Broadband uptake is grinding to a halt

Broadband uptake has slowed to just 0.5% in the third quarter of 2008, a report from Deloitte has shown.

Broadband uptake has slowed to just 0.5% in the third quarter of 2008, a report from Deloitte has shown.

Over the year, growth was 6%.

Deloitte's Digital Index showed that uptake of many digital products and services in the UK has stagnated. Digital radio sales have also been hit, with growth slowing to 1% in the third quarter, compared to a 5% growth rate over the year.

The company said the poor growth rate "should not be unexpected" in the economic climate.

But Howard Davies, Deloitte's technology, media and telecoms partner, said he remain optimistic that digital gadgets are too large a part of people's lives for sales to drop permanently.

"Media and communication products have become a very integral part of our modern lives. Therefore, in terms of continued spending, they are unlikely to be the first things that consumers cut back on."

But he said a key question for the industry is how well broadband and other digital products do in the run up to Christmas. Smaller items like computer games are likely to do well, he said, as customers cut back on going out.

The index tracks consumer adoption of 12 digital products.

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