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Scepticism among the public about broadband remains high in Europe with the "broadband revolution" appearing to some way off, a research company has said.

Jupiter Research said it found that the majority of existing European Internet users are either unlikely to upgrade to broadband or do not want it at all.

A quarter of Web surfers said they would not get a high-speed connection and nearly 30 percent were unlikely to get one. This compared with 26 percent of respondents who said that they were likely to upgrade from normal dial-up connections, 12 percent said they were neither likely nor unlikely, and 8 percent were unsure.

Its research also revealed that broadband penetration rates within Europe vary dramatically from 7 percent in the UK to 29 percent in Sweden. Of the other countries it studied, Germany and Italy had 8 percent penetration, France 11 percent, and Spain 17 percent.

Dan Stevenson, analyst at Jupiter Research, told ElectricNews.Net that people continue to shun broadband because of its expense and the lack of a killer app. "It is reasonably expensive and there is no killer app that broadband providers can sell to their customers at the moment," he said. "People who have broadband are staying on-line longer and sending more e-mails, but are not using applications such as file sharing or video downloading in any greater numbers."

Another problem, said Stevenson, is availability. "The UK, for example, has around 60 percent broadband coverage, so unless you are in a urban area you have no chance of getting it."

As such, he added, European ISPs will have a difficult job ahead of them persuading consumers of the benefits of broadband Net access. "ISPs need to be spending heavily to promote broadband as consumers are still sceptical as to the benefits it can bring," he remarked.

However, Stevenson said the situation would not last forever. "Prices will fall and the killer app will become apparent. These factors will drive the market forward in the future." But, he said he did not know what this killer app might be and he didn't think anybody else did at this stage.

© ENN

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