More UK households now access the internet through broadband than through dialup connections.
Communications watchdog Ofcom yesterday said that during 2005 broadband had become a mainstream product and was now present in nearly 30 per cent of UK households and businesses.
It said the rate at which people were connecting to broadband had soared nearly 15-fold in three years, from 5,500 new connections a week in 2001 to 73,800 a week last year.
It estimates that there were about 8.1 million homes and businesses connected to broadband at the end of last month, and that by the end of this year 99.6 per cent of homes would be connected to a broadband-enabled exchange.
At the same time, increased competition among providers has led to the monthly cost of the service falling from £27 at the end of 2002 to £20 now.
Ofcom predicts that the rapid growth in broadband, falling prices and increasing connection speeds, will mean that by 2010 the number of households that are able to view television over broadband will exceed those who are dependent on analogue terrestrial broadcasts.
The regulator said mobile phones were also continuing to increase in popularity, with total revenues from mobiles now exceeding those of fixedline calls.
It said between 2000 and 2004, the total number of minutes spent making mobile phone calls in the UK almost doubled from 34 billion minutes to 62 billion minutes.
During the same period, the amount of time people spent talking on their landlines fell by six per cent, although the total still dwarfs the time spent on mobiles, at 164 billion minutes.
Ofcom said that between 2003 and 2004, revenues from mobiles rose by 16 per cent to £12.3 billion, while revenues from traditional fixed-line voice services fell by six per cent to £10.5 billion.
In its second annual Communications Market report, the regulator said more than 60 per cent of households now receive digital television, and households were switching to digital or adding set-top boxes at a rate of 250,000 homes a month - more than the number of households in a city the size of Sheffield.
It said 70 per cent of the growth in 2004 was driven by people buying Freeview settop boxes, and by the end of that year 20 per cent of households received digital television via Freeview alone.
Just over a third of adults with digital television have now used their sets to listen to radio at some point, while 19 per cent of people have listened to the radio online.
Ofcom said payment for television and radio services, including the TV licence, and mobiles and other telecoms services, now accounted for four per cent of all consumer spending, at an average of more than £1,000 a year - a third higher than in 2000.
It said people were spending more money to buy new and additional services such as pay-TV, broadband and enhanced mobile services.
Overall, total revenues from the UK communications market reached £55.9 billion in 2004, accounting for 4.1 per cent of GDP.
The majority of this total came from telecommunications, although the television industry experienced the fastest revenue growth as a result of increased spending on subscriptions, teleshopping and interactive services.
The report also said intense competition between companies offering discount call packages over BT's network had driven greater switching by consumers, with more than a third of households now taking their services from a provider other than BT.