There are now more broadband-connected households than dial-up using homes in the UK, Ofcom revealed this week.

In its second annual Communications Market report, the UK regulator revealed that the number of new broadband connections per week has increased from 5,500 per week in 2001 to 73,800 per week in 2004.

"2005 was the year in which broadband became a genuinely mainstream consumer product, now present in almost 30 per cent of all UK households and businesses and actively considered by many more," Ofcom said.

The regulator also anticipates that by the end of 2005, 99.6 per cent of UK homes will be connected to a broadband-enabled exchange.

Digital destiny

The digital future means broadband can only grow in importance, Ofcom said: "The combination of mass-market appeal, rapid growth, falling prices, increasing connection speeds and innovation in video technology means that by 2010, the number of households able to view television over broadband is likely to exceed the number of households dependent on analogue terrestrial broadcasts for all their television viewing."

Ofcom added that total revenues for the mobile telecoms industry (£12.3 billion) now exceed those of fixed-line calls (£10.5 billion).

Payments for television and radio services (including TV Licences) and payments for fixed and mobile telecommunications services now account for 4 per cent of all consumer spending.

Ofcom senior partner, strategy and market developments Ed Richards said: "This report shows that UK households are now accelerating into the digital age. In parallel, industries formed over decades are being reshaped by digital broadcasting and broadband with every month that passes."