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32% of households still lack broadband

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Ofcom's sixth Communications Market Report has found that 32% of homes still lack a broadband connection, although the figure is up by 17% on a year ago when only 58% of homes were broadband enabled.

Take up of broadband around the UK continues to vary. In Scotland, the number of households with broadband is up this year by 13% to 60%. In Northern Ireland, it is up by nearly 25% to 64% and, in Wales, by a third to 58%.

More than 1 in 10 households (12%) has a mobile broadband connection and, of these, 75% also have access to broadband through their landline. In May of this year alone there were more than a quarter of a million new mobile broadband connections, up from 139,000 new connections in May 2008. In addition, some eight million people in the UK had accessed the internet on their mobile phone in the first quarter of this year, an increase of more than 40% on the previous year.

The average consumer is now spending 25 minutes a day online at home — up from nine minutes in 2004.

The report also looked into how consumers view their communications services and found that they remain important, despite the recession. When asked which items consumers were likely to cut back on in the recession, 47% would choose to cut back on going out for dinner, 41% on DIY and 41% on holidays. This compares with only 19% who would cut back on mobile phone spend, 16% on TV subscriptions and 10% on their broadband services.

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