Ofcom compares UK super-fast broadband with Europe header image

Ofcom has published a scorecard that compares the rollout of super-fast broadband in the UK with other leading European nations.

The communications watchdog, which analysed broadband services in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, found Britain is generally ranked between first and third in the different categories assessed.

However, the scorecard did not compare the UK with countries such as Sweden, which already provides more advanced fibre optic broadband services.

In terms of areas served by super-fast broadband, the UK is ranked third out of the five nations. Between 55 and 65 per cent of locations in the country have high-speed coverage, which is less than in Germany and Spain, where access is between 60 and 65 per cent.

Ofcom has calculated there are currently two super-fast connections for every 100 people in the UK, meaning it is ranked third in this field. Spain has the highest super-fast penetration rate, with four connections for every 100 citizens.

These figures suggest Britain still has some way to go if it is to meet the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's aim of having the "the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015".

Ofcom's research shows mobile internet coverage is more widespread, covering 95 per cent of UK areas. This figure is the same in France, Italy and Spain.

The scorecard also revealed that online use is generally more common in the UK. Britain is ranked first in terms of people using the internet at least once a week, with 81 per cent of people regularly accessing the web. Meanwhile, only 11 per cent of indivduals have never been online.

Ecommerce is most popular in the UK, with nearly three-quarters of people having purchased goods or services online in the last 12 months.

Only 40 per cent of individuals used the internet to interact with public authorities last year, which is less than in Germany and France.

Posted by Mark Wynn