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Dial-up connections are falling in number as ‘king broadband’ tramples dial-up connections underfoot.

Broadband connections have almost completely replaced dial-up in the UK, according to a new report, as competitively priced packages prompt those who had been using dial-up to opt for faster connections.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), broadband connections have increased from 92.8 per cent in June to 94.1 per cent in September. This means that 19 out of every 20 internet connections are broadband. The report also detected a year on year rise of eight per cent.

Conversely, the number of dial-up connections slipped, with these now making up just 5.9 per cent of the connections in the UK compared with a figure of 11.7 per cent during the same period last year.

The ONS attributed the recent growth of the broadband sector in part to the raft of cheaper deals that have become available to consumers as a consequence of increasing competition in the market.

A statement from the organisation read: "The market share of broadband connections has been increasing since the index began in 2001, reflecting its continuing popularity, widespread availability and increasingly competitive connection packages.”

However, despite the apparent buoyancy of the market for internet service providers, the ONS detected an overall fall of 0.4 per cent in the total number of fixed line internet connections in the second and third quarters of the year.

This has been attributed to a number of factors. for instance has posited the theory that inaccurate figures submitted by providers are not to blame. Meanwhile, other industry experts have suggested that it could be a consequence of the huge take up of mobile broadband during this period.

The growth of mobile broadband is certainly likely to be a factor, not least in view of findings from a separate study from Nielsen Online which showed that the number of Britons using mobile broadband has risen by 25 per cent to 7.3 million between the second and third quarter of this year. And given the recent launch of cut-price bundled mobile and home broadband deals, the fall in fixed-line connections could be set to fall further in the final period of the year.

Additionally revealed in the report was that 57 per cent of broadband users are experienced speeds in excess of 2MB during September. This was up from a figure of 55.8 per cent at the end of the second quarter.

Meanwhile, over the same period the proportion of broadband connections which offered a speed of less than or equal to 2MB fell to 43.3 per cent at the end of September. In June this stood at 44.2 per cent.

The ONS used advertised speeds for this aspect of the study. This could be misleading since connection speed often depends on variables such as the distance of a home from the exchange.

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