Broadband has been becoming increasingly popular over the past year and it has now reached 1million subscribers. The numbers of people and businesses signing up for broadband has trebled since the start of 2002. Oftel estimates that 20,000 connections per week are being installed. Broadband can run upto 10 times faster then a usual dialup connection and there is no 2-hour cut offs like a lot of the major dialup ISPs impose.
The increase in broadband is said to be because of file sharing services such as Kazaa and GNUtella, which let users share music for free. Broadband enables them to download music at a much faster speed. This is in dispute in America in the courts as the music industry has said it is loosing lots of money, though this cannot be proved as America is suffering from a Recession. The UK on the other hand saw record sales increase last year, which some people say that people are still buying music if they like a song they download.
The music industry has replied by trying to shut down services such as Kazaa and was successful in shutting down Napster 2 years ago. Though Napster has tried to relaunch itself as a legitimate service the record industry are still not happy. BT have spent over ?30million on advertising over the past few weeks and there advertising campaign will continue on into the next few weeks.
BT who are not the cheapest of broadband providers are trying to get as many people to sign up for there service rather then their competition which includes Freeserve, AOL and F2S. Freeserve have said this is unfair competition as BT are a much bigger company and have a lot more funding from other areas of there business. Though not everyone is happy especially people living in rural areas as many of them cannot get broadband and unless they have big enough support for broadband in their area the chances of them getting it are very small.
In the UK most people currently get broadband access via cable suppliers such as NTL and Telewest, although the numbers using ADSL, which comes via phone lines, is rapidly catching up. Though the UK is still behind a lot of its fellow countries the government is looking to have ?broadband Britain? by 2005.