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UK broadband coverage and take-up overtakes all other EU countries

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The UK has overtaken other EU countries in terms of superfast broadband coverage and take-up.

According to new figures published in Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard, the UK is the number one in the EU when it comes to “coverage, take-up, usage and choice” for superfast fixed and mobile broadband.

The availability of superfast broadband in the UK has increased from 60 per cent in 2011 to around 73 per cent last year.

Previously, the UK ranked third in the EU, but this jump has pushed us into first place above France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

“This is excellent progress for the UK, but there is more to be done. We want to see even wider availability of superfast broadband across the UK, so as many people as possible can enjoy faster speeds to access the internet”, said Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive. “There is also more progress to be made to ensure consumers receive consistently high quality of service, including faster line repairs and installations for broadband and telephony.”

By the start of this year, superfast broadband with speeds of 30Mbit/s or higher reached 9 in 100 UK residents. Spain is the closest to this with 6 in 100 covered.

Over 77 per cent of UK residents bought good online in the past year, also the highest figure recorded in Europe. We also have the highest percentage of internet weekly usage (87 per cent) and the lowest proportion of those with access to the internet with 8 per cent.

Overall, 83 per cent of the UK has a broadband connection in their home.

However, experts warn that despite the excellent Ofcom Scorecard results, providers shouldn’t become complacent.

“Momentum needs to be maintained if the UK is to become a truly digital nation, which means neglected rural communities and notspots must be connected to this vital part of UK infrastructure,” said Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk. “Broadband has become a utility in its own right and the absence of a working connection can have a seriously negative impact on families, from an educational, financial and social standpoint.”

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