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Fixed broadband customers in the UK are consuming more and more data each month, it has been reported.

According to a study conducted by Ofcom, the average home broadband subscriber is consuming 17GB per month.

This is the equivalent to downloading more than 11 films per month, streaming 12 hours of BBC iPlayer high definition video or more than 12 days of streaming audio content.

And based upon information from the London Internet Exchange, home internet traffic has increased sevenfold over the last five years.

Data consumption is only set to increase further, as more home broadband users embrace IPTV services and gaming in the months and years to come.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said the report highlighted the "voracious appetite" for online services among UK consumers.

He explained that there are now 18 million home broadband connections, and the amount of data they are downloading each month is "breath-taking".

"While the Ofcom research does not break down what all that data was - such large volumes are likely to be down to people consuming media, either by downloading or streaming content via their broadband connection," Mr Doku stated.

"On-demand media platforms like the BBC's iPlayer have changed the way many of us watch TV and listen to the radio, whilst services such as iTunes and Spotify make millions of hours of music instantly available at our fingertips."

He suggested that broadband lines are fast replacing the airwaves as the primary way UK citizens receive TV and radio.

"They are proof that broadband is about much more than just the internet - it's our link to enjoying entertainment, too," Mr Doku added.

"It is amazing how quickly these data-heavy services have become such an integral part of how the average user – rather than the technology geek – uses the web."

He said it is about far more than just sending an email or browsing the net - consumers require a broadband service that is up to the task of using "massive amounts" of data each month.

The Ofcom report has highlighted the importance of UK households choosing an appropriate data tariff when they sign up for a broadband deal.

If consumers wish to take advantage of rich media streaming and gaming services, they are likely to need a hefty – if not unlimited - monthly usage allowance.

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