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UK Broadband Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Gordon Kelly


UK Broadband Celebrates 10th Anniversary

With all our complaining about the state of current broadband connections - both fixed line and mobile - it can easily be forgotten just how far we've come in a short space of time...

This week UK broadband celebrates only its 10th birthday with speeds over this time having skyrocketed from 56kbps dial-up connections on pay-per-minute deals to flat rate 50Mbit tariffs and trials of 1Gbit per second.

Mark Bush was the country's first UK broadband customer under what was then NTL. This clear distinction is possible because NTL originally delayed the launch of the country's first cable connection (which came in ahead of ADSL) by 12 weeks, but Mr Bush had it installed anyway during this testing period.

"It was pretty impressive in the early days, with having the whole pipe to myself," he explained to BBC News (we bet it was!). Previously Mr Bush had spent upwards of £300 per month on his dial-up connection so count yourselves lucky when you complain at the rates these days.

Furthermore, what was then seen as a niche service is now forming a fundamental part of the campaign policies of all three major parties at the next UK general election. Labour claims 'Superfast Broadband' will be available by 2020, the Conservatives want 100Mbit/sec by 2017 and the Digital Britain Report wants to annoy us all. On top of this, we can look forward to the roll-out of LTE over the next 12 months (O2 is already testing) which should smooth out a lot of the country's mobile broadband problems.

That said, the Web keeps evolving too and the likes of streaming music, movies (including HD content) and the phenomenal success of BBC iPlayer suggest we will be needing ever more broadband capacity as the years pass. The UK also still lags a long way behind many other nations, so there's no time to slow down!


via BBC News


March 30, 2010, 5:23 am

It seems like we've had broadband for much longer then ten years, so the story surprised me a bit. Maybe it was because I was at university ten years ago, and so had access to their fast network. It was only during the holidays when I was able to put my 33.6kbps modem to use. Those were the days (etc etc) Images that loaded in sections, and Netscape Navigator being the browser of choice. And no sign of YouTube or (even) Trusted Reviews :(

Luan Bach

March 31, 2010, 1:30 am

I was among the first wave to get ADSL from BT, the joy of moving from 56kbs to 512mbs is still only bested by my wedding and the birth of my son :-)

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