Broadband takeup rates showed no signs of slowing during March, while dialup connections recorded a considerable fall, according to the latest ISP survey by the Office of National Statistics.

The year-on-year decline to March 03 was 6.7 percent for dialup connections, a decrease of 0.8 percent on February, with 35 percent of those now opting for fixed-rate unmetered access.

Annual growth for permanent (broadband) connections was a whopping 238.2 percent, which the ONS puts down to the fall in price and continuing publicity for such services as witnessed by the recent spate of signup offers.

But despite this growing demand, permanent connections still only make up around 13 percent of the total online subscriptions for March.

The business sector is faring rather better, however, with 35 percent of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) now using broadband technologies according to figures released last week by telco watchdog Oftel.

In addition, a third (34 percent) of those businesses currently using a dialup connection said they were intending to upgrade to broadband in the near future.