Broadband News

Ofcom publishes Digital Progress Report

The latest document to emerge from Ofcom is the Digital Progress Report. The report looks at current trends in the UK broadband industry up until the end of 2006. The survey of online content and wireless internet usage among residential consumers was part of a survey carried out in February 2006.

The main points of the report are:

  • Half of all UK adults live in a household with a broadband Internet connection, a rise of 11% from 12 months ago and seven times the figure from 2002.
  • Revenue from broadband access stood at around £1.8bn in 2006 from 13,000,000 lines; a rise of 18% in the last year and fifteen times that of 2001 when there were 330,000 broadband lines.
  • 63% of adults with broadband at home use it daily, while 30% went online at least once a week.
  • Broadband users spend on average 9.1 hours online per week, compared to the 4.4 hours of dial-up users.
  • 51% of adults with broadband at home had accessed online video clips, with 26% saying they did this weekly.
  • 70% of adults with broadband have bought products or services online, and over half have carried out banking transactions.
  • Voice over IP (VoIP) has seen increased takeup with 18% of adults using it at home compared to 13% a year ago.
  • Average headline connection speed was 3.8Mbps (Mega bits per second) up from 1.6Mbps in 2005. 48% of consumers though are unaware of their headline connection speed.
  • Back in 2003 a 2Mbps connection was around £50 a month, but these are now available for £15 a month. Speeds of up to 8Mbps were also available from some operators for £10 per month, compared to £40 when they emerged onto the market in 2004.
  • LLU accounts for 10% of all broadband lines, compared to just 2% a year ago.
  • 62% of SMEs were connected to broadband in 2006, with 9% using dial-up access. In larger companies the number using broadband increased to 70%.

Reading the full report, it is interesting to note that only 3% complain of connection speed as a limiting factor when accessing online video content. For longer material like movies and TV shows this rose to 6%. It seems many people are still reluctant to access video content over the Internet.

Broadband connections per 100 households





UK 1 39 50
France 3 38 56
Germany 6 28 38
Italy 2 31 39
USA 10 38 50
Japan 6 44 54
China 0 12 13
Sweden 12 45 52
Ireland 0 18 43
South Korea 52 79 89

For those who have made past predictions of the number of broadband providers in the UK shrinking to a handful of companies, the news that Virgin Media, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Tiscali and Orange hold 84% of the market makes their predictions very close to being fact. Virgin Media at the time of the report was two points ahead of BT in the market share stakes. That said, the 16% of the market controlled by the others is very competitive with 450 small broadband providers vying for peoples custom.


Blah, blah, more pointless Ofcom figure manipulation, blah, blah lol

  • over 13 years ago

I'm interested to here which figures you believe Ofcom have manipulated?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 13 years ago

Have a look back through all the recent articles - CARPETBURN has left negative comments on the lot. Clearly the only report he wants to see is one which says we're in the third world. Anything to the contrary must therefore be a fabrication or a manipulation.

  • plesbit
  • over 13 years ago

It doesnt take much sense to work out from the title of the chart."Broadband connections per 100 households"and then comparing population of the countrys listed that some are going to have more favorable results then others. Think about it! I wonder how many of those 50 households for the 2006 figure in the UK were Still 512k? Then i wonder how many in the USA of those 50 were 512k.. Hmmmm think about that. Now consider the word "POINTLESS" from my original post. The chart is not accurate because its not comparing the same product or thing.

  • over 13 years ago

To continue how about we have a chart comparing how many households per hundred have broadband speeds of 24Mb or higher, I wonder how well the UK would then "so called" compare to places such as Asia and Sweden Huh? Figure manipulation for something called "BROADBAND" surely not, unless you still consider 512k broadband, heck im shocked the uk didnt do better for 2001, especially as back then some providers called 256k connections broadband here in Britain.

  • over 13 years ago

The data is out there if you are willing to spend the time collating and translating the various foreign language websites.

The pressure a few years ago was on those who could not get broadband, and around 40% of UK households are about to have access to a 20Mbps solution. Which I am sure some will deride, but before doing this consider that the same anti-arguments will apply in other countries.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 13 years ago

I do not doubt the data is out there, i was merely pointing out this table needs taking with a pinch of salt as technically it is NOT comparing like for like products, thus its pointless really. You are of course right 20Mb products for many will be here soon, it will be interesting how they work with some ISPs that only offer 2Gb monthly caps. The future it seems for this country is faster internet speeds, which is wonderful just as long as you dont use it much ;)

  • over 13 years ago

So what should the comparison be?

It is a simple table showing the proportion of households with access to a broadband technology. It is not claiming that the UK is offering better speeds than Germany or Italy for example, just more households have something called broadband.

The debate of faster broadband was NOT was that table was about - if you want that debate then is the best location to have it.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 13 years ago

My appologies for pointing out the table does not compare like for like products, I obvously wrongly assumed speed and what the broadband service is actually capable of were important points, probably due to the Ofcom speil before the table and the quote "The main points of the report are" bit before that speil. My mistake, appologies again.

  • over 13 years ago

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