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INTERNET AND BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY - LATEST UK FIGURES

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The latest monthly update to the survey of Internet Service Providers...
The latest monthly update to the survey of Internet Service Providers

(ISPs) shows that between August 2001 and August 2002 there was a

11.8 per cent increase in the number of subscriptions to the

internet. The month on month change between July and August 2002 was

-0.3 per cent. Despite the overall fall in internet subscriptions in

August, which was due to a decrease in the number of dial-up

connections,uptake of permanent connections continued to increase.

This was due to advertising campaigns promoting a fall in the price

of broadband technology (see over). Subscriptions are defined as

those that were active during the month in question. The growth since

April 2002 has been revised downwards due to company restructuring

and subsequent misreporting.

Dial-up versus permanent Internet connections

In August 2002, subscriptions for dial-up and permanent internet

connections continued to display quite different patterns of growth.

The indices for dial-up and permanent subscriptions were 110.9 and

1166.5 respectively. The year on year growth to August 2002 was 5.7

per cent for dial-up connections,with a decrease of 1.0 per cent from

July to August 2002. The year on year growth was 354.8 per cent for

permanent connections, with an increase of 9.9 per cent from July to

August 2002.Dial-up connections continued to dominate the overall

number of subscriptions, but with permanent connections continuing to

increase their share at a growing rate. Permanent connections made up

7.2 per cent of total subscriptions in August 2002, up from 6.5 per

cent in July. This increase in the market share is due to a fall in

the price of broadband technology. Revisions to both the dial-up and

permanent indices have occurred due to updated company information.

Access Plans

In August 2002, the percentage of subscriptions using free access

fell by two percentage points to 25 per cent. Those paying a fixed

rate for unmetered access increased to 38 per cent, while billed

access for call minutes increased by one point to 19 per cent.At 5

per cent there was no change in the percentage of subscriptions using

a mixed plan (fixed rate plus bills for calls).'Always on' increased

its share to 4 per cent with 'Other' access accounting for the

remaining 9 per cent of subscriptions (down from 10 per cent in

July).

BACKGROUND NOTES

1. E-commerce could have a huge impact on the way businesses operate.

It has the potential to lead to growth in trade, increase markets,

improve efficiency and effectiveness and transform business

processes. In recognition of its significance in the future

performance of the economy,the UK government has set itself the

target of becoming 'the best environment in the world to do

e-commerce.' DTI 1998 White Paper 'Our Competitive Future:Building

the Knowledge-Driven Economy' CM4176. In response, the ONS has

developed a package of measures that will help monitor the UK's use

of e-commerce.

2. One strand of the strategy is the Monthly Inquiry to Internet

Service Providers (ISPs). This inquiry, established in January 2001,

surveys a panel of ISPs,collecting data on the number of active

subscriptions, type of connections to the Internet and access plan

used.Publication of the index commenced in December 2001, in respect

of October 2001.

3. The index of connectivity is constructed for internet

subscriptions, with January 2001 being used as the base month. The

index expresses the current month as a percentage of the base month.

The response to the survey stands at 77 per cent for the current

month. Estimates are made for non-responding businesses. The index is

not seasonally adjusted.

4. The Internet Service Providers Inquiry is carried out in line with

the rigorous standards of all National Statistics.However, it is

important to note that there is currently no definitive population of

ISPs from which to sample, and therefore the index should be treated

with some caution as it is still in development phase.

5. The entire index is reviewed each month to ensure that ONS

publishes its best estimates. Revisions can occur due to company

misreporting or additions to the panel of ISPs.

6. Dial-up connections are those that access the Internet via ISDN or

an analogue modem. Permanent connections are those with a dedicated

continuous internet connection.

UK REACHES ONE MILLION HIGH SPEED BROADBAND CONNECTIONS

The UK has reached one million high speed broadband connections,

Oftel has announced today.

Announcing the news, David Edmonds, director general of

Telecommunications said:

'Figures from telecoms operators show that the UK has reached one

million high speed broadband connections.

'This take up shows that consumers recognise the power of broadband

to deliver high speed Internet access into their homes.

'The number of broadband connections has risen from half a million to

one million in six months, with new connections running at over

20,000 per week.

'Oftel has helped to create the most competitive broadband market in

Europe through the huge amount of work we have undertaken in a number

of areas.

'Broadband is available to consumers through many different service

providers using a variety of different networks, resulting in

increased choice and lower prices. UK consumers now have access to

some of the lowest prices for broadband services in Europe.

'There is also a thriving narrowband Internet access market with a

wide range of ISPs offering pay-as-you-go and unmetered access

packages.'

Oftel has promoted competition by ensuring access to BT's network

through broadband interconnection arrangements and local loop

unbundling.

Network competition exists between ntl, Telewest and BT. BT must make

wholesale broadband products available to service providers on the

same terms as for its own retail service providers. Over 100 service

providers use these products to deliver services to consumers and

businesses.

Broadband services are delivered to residential and business

customers using a range of technologies including DSL, cable modems,

fixed wireless networks and satellite.

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