Broadband Britain booming

You're spending more than ever on phones, TV and broadband, but increased competition is hitting providers of fixed-line telecoms where it hurts

Broadband has turned the UK into a nation of tech profligates, spending a four-figure sum on their TV, phone and broadband bill every year.

A state of the nation report from communications watchdog Ofcom has found Britons are spending a third more on their technology connections than in the year 2000. Four percent — or £1,000 — of the average household's income is now spent on fat pipes, digital TV and telecoms.

Britain is also now officially a broadband nation, Ofcom has discovered, with more Internet connections being made over broadband than dial-up. The watchdog puts the number of high-speed connections in the UK at around 8.1 million in June.

We're also paying less for the high speed connection; at the end of 2002, a 512Kbps link cost around £27 per month. Now, the average 1Mbps connection comes in at about £20.

Fixed telecoms costs are also falling, Ofcom found, with the average household paying £20 less last year than in 2003, as landline companies fight it out to offer the cheapest 'all-you-can-eat' deals. Revenues from the fixed-line industry have dropped as a result, from £11.2bn in 2003 to £10.5bn last year.

The mobile industry, however, is in rude health, growing by 16 percent between 2003 and 2004 to generate revenues of £12.3bn.

As a whole, the UK telecommunications market is worth £55.9bn, Ofcom said.