Broadband Research Shows UK Bottom of World League

The UK is still lagging far behind Asia, Europe and the US in home broadband connections, according to the latest figures from NetValue. The findings indicate that the UK ranks a pitiful tenth out of 11 countries surveyed for domestic broadband use, ahead of only China.

One in 32 online (an estimated 258,000) UK households have a broadband connection at present, up from a figure of 1.6% in November 2000. The level compares miserably with world leader Korea, where more than one in two (57.3%) have this connection, and the second-ranked US, where one in nine have it (11.1%). In France, one in 16 online households are thought to have a connection, representing twice the UK rate. Although only 5% of Internet households in Germany are using a broadband connection, Germany leads the other countries included in the report for ISDN usage. In February 2001, 37.8% of German Internet households connected via ISDN, followed by Denmark with 19.5% of households.

Specific user groups have also emerged in the research. The data shows "early adopters" of broadband are active, especially among the 14 and under age group. These account for 9.1% of users connecting via broadband overall, as well as 6.7% of all modem usage.

Looking at global audio-video usage, the findings show that broadband allows Internet users better access to richer online material. With more than half of Korean households (57.3%) connecting via broadband, 73.9% of the Korean population used audio or video in February, and over half (54.1%) used a gaming protocol. Over a third of Internet users in Hong Kong used audio/video and Spain had the highest audio/video usage in Europe (33.8%). In contrast, only 29.5 % of US Internet users and 23.8 % of UK Internet users viewed or used audio. Broadband and audio/video trends emerging in Korea are good indicators of what the future may hold for Europe and the US.