Regulator Oftel has claimed the UK has three million broadband customers.
The organisation said that broadband adoption rates are running at a record 40,000 households and businesses a week, although its figures include 128Kbps connections, which it recently classed as broadband.
"Broadband is one of the fastest-growing new technologies in recent years," said David Edmonds, Oftel director general.
"It is transforming the way consumers and businesses use the internet, and is now becoming an important market in its own right."
In the last five years the internet has moved from the margins to the mass-market, with half of all UK households and two-thirds of businesses now online.
Minister Stephen Timms added: "We have reached the three million figure earlier than expected and this is great news for the broadband market. The UK was a slow starter but real progress is now being made."
Oftel recently redefined broadband as any service offering download speeds of between 128Kbps and 2Mbps. While this has boosted the figures, other countries have also classed 128Kbps as broadband.
The regulator found that one in five of all UK homes with internet access now have a broadband connection, as the number of broadband households has more than doubled in the last year.
Take-up rates for ADSL connections were found to continue to exceed cable modem connections by a factor of three to one.
The research also found that typical UK broadband retail prices are "significantly cheaper" than both the US and Germany, where connections usually offer higher bandwidth.
Full details of the research can be found in Oftel's latest Internet and Broadband Brief.
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