Silver surfers bolster dwindling broadband growth

Silver surfers are driving the growth in broadband sales in the UK as the market nears saturation, according to Ofcom consumer research.

Silver surfers bolster dwindling broadband growth

With some 17 million UK broadband connections, the market appears to be nearing saturation, and the total number of connections grew only marginally this year, mainly driven by older citizens.

“Take-up of broadband continues to grow, and this is being driven by take-up among older people,” telecoms regulator Ofcom said. “Broadband take-up in the UK grew by 3% from figures released in 2009, but among 65-74s it grew by 9% and among over 75s by 8%.”

In the two previous years, growth rates for broadband adoption were 21% and 9% respectively.

The slower 3% growth rate suggests that ISPs and digital champion Martha Lane Fox will struggle to get the last 29% of UK adults onto broadband as the interest has slowed to a trickle. Lane Fox is aiming to get the entire working population of the UK online by 2015.

A spokesperson for Ofcom couldn’t say whether the figures suggested the UK’s push to get everyone online had stalled.

“It is going to slow down as we get more people online, but we don’t have an opinion on whether the market is saturated,” a spokesperson for Ofcom told PC Pro.

“There are obviously people that have yet to take up broadband, but it’s up to the Government and Martha Lane Fox to get those people online.”

Lane Fox was unavailable for comment.

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