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DSL beating cable

Survey puts UK second in Europe for broadband take-up

DSL (digital subscriber line) technologies have overtaken cable as the most popular method of accessing broadband services in Europe according to the latest study from analysts at Forrester research.

Just over half (56 percent) of broadband users were connected to the internet via DSL, with the remainder using cable. Technologies such as wireless and satellite were not covered by the survey.

But despite BT's insistence that it is working hard to enable telephone exchanges for ADSL (asymmetric DSL), its registration database, which allows users in non-broadband areas to declare their interest in ADSL, has thus far only resulted in one exchange being upgraded.

Campaigners at pressure group Broadband4Britain have accused BT of setting trigger figures — the number of interested customers needed to justify the cost of upgrading an exchange — way too high, but BT has insisted the figures "are the based purely on cost" and that B4B's revised figures are "impossible to achieve".

Figures published last month by telco watchdog Oftel showed there were 709,000 ADSL and cable modem lines in the UK. Forrester, however, puts this figure closer to two million.

"Broadband take-up is speeding up as new packages and cheaper prices are made available, we are pleased with the progress the UK has made over the past few months," said a spokesperson at Oftel.

Conflicting reports of broadband rollout have plagued the UK over the last year, with some boasting high numbers of users and others attacking BT for its slow upgrade speeds. These latest figures from Forrester now put the UK second for broadband use in Europe behind Germany, which has a massive seven million users.

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