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A new Ofcom report shows the UK has the highest take-up and coverage of super-fast broadband among the leading European economies.

The media regulator's European Broadband Scorecard shows that Britain leads France, Germany, Italy and Spain on most measures of coverage, take-up, usage and choice.

This is the case across both fixed and mobile broadband services, it stated.

Ofcom discovered that the availability of super-fast broadband increased in the UK from around 60 per cent at the end of 2011 to 73 per cent at the start of last year.

This has taken the country from third to first for coverage among the EU5 nations.

Adoption of super-fast broadband, which is classed as being capable of 30Mb speeds or greater, stood at nine out of every 100 people in the UK.

This figure was the highest in the EU5, with Spain in second place with six in every 100 people.

Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards commented that the UK has made "excellent progress" on super-fast broadband coverage in the last couple of years.

However, he claimed there is still more to be done.

"We want to see even wider availability of super-fast broadband across the UK, so as many people as possible can enjoy faster speeds to access the internet," Mr Richards stated.

"There is also more progress to be made to ensure consumers receive consistently high quality of service, including faster line repairs and installations for broadband and telephony."

Among the EU5, the UK has the highest level of broadband take-up at 83 per cent, and the highest weekly usage of the internet at 87 per cent.

Ofcom reported that Britain also has the lowest proportion of people who have never used the internet, at eight per cent.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, said: "It's heartening to see the UK's broadband progress coming out so strongly when pitted against other leading EU nations, and also very encouraging to note that superfast broadband is now available to almost three quarters of the UK.

"However, Ofcom's research does also reveal that less than 10% of the population is actually using it.

"There seems to be a worrying lack of awareness concerning superfast broadband. Our own research showed that only a quarter (25%) of consumers were aware they could receive it in their area.

"Price also looks to remain a major barrier, with almost half (48%) of those consulted who didn’t have super-fast broadband, citing it as being too costly."

Doku added: "If people don’t actually use fibre broadband because they think it’s too expensive, or they don’t know they can get it, then what’s the point?

"Boosting uptake will be heavily dependent on both affordability and increased awareness of those costs, as much as availability."

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