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Ofcom: UK leads Europe in 'superfast' broadband choice and take-up

But still lacking when it comes to average speed
Wed Mar 12 2014, 12:50
Superfast fibre broadband rollout

UK TELECOMS WATCHDOG Ofcom has reported that the UK offers the "best" broadband out of the five major European nations, topping the list when it comes to take-up, choice and usage.

It's rare that the UK receives praise for its broadband, but according to Ofcom's latest research, the UK trumps France, Germany, Italy and Spain for "superfast" broadband.

According to the research (PDF), the availability of superfast broadband in the UK has increased from around 60 percent at the end of 2011 to 73 percent. This sees the UK moving from third on the list to first, with Ofcom touting the UK as leading on broadband choice.

It said nine out of 100 households in the UK now have access to superfast broadband providing speeds of 30Mbps or more, which places the country in first place ahead of Spain, which offers it to six in 100 households.

The UK also came out on top with the highest broadband take-up, the greatest number of people accessing the internet each week, the highest proportion of people who have indulged in online shopping, and the lowest proportion of people who have never used the internet, with just eight percent of Brits having never accessed the web.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said, "This is excellent progress for the UK, but there is more to be done. We want to see even wider availability of superfast broadband across the UK, so as many people as possible can enjoy faster speeds to access the internet.

"There is also more progress to be made to ensure consumers receive consistently high quality of service, including faster line repairs and installations for broadband and telephony."

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey added, "As part of the Government's long term economic plan, broadband in the UK is going through a remarkable transformation.

"The Government's rollout of superfast broadband is accelerating - Britons already do more business online than any other European country, and the news that we now have the best superfast coverage of all five leading European economies is testament to the progress made to date."

Bizarelly, Ofcom's report does not mention average internet speeds, saying instead that such information was not available.

However, other reports claim that the UK isn't doing so well with broadband speeds. In Akamai's latest report, for example, the UK ranked in 14th place globally and ninth in Europe, with average internet speeds of 9.1Mbps.

Ofcom's report comes just days after David Cameron said at Cebit in Germany that he wants the UK to be a leader in internet connectivity. µ


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