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Abandoning TV for fast Web action

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There were almost four million broadband users in the UK at the end of April, according to the latest stats from communications regulator Ofcom.

At the end of April, the UK had notched up 3.99m broadband connections, with numbers growing by 40,000 a week. Of the four million or so broadband connections in the UK, DSL made up 2.45m while cable accounted for 1.54m.

The growth in high-speed Net access comes as Ofcom's market research also shows that the decline in the use of narrowband services has continued as consumers switch to broadband. Two thirds of adults connect to the Internet at home using narrowband, down from three quarters in November 2003.This change in Net usage is backed by research which suggests that people's viewing habits are changing.

Last week, research from UK ISP Wanadoo found that broadband is becoming so popular people are switching off their TVs in favour of the Net. The study showed that broadband is the fastest-growing medium in the home with people spending 12 per cent less time in front of the box.

This has been supported by research which found that punters would rather live without their TV than give up their Internet connection. Eight out of ten listeners of the LBC radio show The Gadget Detective confirmed this, whereas just two in ten said they'd prefer to jack the Net and keep their TV.

While a recent NOP poll for BT found that the "average person" spends 3.5 hours per day on the Internet compared to 2.8 hours watching TV. Almost half of those surveyed said the Net, and not TV, provided better quality news and entertainment. ®

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