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The broadband industry is warned that it could lose hard-fought-for customers, unless it cuts price and improves performance.

So says research published this month by Berlin-based market research firm Metrinomics, which found that nine out of ten people believe high subscription charges are a major obstacle to the take-up of broadband.

The research, conducted with the help of Register readers, found that contrary to reports, once people have tried broadband they'll never go back to dial-up access, six out of ten claimed they could quite easily imagine life without broadband.

In particular, this finding from the survey explodes the current hype surrounding broadband and warns broadband service providers to ensure that in the race to sign up users, existing customers are not given a raw deal.

The report, Broadband Internet Access, is based on a survey of 1,000 IT professionals. It revealed that the provision of content is far less important to users than issues such as high installation costs, which were regarded as a significant barrier to the adoption of broadband.

The frustration at not being able to access broadband also bubbled over in the report. Said one of those quizzed: "I live five miles from Reading - the IT centre of the UK - and I cannot get broadband. I am incensed at this ridiculous situation."

Another said: "The cost of satellite is ridiculous for home use. BT haven't enabled my exchange yet, so availability is the major obstacle." ®

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