Point Topic predicts surge in super-fast broadband customers
The take-up of fibre optic broadband services in the UK will accelerate "quite significantly" throughout 2012, Point Topic has predicted.
According to the telecoms analyst, there will be "well over a million" super-fast broadband connections across the country by the end of 2011, meaning the benefits of next-generation internet access will be enjoyed by more than five per cent of British broadband customers.
Virgin Media is the internet service provider (ISP) benefiting most from demand for faster broadband, claimed Annelise Berendt, senior analyst at Point Topic.
She said the cable company's up to 30Mbps package is "really starting to take effect", expanding its customer base to 377,000 in its first six months on the market.
Significantly, it appears a substantial number of customers are prepared to pay more for their broadband to make the leap from up to 10Mbps to up to 30Mbps download speeds, Ms Berendt stated.
During the third quarter of 2011, Virgin Media saw record growth in super-fast broadband subscribers, with 54 per cent of new customers choosing speeds of up to 30Mbps or above.
More than one million households were receiving download rates of up to 20Mbps or higher at the end of the three-month period, representing 26 per cent of the ISP's cable broadband base.
BT attracted around 30,000 new fibre optic broadband customers in the second quarter, Point Topic claimed.
"Of course, it is not a simple matter of super-fast bringing in non-user households. Although new to BT or Virgin Media, most of these customers will have had broadband before," Ms Berendt commented.
"But it provides a measure of the increasing attractiveness of broadband as a service in the face of hard economic times."
Despite Point Topic's positive outlook, a report published by Ofcom this week showed only four per cent of UK households are subscribed to super-fast broadband, even though services from BT and Virgin Media are available to 59 per cent of homes.