Broadband News

Ofcom publishes Communications Market Report for 2010

Ofcom has this morning published its annual International Communications Market Report which examines how the UK is holding up against other countries in various areas including broadband.

Bundling - The research found that broadband services sold without a bundle were cheaper in the UK and France compared to the other fifteen countries included in the report although it noted that most broadband services were sold as a bundle with at least one other service. The largest operators in Germany and Spain did not even sell a 'broadband only' service.

Consumers in Europe can save considerably on their broadband subscriptions by selecting bundle packages including telephone and/or television services, the so called 'dual play' or 'triple play' bundles. In the UK, consumers selecting a 'broadband+telephone' bundle are well off compared to other countries, but when adding pay-TV services, consumers will find themselves paying more than their European counterparts.

Fixed line broadband - At the end of 2009, the UK had 70 fixed broadband connections per 100 households putting it towards the top of the table, with the Netherlands leading at 85 connections, followed by Canada and the United States at 80 and 71 respectively. Brazil, Russia and China are growing rapidly and currently at between 20-30 connections per 100 households.

Mobile broadband - The UK has 16 mobile broadband connections per 100 households with only Sweden ahead at 29 within the EU league table. The US and Australia are leading at 30 and 27 connections respectively. What may come as a surprise to technophiles who couldn't imagine life without an iPhone, Android device or other smartphone, is that only 18% of the population in the UK use smartphones, although it is worth noting that the UK smartphone market is growing very fast and is quite strong compared to other countries. Over a third of UK consumers have accessed the Internet from their mobile phone.

Devices - The laptop has been crowned as the access device of choice for young people with 83% of 18-24 year olds using a laptop to access the internet, and only 40% of those using a desktop, although the figure for destop use is higher for other age groups.

Traffic - Internet traffic is generally quite evenly split between HTTP web browsing, streaming video of various formats, peer-to-peer file transfers and other miscellenaous traffic. During 2010, consumer broadband Internet traffic grew by 42% year-on-year with the Asia Pacific region dominating the volume at 35% followed by North America and Western Europe.

Broadband speeds - At the end of 2009, 34% of households in Japan had a super-fast broadband connection, compared with 0.2% in the UK. By 2015, it is expected 66% of households in the UK will have access to super-fast broadband. UK mobile broadband users have a theoretical maximum speed of 7.2Mbps, well below most countries in the comparison delivering mobile services with headline speeds of up to 21 or 42Mbps, or even 100Mbps in Sweden. These services may be critical to bringing super-fast broadband to some of the more remote areas.

The full report is available for download.

Comments

As ever.. lies, damnned lies and statistics. We have only 1 bundled option, Sky connect - well known for under-performing, andc it would be nice to see the phrase "UK Population" used in terms of coverage as there are huge swathes of the country that are mired in last gen below 8 meg connections while BTw fight for scraps with cable and LLU operators in the urban areas.

  • warweezil
  • over 7 years ago

The Item on BBC News talks of value yet Market One exchanges pay the most for the least speed/cap/old tech - a fact ALWAYS overlooked. Im sick of people justifying this imbalance. Its OLD tech providing the lowest level of service, that normally justifies lower price - after all the initial investment in DSL equipment must have been more than covered by now.. so broadband use is just a second stream of income from the copper/alloy/wet string network that was already in place. so why is IPSC pricing skewed agaisnt IPSC wehen there is no alternative available because BTw HAVENT installed it?

  • warweezil
  • over 7 years ago

In all it seems as if this is just another rose tinted view by a weak and ineffectual regulator

  • warweezil
  • over 7 years ago

"...delivering mobile services with headline speeds of up to 21 or 42Mbps, or even 100Mbps..." where?

Tele2 in Sweden in selected cities only is offering upto 80Mbps. Name one that offers 100Mbps!?

  • timmay
  • over 7 years ago

Actually I think this is a pretty reasonable assesment (forgetting the what might happen bit) and the UK is not as bad as a lot of people seem to think. I live in the countryside yet get 20Mb broadband for less than £20/m and yet my relatives that live in the centre of major French cities struggle to get 2Mb for a higher cost... As for fibre, although it is technically available to them, when they tried to order it there were landlord/building issues that prevented it.

  • cmrayer
  • over 7 years ago

Yet again UK low down the list on speeds.

I do agree that we are well place for the future though. Just wish BT would get on with Fiver to the Home instead of milking the "super-fast" but not really as good as everyone else will have marketing trick.

  • doowles
  • over 7 years ago

You can have fibre to the home NOW, alas very few of us want to pay the price for things like Metro Ethernet.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 7 years ago

Interesting comment in the report:

"In terms of bundled services, pricing in the UK compares favourably with other countries for a basic bundle of broadband and voice services, but once a pay-TV requirement is also included, pricing in the UK is comparatively more expensive."

So telecoms services good value, TV expensive. Hopefully this will be addressed once the Ofcom investigation in Sky is completed!

  • New_Londoner
  • over 7 years ago

"You can have fibre to the home NOW, alas very few of us want to pay the price for things like Metro Ethernet."

*few of us can pay

  • Btcc22
  • over 7 years ago

cmrayer - then you are extremely lucky and probably an exception to the average rural broadband connection. I don't know of many/any sub 2000 line exchanges with ADSL2, so either you are lucky enough to be in a cabled area or have some sort of wireless ISP?, neither of which are available in most rural areas.

  • spetznaz
  • over 7 years ago

New_Londoner - if that causes the same dive to the bottom in terms of quality that it has in the telcomms market no thank you!

Warweezil - coverage *is* listed in terms of % of population covered. Would you prefer it to be listed in a grimmer looking metric like % of exchanges?

  • Dixinormous
  • over 7 years ago

"By 2015, it is expected 66% of households in the UK will have access to super-fast broadband."

Er no. 66% will have FTTC, and the speed you get depends on distance from home to cabinet. The low end of the range is 5Mbps. While this speed may be perfectly adequate for many, it's not right to call it superfast.

  • opticalgirl
  • over 7 years ago

My view is that by 2015, 66% of exchanges will have at least one person who can connect to them over fibre. Not 66% of premises - big difference. That based on seeing the "rollout" in local areas. Half the country already has access to superfast broadband FTTC and has had for a fair while now. While some competition for VM in the speed stakes is welcome and can be achieved on the "short lines", with the overlap between BT and VM I don't imagine the availability of high speeds (for sake of argument, 30Mbps+) will look an awful lot different in 2015 to how it does now.

  • MarkHampshire
  • over 7 years ago

Mark - it's 66% of premises, not exchanges.

optical - many will have the full FTTC speed.

  • Somerset
  • over 7 years ago

as I have said many times, broadband availability in uk rural areas is superior to almost every country. its cities that lag behind.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

@Mark Dont agree about your comments relating to 50% of country having superfast broadband (via cable) today. The cable footprint is 48% of population, and not every household in an area, and not all of the current network has more than 20Mbps - nor more than 1.5Mbps upstream.

Also, Openreach FTTC deployment does not exactly mirror cable - my own exchange area has no cable, was one of the first with FTTC. If you look at the projected rural reach for FTTC by 2015 you can see that the Openreach deployment is going well beyond that of cable.

  • New_Londoner
  • over 7 years ago

new londener yes it will go into areas cable doesnt, but in addition it is not covering every cable area so some cable areas will have no BT FTTC.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

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