The popularity of broadband among SMEs has soared in the last six years, according to new research.Ofcom, the industry regulator, has suggested that the number of connections has increased fifteen fold since 2001 from 300,000 residential and business users to 13 million users. Local loop unbundling (LLU) - the process which allows multiple telecommunications operators to use connections from the telephone exchange's central office to the customer's premises - has also grown in popularity. In February this year the number of LLU connections reached 1.7 million lines, an increase of 32 per cent since September 2006. Moreover, 34 per cent (one in three) adults have internet access via a WiFi hotspot and 21 per cent of adults now own a WiFi enabled laptop.Since 2001, this increasing preference of broadband over dial up connections has generated £1.84 billion in revenue for providers. The Ofcom research also highlighted that combining broadband access with other services such as mobile phones is increasingly popular. © Adfero Ltd