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In a mobile data eating contest, Brits would win - Ofcom

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Brits like to splurge more on the internet than any other major country, according to regulator Ofcom.

UK shoppers have broken the £1,000-a-year mark by £83, compared to Aussies, who spend an average of £842 a year and the Swedes, who pay out £747.

In fact, Brits like to shop online so much, they can't even stop themselves when they're out of the house. Over a fifth of UK smartphone users use their mobes to visit retailers online, the highest amount in Europe.

All that lavish online consumption on the move needs plenty of mobile broadband, and UK consumers are also ranked as downloading more data on their phones and fondleslabs than any other big nation. In December 2011, the average British mobile connection used 424MB of data, pushing Japan into second place with 392MB.

The nation might feel better about all that internet frittering because their comms bills aren't too bad, Ofcom said. Comparing baskets of fixed line, mobe calls and texts, fixed and mobile broadband and telly, Blighty is still the cheapest, although the gap is narrowing with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US.

Brits also love the idiot box in all its myriad forms. The country leads the global rankings for the adoption of DVRs, and UK telly-watchers are the most likely in the world to watch TV online. Nearly a quarter of the country claim to catch up on their TV watching with services like BBC iPlayer, Sky Go and 4OD every week. Americans are the next most telly-hungry, but 17 per cent watch online every week.

Since they love telly and they love going online, it's no surprise that folks in the UK are embracing high-def and smart TVs. They have the highest proportion of homes with HDTV at 41 per cent, while 15 per cent of people say they own a smart TV.

The average viewer in Blighty watches over four hours of TV every day, 242 minutes. Only two countries watch more telly than that: Italy, at 253 minutes, and the US, at 293 minutes. ®

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