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Despite the criticism directed at UK broadband – in terms of coverage, average download speeds and service quality – there is a lot to celebrate about the internet in Britain.

So says Matt Rogerson, Head of Public Affairs and Policy at Virgin Media, who believes UK consumers are more fortunate than they realise where web services are concerned.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum, he explained that UK consumers and businesses have access to some of the cheapest broadband services in Europe.

"It's sometimes easy to slip into a view that the UK is falling behind our European and Far Eastern rivals when it comes to digital distribution, but there's actually a lot to celebrate," he commented, as reported by PC Pro.

Broadband research conducted by Quantum-Web appears to support this claim.

Across Europe, the average cost of a 2Mb-8Mb broadband deal is £30 per month, however in the UK, consumers can pay as little as £13 or £14 for this quality of service.

And as levels of competition increase in the UK broadband sector, the cost of high-speed broadband services is continuing to fall.

Mr Rogerson claimed that the December 2010 launch of Virgin Media's 100Mb fibre broadband service has had a positive impact on broadband pricing in the UK.

Although the firm's ultra-fast network currently only passes four million homes, the move has forced BT to embark on its own infrastructure upgrade plan, he suggested.

Since many other broadband providers – including Sky, O2 and TalkTalk – use BT's telecoms infrastructure to deliver broadband services, the rollout of fibre broadband has enabled many industry players to improve their offering.

The result is that UK consumers and businesses – particularly in urban areas – are receiving faster download speeds for their money, and witnessing customer service improvements.

"Essentially, everywhere Virgin Media is, BT has to compete aggressively with its fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband," Mr Rogerson claimed.

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