Telecommunications regulator Ofcom has today released a
report for the government on how the UK’s fixed broadband coverage, take-up,
usage and price compares to the rest of Europe.
The report concentrates its findings on the EU’s five
leading economies: France, Germany, Italy and Spain and the UK, known collectively as the EU5 for the purposes of the report.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport proposed the
Broadband Scorecard, in order to allow the government to measure the
progress that’s being made on plans to have the UK running the best superfast network
The UK performed well in the report, although the target has
not been reached as the country "ranks between third and first in the EU5. The
UK has more or less the same take-up as France and Germany and these markets
are all "considerably higher” than those of Italy and Spain.
For superfast coverage, the UK is slightly behind Germany
and Spain in third place, with France and Spain lagging behind. By June 2012, Ofcom
report that superfast broadband had reached 65% of the British population.
The country has high mobile broadband take-up, although not
as high as Spain. The UK has the highest internet usage in the EU5, with 81% of
people able to get online. The report also found that consumers benefit from "highly
competitive broadband markets”.
BT accounts for 31% of fixed line operation, the lowest in
EU5, whilst joint lowest take up in the UK was through EE. The country also has
some of the cheapest priced mobile and fixed broadband in the EU, taking "eight
metrics out of twelve.”
Ofcom used "robust
and comparable data” to complete the report and expects to publish more in the future
as part of its International Communications Market Report.