Following news that 3.7 million UK homes now receive digital TV via free-to-air broadcaster Freeview [WAMN 04-Jun-04], the latest research from communications regulator Ofcom reveals that broadband internet connections have reached an even high level of penetration -- nudging four million homes by Q1 2004.

However, broadband still lags consumers' uptake of dTV which in aggregate (Freeview + satellite + cable) now reaches 53% of Britain's 24.9 million households.

On the broadband front, bitter competition between rivals BT, AOL and cable companies NTL and Telewest has drastically cut prices, and increased connection speeds.

All to the benefit of consumers, who are flocking to sign-up in their thousands – over 40,000 new broadband connections are made each week.

Home users can now enjoy an even faster connection rate (1.5Mb, up from 1Mb) with Telewest's Blueyonder for no increase in the £35 ($64.33; €52.66) monthly connection charge.

Non-urban surfers, currently unable to connect to broadband, can also look forward to enjoying high-speed facilities. BT which retains a monopoly on local end-user connections (cable companies excepted) aims to extend ADSL coverage to 99.6% of all UK homes by next summer.

There are still potential broadband customers a-plenty. Although some 64% of UK households own or lease a PC, only 53% are currently connected to the internet -- at whatever speed.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff