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Broadband in bloom

UK finally cottons on to the benefits

Internet users are finally becoming aware of broadband services and cottoning on to the idea of high-speed internet services, according to telco watchdog Oftel.

A massive 84 percent of internet users are now aware of the benefits offered by broadband compared to just 50 percent in February last year.

"It is wonderful to see the joint work of government and industry in raising awareness of the benefits of broadband really paying off," said e-commerce minister Stephen Timms.

One in ten homes now has access to broadband services, totalling 1.4m UK users, with subscriptions having risen to 30,000 per week.

But it is not only good marketing that's to thank. Since Christmas there have been a range of special offers from ISPs, including Demon internet, BT and Pipex, to name but a few.

Yesterday cable provider Telewest also jumped on the sale bandwagon, offering existing customers a self-installation package to its Blueyonder service for just £12.50 a month.

The self-install package uses the television set-top box as its connection point, negating the need for a separate modem to be installed. The package uses wires to link the set-top box to the home computer, which means the computer needs to be within a reasonable distance of the television.

The company's long-term plan is to provide wireless connection to make it even easier for customers to get its broadband services.

"I am delighted to see the UK consumer making real use of all the choices available to get them online," added David Edmonds, director general at Oftel.

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