UK performs well on Ofcom European broadband scorecard, but not well enough

Independent communications regulator Ofcom has been instructed by the UK government to produce a regular scorecard on broadband coverage and use in order to show the country's position in comparison to other major European nations and has now published its first report.

The scorecard looks at the five leading economic countries within Europe - the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - and focuses on fixed and mobile broadband in each.

The UK has the ambition to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, and from the latest statistics found by Ofcom, it has a bit of work to do.

Although the figures show that the UK is ranking well, being in the top three (of five) in all categories and heading the list in several, there are some surprising areas in which it lags behind.

Currently, the UK is only third among its peers in superfast broadband coverage. Its 65 per cent nationwide coverage (as of June 2012) is less than that of both Germany and Spain. However, in standard and mobile broadband coverage, the UK is number one.

It is also top of the hill in market concentration for both fixed and mobile broadband. That means it has more diversity in operators. No single operator has an significantly higher market share than the others. BT is the UK's largest fixed broadband provider with 31 per cent of market share, while EE has 33 per cent of the mobile broadband business, but there are close rivals to both.

The UK is also number one in the percentage of residents using the internet regularly but, conversely, has the highest percentage of its population that claims never to have used the internet.

We also have the highest percentage of online shoppers from the five European economic powers.

Clearly, what the statistics show is that the focus for the UK government is to continue to push for superfast broadband connections to homes. Which it is. So that's all right then.

Pic: (cc) [luis]