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Recently it was revealed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry that 99.8% of UK residents now “have access” to broadband – a figure which demonstrates the near-absolute reach of internet access across the country.

In a recent meeting, Christopher Huhne the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry ‘how many and what proportion of homes had access to broadband in each year since 2000’. Margaret Hodge responded with figures which show a breakdown for each year from 2000 to 2006 (see below). The figures are for people who can access broadband, rather than for those who actually have access to broadband in their homes. The progress of broadband access is startling:

2000 – 30% 2001 – 49% 2002 – 63% 2003 – 85% 2004 – 93.3% 2005 – 99.6% 2006 – 99.8%

Margaret Hodge also commented:

“The Department has not (a) estimated or (b) set any targets for future broadband access. The Telecomms Adjudicator has responsibility for setting future targets for broadband access. Their target of 98 per cent for 2006 was met and surpassed in December 2005”.

This is good news for the UK and shows the swift technological advancement of connectivity occurring. Most of this progress comes from BT’s development of broadband exchanges, plus significant funding from the government.

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