Users are rushing to buy broadband services but suppliers including BT are finding themselves caught short.
Price cuts and the introduction of self-install broadband kits are leading to a boom in demand.
Retailers such as PC World say they are being swamped with phone calls, and websites that let people check if broadband is available in their area are being deluged with traffic.
Louise Barrett, a spokeswoman for online store Solwise, said traffic on its site is five times heavier than last year's levels, as people try and get hold of ADSL kit.
But the increase is leading to shortages of the microfilters that people need to use to convert their phone line. Solwise, which sources its kit in the Far East, is having to wait for more stock to arrive to meet the demand.
Other suppliers contacted by vnunet.com are reporting order times of two weeks for self install kits.
Cut price network hubs and routers that let people share their broadband link between several PCs are also proving popular.
The boom seems to have also caught BT by surprise. A number of vnunet.com readers have complained that the telco's site, which tells them if their exchange can handle ADSL, is frequently overloaded.
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