Report published today predicts boom in broadband take-up but UK will still lag behind the other G7 nations
The number of UK households with access to broadband services is set to triple next year, according to a report out today, writes Luke Satchell

The new study by internet research firm Jupiter MMXI predicts that 2002 will see a boom in broadband take-up throughout the country, pushing the number of UK broadband homes up from the current figure of around 140,000 to over 400,000.

Despite this exponential rise however, the UK will still lag well behind the likes of Belgium and Sweden. The two countries have 12 per cent and 18 per cent broadband coverage respectively, putting them at the top of the list of G7 nations monitored for their success in rolling out the technology. The UK is at the bottom of the list, with less than one per cent coverage.

To date consumer apathy and high prices have been blamed for the UK's poor performance, with 'always on' services such as BT Openworld and Telewest's Blue Yonder costing as much as£40 per month on top of an original connection fee of£150.

The government hopes to force prices down by encouraging competition, but it's recent decision not to give tax breaks to infrastructure providers means any price cuts from the likes of BT or Telewest are likely to come at their own discretion, and in their own time.

Today's report also revealed that the UK has the highest penetration of digital television in the world. Half of the country's households have a digital set, which is twice the European average predicted for 2002.