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The cost of broadband in Europe has fallen by almost a quarter since the beginning of the year, according to London-based consultancy Broad Group.

Its European Broadband Pricing Report surveyed 109 operators peddling 455 tariff packages in 36 countries. The average monthly price for 512k and 1Mb services fell 23 per cent since January while the cost of a 2Mb line fell 24 per cent.

"The report details the decrease of broadband prices in Europe - approximately 23 per cent across the three main speeds - but draws attention to the diversity of emerging and mature broadband markets in terms of price of broadband packages stratified by speed," said the blurb accompanying the report.

While the cost of broadband is falling, the amount of cash UK households are splashing out on telecoms has risen by around 20 per cent between 2001 and 2003, according to communications regulator Ofcom.

It reckons punters coughed up £13bn on telecoms in 2003 - up from £11.6bn in 2001 - with most of this increase spent on mobile phones and net access. The percentage of UK homes now with net access has grown from four in ten to more than half over the last two years with more than a third of these using broadband. ®

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