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By Ben Hollom
British consumers use the Internet more than other developed European markets and their connection charges are also cheaper in comparison with other EU states, according to a new report by telecom regulator Ofcom.
According to the report, which measured coverage, take-up, usage, price and choice, the UK has the highest proportion of Internet users, with 81% of Britons going online. The data came from an analysis of Internet usage recorded at the end of 2011 and showed that British users are more active online than their counterparts in the other big European markets making up the EU5 – France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Ofcom also found that the UK was equal to France and Germany for broadband coverage, with about 32 connections per 100 people. However, when it came to “superfast broadband coverage”, the UK ranked third after Germany and Spain, with 65% of households having it as at June 2012. The British government is currently looking to expand its “superfast broadband” and, if it manages to achieve that, it is predicted that UK users would have the fastest connection in Europe by 2015.
At present, internet connections in the UK are cheaper than in the other four countries included in the report for both broadband and mobile. Britain also has the second highest number of mobile users, standing at 64%. Mobile penetration is only higher in Spain, where roughly two in three users access the Internet via mobile devices.