place at around 40,000 per week. The figure of 3,000,000 is the combined total from cable modem, ADSL, satellite and wireless broadband technologies, and is perhaps a bit more mythical than some would like.

There is some debate as to what should be counted as a broadband connection, certainly all the connections counted use a broadband technology, but the connection speed is not always that of a broadband based experience. The figures include NTL 150kbps connections, and Tiscali (and resellers) 150kbps ADSL connections. The low upstreams of the 150kbps products (the upstream is usually just 64kbps) may prove to be limiting factors in the emerging Voice Over IP (VoIP) market, these services while driving down the entry level price may end up holding back the advancement of broadband derived services.

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