The current levels of broadband uptake are set to continue for another few years, according to new figures. Broadband information website

Point Topic has projected the growth in broadband for the 220,000 census output areas of the UK. The results suggest broadband numbers in the UK are set to keep growing, from the 9.7 million at the end of last year, to more than 18.4 million at the end of 2008.

The first quarter of 2006 saw the numbers grow to just over 11 million, which if sustained will mean the 18 million figure is hit during 2008.

Point Topic has also provided data on a more local level, listing the top 18 local authorities in 2005 along with their projections for 2008. Its website also provides a map of the UK showing the current and projected broadband take-up.

Point Topic points out that it expects the rate of growth to decline, particularly as top broadband areas approach universal take-up.

It also predicts that as new sign-ups to broadband start to decline it is likely that providers will start shifting their emphasis from connections to services provided, particularly to attract the remaining die-hard dial-up users and those currently not online at all. Anna Lagerkvist