The UK has Europe’s highest take-up and coverage of superfast broadband according to new figures published by telecoms regulator Ofcom.
Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard shows the UK leads the EU’s five biggest economies – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – on most measures of coverage, take-up, usage and choice for both mobile and fixed broadband.
According to the report, super fast broadband (connections of 30Mbit/s or more) availability in the UK has increased from around 60% at the end of 2011 to 73%. This has taken the country from third to first for coverage among the ‘EU5’.
9 out of 100 UK consumers have a super superfast broadband connection, the highest rate the EU5. Spain occupies the second place with just 6 in 100.
How the UK compares to the EU5:
▪ highest broadband take-up (all types, by household), at 83%; ▪ highest proportion of people to have bought goods online over a year (77%); ▪ highest weekly usage of the internet (87%); ▪ lowest proportion of people who have never used the internet (8%).
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, 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.”
The UK’s superfast broadband is delivered by Virgin Media’s network and BT’s fibre network which is available to other providers on a wholesale basis.
In addition to the two firms’ own investment, the UK government and local councils are funding the expansion of BT’s network to rural and less populated areas where it would be commercially unviable for the firm to upgrade local exchanges.