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UK watchdog publishes international communications comparison

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UK watchdog publishes international communications comparison

Consumers in the U.K. benefit from a high availability of superfast broadband and the country has a higher utilization of online services, such as video-on-demand and online shopping, compared to most other developed countries, according to a recent report by British regulator Ofcom.

In its report, the International Communications Market Report 2017, Ofcom compared consumer behavior in the U.K. with 16 other countries in terms of content consumption online.

The report revealed that superfast broadband services is available to nine in 10 households in the U.K., but availability and takeup of ultrafast services with speeds of at least 300Mbit/s is comparatively low. At the same time, U.K. has fallen behind in 4G takeup, compared to those in South Korea, the U.S., Australia and Japan. Despite that, U.K. smartphone users spend more time accessing the Internet on their mobile compared to most other markets. They have also spent more than double on Internet shopping in 2016, compared to other countries.

In terms of content, streaming music services has been drivers of growth for the music industry. Revenues of the U.K. music industry grew by 3% in 2016, compared to 7% in the U.S. during the same period. The U.K. is also one of the highest in terms of consumption of subscription video-on-demand services at 36%, only being overtaken by the U.S. at 46%. Apple Inc.

The 16 countries compared to the U.K. market in the Ofcom study are: France, Germany, Italy, the U.S., Japan, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Nigeria.