Ofcom: UK great for Internet costs, not so great for premium TV

UK consumers are benefiting from lower priced communications services than people in other major European countries and the US, according to new Ofcom research.

Compared to French, German, Italian, Spanish and US consumers, those in the UK can take advantage of consistently cheaper access to mobile phone, landline telephone and broadband deals.

To get the most accurate picture of what people need to spend in each country to get the best deals, Ofcom created five typical household profiles. These ranged from a low use household with basic needs, through to an affluent household that uses lots of communications services.

Ofcom then identified the best deals available in each country that matched the needs of these households. The UK emerged as either the cheapest or second cheapest in four out of five of the profiles.

On the other hand, also according to Ofcom, premium television subscriptions in the UK were twice as expensive at £66 in the UK as against those in Germany at £27. Other television-inclusive details from the report include the following:

  • The UK experienced a modest growth in television revenues in 2012, up by 1.4% or £0.2bn. Revenues among the 17 countries analysed by Ofcom increased by 3.7% in 2012 to £234bn.
  • Almost half (48%) of UK TV homes now have a HD service, 15pp above the average for all European ICMR countries (33%). The UK also has the highest ownership of digital video recorders (41% of households) among all countries included in the research.
  • UK consumers are the most likely to access TV content over the internet, with over a third (36%) of internet users claiming to do this every week.
  • UK and French households have the lowest take-up of 3D ready TV (at 9% each)
  • Four out of five (78%) UK smart TV owners have enabled their device to connect to the internet.



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