A new Ofcom report reveals that the UK has the highest internet usage among its European neighbours at 81% – with a competitive broadband market and low fixed and mobile broadband prices – and also has the lowest proportion of individuals who have never used the internet (11% compared to 29% in Spain and 39% in Italy). However, it is behind Germany and Spain when it comes to the take up of superfast broadband (min speeds of 24 Mbps).
According to Ofcom, only 55-60% of UK households have superfast broadband coverage compared to 60-65% in Spain and Germany.
The UK government aims to have the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015 and the report was commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s attempt to measure how much progress has been made in this regard.
According to the report’s author: “The UK generally performs well among major European economies. On all measures of coverage, take-up, usage, price and choice, the country ranks between third and first in the EU5.”
However, Marie-Louise Abretti, telecoms expert at uSwitch, has said that “Worryingly, the government’s emphasis on rolling out superfast broadband has overshadowed the fact that there are still coverage blackspots across Britain, where speeds are patchy or excruciatingly sluggish.”