High-speed internet connections are on the incline in both the United States and Britain, according to industry experts.

U.S. high-speed Internet subscriptions soared 33 percent last year to 50.2 million lines, according to the latest data released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Specifically, broadband companies added 2.2 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2006, 22 percent higher than the previous year, according to UBS Securities.

Digital subscriber and fiber lines accounted for 54 percent of the new broadband users, while cable garnered the rest. UBS stated that DSL subscribers grew 37 percent annually while cable modem subscribers grew 29 percent.

European Access

Growth was equally large in Britain, with latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing three out of every four British households are now connected via high-speed lines.

Nearly 73 percent of homes used broadband in June, up from 54.4 percent in the same month last year and 18 percent in 2003, the firm stated.

As the technology becomes more widespread and access prices lower, more people become attracted.

The market share of broadband connections has been increasing ever since 2001, reflecting its growing popularity, affordability and widespread availability, the ONS said in a report, based on information from internet service providers.

Dial-up overtook broadband in Europe for the first time, and now consists of about 27 percent of internet connections.

The firm also stated south east of England has the largest internet penetration of any region with 66 percent of households now online, while Scotland has the lowest with 48 percent.