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Ofcom publishes international communications market report
Wednesday 12 December 2007 16:11:39 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Ofcom has this morning published its International Communications Market 2007 report which compares the UK with other key countries in terms of television, radio and telecommunications.

The report provides some interesting statistics on broadband services in the UK and six key countries:

3G Connections
per 100 population
12.9 5.6 6.7 28.0 7.8 0.9 39.8
Broadband connections
per 100 households
51.6 48.2 37.8 39.8 50.6 58.3 54.0
as % of broadband connections
76.4 94.6 96.2 95.6 43.4 43.6 55.3
Wi-Fi hotspots 11.2k 10.4k 9.6k 1.6k 26.8k 1.6k 9.8k

Countries: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy United States, Canada and Japan respectively.
Ofcom International Communications Market 2007 Report / IDATE / industry data / CRTC

Key points:

  • 51.6% of UK households have a broadband connection, slightly better than average.
  • The UK has a significant 3G user base although it is significantly behind Italy and Japan who are miles ahead in penetration
  • France, Germany and Italy are very DSL focussed; USA, Canada and Japan tend more towards an even split of DSL and other broadband technologies. The UK is in the middle of these with 76.4% of connections being via DSL.
  • Most consumers in the above countries are satisfied with broadband speeds, except in Japan

It is worth noting that the Japanese figure for DSL connections has dropped as a result of large-scale fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments. It will be interesting to see whether the increasing speeds expected from cable broadband in 2008 will change these proportions.

Interestingly, it seems that most of us are quite satisfied with our broadband speeds. In the UK, 68% are either 'fairly' or 'very' satisfied with broadband speeds whilst the U.S. boasts an 85% satisfaction rating. Only Japan has a very low rating where 41% are satisfied with their speeds. The report suggests a possible reason for Japanese dissatisfaction at broadband speeds may be related to the fact that not everyone can get the speeds in excess of 50 Mbps as only about 30% of broadband connections are delivered using fibre.

Ofcom also looked at the difference between the headline speed (the 'up to 8 meg' type figure) and the actual speed which users receive.

Graph of headline broadband connection speeds in UK, France, Germany, Italy, USA, Canada and Japan

International Communications Market 2007, Ofcom (p. 158)

It is worth noting that in the United States and Canada where there was a wider more even spread of headline speeds, around 60% of respondents to a survey did not know what their broadband speed was. This is more than double the number in the rest of the countries indicating consumers outside North America probably select from a greater number of packages so thus compare more services before making their decision.

Quite importantly, the UK fared poorly in the comparison between headline and actual speeds. 47% of UK consumers stated their headline speed was 'up to 8 meg' or higher, but only 23% thought this matched their actual speeds. This may be higher than in some countries due to user awareness combined with the prevalence of DSL services which are more sensitive to line quality than cable, but it is nevertheless an issue which we doubt will go away anytime soon.

On a final note, the report suggests that in most markets the top three broadband providers have been increasing their market share since 2004 whilst in the UK (top three consisting of BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse) and Germany the top three have been losing their positions against other operators.


Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
presumably the breakdown by advertised speeds is just a % of those that had an answer, ie in Canada 60% didn't know but of the 40% that did only 12% were >16M in other words 5% answered that the speed was >16M ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"51.6% of UK households have a broadband connection"

The .6% of a connection someone has must be from one of the bad providers! :-P
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
I wonder if ofcom will ever ask me about my broadband connection.
Posted by Guzzo over 9 years ago
My IPS report an "up to 8mb" connection.
I tested Monday via at 11:00am and got 27.6mb!!! As my average speed is 7.5mb I would say I am VERY happy with my current speed.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
DSL as % of broadband connections for uk = 76.4%
quote"The UK is in the middle of these with 76.4% of connections being via DSL."
What happened to the wonderful 88.4% figure listed here...
quote"The National Statistics Online website has published its latest round-up of UK Internet statistics, which shows that 88.4% of Internet connections in the UK in September 2007 were via a broadband service."
Hmmmm obviously one of these is untrue???
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
Nope, you just can't read :)

NSO - 88.4% of ALL internet connections are via a broadband service.

This stat, is that 76.4% of BROADBAND connections are via DSL, not that DSL (or broadband) is 76.4% of all connections.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Nope, you just can't read :)"

May i suggest you click the ofcom link that takes you to various pdfs which explain what the figures include.
I then also suggest you read
to see what the figures from the other survey include.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
Here's a clue - the National Statistics survey does not differentiate between types of broadband, it is simply talking about the split between broadband and dial up.

So 76.4% of 88.4% = 67.5% of all internet connections are ADSL, 10.9% are cable and 11.6% are dialup. Is that clear enough ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Err one of the pdfs from the story link suggests cable figures were included.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"cable figures were included" - in what exactly ?

Cable is included in "51.6% of UK households have a broadband connection" and in the "with 76.4% of connections being via DSL." the 100% includes cable.

Posted by rogerjowett over 9 years ago
british telecom 8 megabits per second
advertised connection speed=
first six months 30 kilobytes per second
second 6 omnths 50 kilobytes a second
sent thousands of emails to bt
they transfered mallicious softwarte onto
my pc i cannot use the vga card or tv tuner
the emails i sent ot bt have been deleted
they are cutting the connection every day
the staff at the bt helkpdesk claim that i
signed up for bt broadband option 1 512
where the 512 denotes the connection
speed - this service is not advertised
if bt gives 8 megabiots per second
connection speed and a customer
Posted by rogerjowett over 9 years ago
chooses option one where the company
further tries to restrict internet access by
capping the monthly transfer amount then
a connection left on 24/7 for one month
would incur at the 15p per extra gigabyte
of data transfered over the monthly 5
gigabyte limit an extra bill for £660 =
US$1200 (roughly the same in canada
Posted by rogerjowett over 9 years ago
yet the company keeps no online record
at all of any of the data transfered how big
the files are ort from whicvh website they
orginated - they do not even keep a
record of the number of times the
connection is dropped by the bt server or
the server the user is connected toseveral times i tried to trnasfer linux a
700mb cd iso file this got ½ way thru and
then the connection was timed out
the software supplied by bt doesnt work
with xp 64 bit or vista or vista 64 bit
the staff are rude
the billing department wont make any
Posted by rogerjowett over 9 years ago
what is the point of telling your website
this when your cuystomers in america are
not getting the service they are paying for
either but until mobile fone companies do
not have to clearly show the cost of the
call about to be made or refunds for busy
networks or dropped connections and
clearly showing the balance at all times on
the fones rubbish
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