According to the most recent Ofcom research, we are seeing much heavier use of the Internet.
Strange to think that only five years ago the majority of Britain’s would watch analogue TV, listen to analogue radios and buy or rent DVDs. Now it appears that we tune in to news websites (BBC, Sky), use cloud based music systems (iTunes, Spotify) and stream or download the most recent movies (Apple TV, Film 4OD). Our digital lifestyles have become so prolific that over half of Britain’s now own a smart phone. I use the term phone out of convention rather than function, as this is a tiny function (and often secondary function) of what our smart phones can do.
Supporting such large usage is our creaking IP infrastructure. The national 3G signal for example covers 73% of homes, but the user experience is only 1-3 Mb/s. 7% of households are thought to rely on this type of connection exclusively. Then we come on to the all too familiar topic of fixed broadband speeds, with the UK scoring 33rd in the world ranking, a poor result considering we have the world’s sixth largest economy.
It will be interesting to watch how these new digital norms develop, with an ageing copper backbone infrastructure already struggling to support them. Will the UK keep up against giants of the digital world such as South Korea, with an average download speed of 34.14 Mb/s.