LONDON: The recent spate of discounting and 'free' offers from new and existing ISPs has thrust broadband take-up into orbital velocity, reports the UK government's Office for National Statistics.

The ONS Omnibus Survey, a wide-ranging annual study that includes web access among UK households and individuals, indicates that 14.3m homes had an internet connection at the end of June. Of these, 9.87m (69%) linked to the web via broadband.

Last year, the survey recorded broadband domestic penetration at just 28% - although the data excluded Northern Ireland, covered by the survey for the first time this year.

Based on current growth rates, the survey projects that homes with broadband connections will accelerate past the ten million mark well before the year end.

Looking at the nation as a whole - including homes without internet access - broadband now reaches 40% of all UK households. Overall, 57% have some form of internet connection.

Leading the pack with the highest percentage of overall internet penetration is the south-east with 66%. At the other end of the scale is Scotland with 48%.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff