Broadband thumbs-up for Britain

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Broadband services in the UK are among the best in Europe, with enthusiastic consumers benefiting from some of the lowest prices, according to an Ofcom report.

The regulator’s “broadband scorecard” shows the UK generally performs well among the five major European economies, ranking between third and first on all measures of coverage, take-up, usage, price and choice.

The scorecard was proposed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to allow the government to measure progress towards its ambition that the UK should have the best superfast broadband network of any major European country by 2015.

In comparison with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the UK has approximately the same fixed broadband take-up as France and Germany at 32 connections per 100 people, considerably higher than in Italy and Spain.

The UK is third for superfast broadband coverage, slightly behind Germany and Spain but ahead of Italy and France.

The UK has the second highest mobile broadband take-up with 64 connections per 100 people, narrowly behind Spain, and the highest internet usage with 81 per cent online.

Consumers also benefit from highly competitive broadband markets, with the proportion of fixed lines operated by the incumbent BT at 31 per cent the lowest in the EU5, while the market share of the largest mobile operator EE, at 33%, is the joint lowest