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A third of UK broadband connections are superfast

Wednesday, May 25th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

More than third of UK households with broadband connections have signed up to ‘superfast’ services, a new EU report has revealed.

According to the latest European Digital Progress Report, 36% of the UK’s broadband subscriptions are for services of at least 30Mbps – up from 32% last year.

The report, published this week as part of the European Commission’s Digital Scoreboard, shows that 85% of UK households have a fixed broadband connection – well above the EU average of 72%.

Take-up of mobile broadband in the UK is also significantly higher than the EU average, standing at 87% compared to 75% across the Union.

The report says 90% of individuals aged 16-74 are classed as ‘internet users’ – up one percentage point on last year and higher than the EU average of 76%.

Basic digital skills have also improved, the report says, with 67% of adults able to “operate effectively online”.

The most popular online activity in the UK is shopping, according to the report. 87% of people who used the internet last year made an online purchase.

Social networking (71%), reading online news (71%) and online banking (63%) are also activities undertaken by the majority of internet users.

More than half of households with a TV (57%) use on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix and 43% of internet users make video calls online.

Earlier this month, the European Commission adopted a new Digital Single Market Strategy, which promises better access to digital goods and services for consumers, as well as an overhaul of EU telecoms rules.

'The best deals'

The new rules, the Commission says, will create incentives for investment in high-speed broadband across Europe.

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the strategy lays “the groundwork for Europe’s digital future”.

“I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European start-ups,” said Mr Juncker.

“I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe."

Speaking as the Commission set out 16 key actions to be delivered by the end of the year, he added: “Exactly a year ago, I promised to make a fully Digital Single Market one of my top priorities. Today, we are making good on that promise.”

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