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Broadband Consumption Surge in UK According To Ofcom

More than two thirds of UK Households have a broadband connection according to data produced by Ofcom with mobile broadband apparently accounting for a significant number of new signings.

The Ofcom report shows that broadband is present in 68 percent of UK homes in March 2009 compared to 58 percent a year earlier. Furthermore, the average time spent online per day jumped from 9 minutes in 2004 to a jaw-dropping 25 minutes in 2009.

The rate of growth is expected to be sustained given the success of mobile broadband; in May 2009, more than 250,000 customers got a new mobile broadband package compared to 139,000 last year. This means that roughly one in nine households in the UK now have a mobile broadband account.

But the bulk of UK internet access is still done through fixed line because of the reliability, much faster speed, the fact that wireless internet allows inhouse roaming and the advantage that most fixed-line broadband packages offer ample data transfer limits.

Hence, Ofcom suggests that many customers actually use mobile broadband to complement rather than replace fixed-line broadband. A whopping 8 million users have surfed the net on their mobile phone in the first quarter of 2009, a 40 percent jump over the same period in 2008.

Furthermore, the amount each household spent on average on internet services fell from £11.37 in 2007 to £10.71 in 2008. The amount almost certainly excludes line rental and might have been adjusted for inflation.

Our Comments

Some are saying that Ofcom is actually making its point when publishing this report. The Conservatives have already said that Ofcom, like the FSA, would almost certainly disappear after the next election as the next government seeks ways to reduce the number of Quangos and associated expenses.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.