Broadband take up in the UK rose by 10 per cent last year, as consumers looked to spend less on internet services as the recession took hold, according to new research from Ofcom released today.
The watchdog said in its Communications Market 2009 report that broadband take up rose from 58 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 to 68 per cent by the first quarter of 2009, with mobile broadband in particular showing rapid growth.
More than 250,000 new mobile broadband connections were made in May of this year alone, up from 139,000 new connections in May 2008, said Ofcom.
Consumers are also paying less for their broadband, according to the report. The average household spend fell from £11.37 per month in 2007 to £10.71 in 2008, and many are looking to buy bundled services, such as telecoms, broadband and TV, in order to save costs. Some 47 per cent said that they are more likely to take a bundle of services now than they were 12 months ago.
The report also highlighted the increased role of communications technology in the lives of UK consumers. Nearly half of respondents would choose to cut back on going out for dinner, 41 per cent on DIY and 41 per cent on holidays due to the recession. But only a fifth would cut back on mobile phone spend, 16 per cent on TV subscriptions and 10 per cent on broadband services.
"Despite the recession, people are spending more time watching TV, using their mobile phone or accessing the internet," said Ofcom partner Peter Phillips.
"They would rather do without meals out or holidays than give up their phone, broadband or pay TV package. Meanwhile, we are becoming more canny about the way we pay for these services."
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