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UK homes are less likely to have superfast broadband than anywhere else in the world except China.

Ofcom's annual international communications report reveals that 0.2 per cent of UK homes have superfast broadband - the same as China.

By comparison France has 1.1 per cent of homes linked up, Germany 2.0 per cent and Italy 1.4 per cent. Also languishing at the bottom, although arguably with a tougher geographic challenge, are the Aussies with 0.4 per cent and Spain with 0.3 per cent of homes connected to superfast networks.

At the top end is Japan with 34.4 per cent, Sweden with 12 per cent and the USA with 7.1 per cent.

Ofcom does note that if plans for deployment of superfast broadband to two-thirds of the population by 2015 will put the UK near the top of the world rankings.

UK punters are the third most likely to have smartphones thanks to a 70 per cent jump between January 2009 and January 2010. Italy has the most smartphones - 26 per cent, then Spain with 21 per cent and then the UK with 18 per cent.

Mobile internet use is greatest, perhaps not surprisingly, among the young - just over half of 18-24 year olds in the UK have accessed the internet via their mobile.

This puts the UK in second place to Japan where DoCoMo introduced mobile internet access way back in 1999.

Despite differences in smartphone ownership there is less difference in numbers of people who have downloaded applications to their phones. Japan is top again with 23 per cent, UK has 17 per cent, as does the US. In France 17 per cent of people have downloaded an app, 14 per cent in Italy and 12 per cent in Germany.

Here's a summary of Ofcom's International Communications Report, with links to the full report. ®

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