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Ofcom finds the generation gap

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Ofcom research has found that spending on communications equipment is falling - for the first time in five years.

In 2004, 4.63 per cent of total household expenditure was on communications, but this fell slightly in 2005 to 4.60 per cent.

The Ofcom report, entitled "The Communications Market 2006" said this decrease was predominantly down to falling prices, particularly in fixed line telecoms, which more than offset increases in take-up and usage.

Fixed line revenues fell from £10.9bn to £10.1bn. A typical household now spends £76 a month on a bundle of services rather than £80 last year.

In spite of the drop in household spend, total revenue for the communications market was $50bn in 2005, up five per cent on 2004. Mobiles accounted for 35 per cent of the increase.

Total telecoms spending in the period is £46.6bn, of which £38.3bn was retail revenue.

In the fixed line market, broadband is the fastest growing service - up 17 per cent to £3.4bn.

By March 2006, some 18.3m households had digital telly and 11m businesses had broadband internet access. Five million people have 3G phones.

The research found that generations are using technology differently. Sixteen to 24-year-olds typically spend 21 more minutes online than others during a typical week. They also send 42 more texts than the average, but watch seven hours less TV.

Ofcom researchers also noted the growth in social networking sites - over half of 16 to 24 year olds now visit such a site at least once a week.

You can get the whole report from the Ofcom website here. ®

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