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Britain's broadband providers are failing to deliver the message about the benefits of DSL services according to a quarterly report from telecoms regulator Oftel.

While a third of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) said they were likely to use broadband services sometime in the future (a figure unchanged since the last quarterly report) many firms are still in the dark about DSL.

The latest Business' use of Internet, Oftel Small and Medium Business Survey warns that "lack of awareness of DSL is clearly a barrier to greater usage".

It claims that half of all businesses interviewed as part of the report had not heard of DSL and that SMEs already using the Net were equally unaware of the benefits of DSL as those companies that are not online.

It also reports that DSL usage by SMEs increased during the last quarter from less than one per cent to five per cent.

The report's authors, though, concede that figure might be a little high and instead estimate that DSL penetration is probably nearer three per cent. It seems some of the 700 businesses contacted as part of the survey suffered some "confusion as to what DSL actually is".

The report is further evidence of the sluggish take-up of broadband in Britain. According to OECD figures there are only eight broadband connections per 10,000 people in the UK compared to 1,000 broadband lines per 10,000 people in South Korea. ®

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Business' use of Internet, Oftel Small and Medium Business Survey

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UK is broadband laggard - OECD

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