Broadband growth

I was updating some stats recently regarding uptake of broadband in the UK. According to Ofcom’s 2005 UK communications market overview:

  • There were over 6 million broadband homes in the UK by the end of 2004 – over 90% more than at the end of 2003 – and over 7.5 million by May 2005
  • There are now more broadband than dial-up internet subscribers
  • By the end of 2005, 99.6% of UK homes will be connected to a broadband-enabled exchange
  • Broadband prices are falling, and speeds are increasing – both of which are helping drive demand and new applications
  • Two points occur to me.

    First, given the fragmentation of the UK construction industry and its domination by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), often sole-traders or small family businesses, such growth in broadband use will remove at least one argument against using web-based technologies (ie: that their comms links are too slow or too expensive).

    Second, broadband access will almost certainly encourage individual users of construction collaboration technologies to log-in to the solutions from home as well as the workplace. I know several industry customers (eg: BT) encourage home-working (believing this fits with individuals’ needs for more flexible working); web-based solutions fit very neatly with such policies.

    I frequently work from home and can log-in to BIW’s solution at a time that suits me – sometimes after the children have gone to bed in the evening, for example. Increased home-working underlines the need for providers to ensure their applications are always available, 24/7. Nothing could be more frustrating than putting some time aside to catch up with some work, only to find that the system is not online when you need it due to system maintenance or some other problem.

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