BT and Virgin Media fibre broadband rollouts hit 60% of homes
BT and Virgin Media's super-fast broadband networks had been rolled out to six in ten households by this March, according to new figures from Ofcom.
The regulator's latest Communications Market Report revealed a substantial difference between the availability and take-up of fibre optic broadband, with these services accounting for just 6.6 per cent of all connections.
During 2011, the total number of fixed broadband lines surpassed 20 million for the first time, while 76 per cent of all homes had some form of broadband service.
Despite the rise in connection numbers, the telecoms industry saw a drop in earnings during the study period. Revenues declined by 1.9 per cent in 2011 to £39.7 billion as a result of a downturn in wholesale income.
In addition, Ofcom discovered that eight in ten consumers had access to the internet in the first quarter of 2012, with the largest increase seen in 65 to 74-year-olds. Uptake in this demographic rose to 64 per cent, up by nine percentage points year on year.
The average web user spent 23.5 hours online each month throughout 2011, the study found.