News story

UK broadband coverage better than European rivals

The UK’s coverage and take up of superfast broadband is better than all the leading European economies, new figures show.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard, published today, shows that the UK leads the EU’s five biggest economies on most measures of coverage, take-up, usage and choice for both mobile and fixed broadband, and performs well on price.

The report finds that the availability of superfast broadband has increased in the UK from around 60% at the end of 2011 to 73%. This has taken the country from third to first for coverage among the ‘EU5’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK).

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:

As part of the Government’s long term economic plan, broadband in the UK is going through a remarkable transformation. The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband is accelerating - Britons already do more business online than any other European country, and the news that we now have the best superfast coverage of all five leading European economies is testament to the progress made to date.

Among the EU5, using the most recent comparable data, the UK has:

  • Highest broadband take-up (all types, by household), at 83%
  • Highest proportion of people to have bought goods online over a year (77%)
  • Highest weekly usage of the internet (87%)
  • Lowest proportion of people who have never used the internet (8%)

The European Broadband Scorecard is Ofcom’s second report for Government on the coverage, take-up, usage, price and choice of fixed and mobile broadband services in the UK, relative to other European countries.

Published 12 March 2014