Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/06/ofcom_market/

Global banking collapse fails to dent broadband

We know you were all worried about that one

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Broadband, 6th August 2009 11:31 GMT

Well, here's a thing. According to Ofcom's latest penetrating research, released today, people avoid cutting back on broadband and mobile phones as a result of the recession, if they can.

Asked what expenditure they would choose to cut back on, 47 per cent of the 862 polled by the communications regulator said going out for dinner, 41 per cent said DIY and 41 per cent said holidays. That compared to 19 per cent and 10 per cent respectively for mobile and broadband services.

Communications services more or less essential to modern living are a higher priority for most people than luxury goods and services, then.

We're all also using our communications services more. Well, a bit. Last year, people spent an average of 24 minutes per day online at home. In May this year, the most recent month Ofcom has figures for, the average was 25 minutes. Ofcom preferred a comparison with 2004 however, when the mean was 9 minutes.

Top Ofcom market strategy wonk Peter Phillips said: "Despite the recession, people are spending more time watching TV, using their mobile phone or accessing the internet."

Despite the recession? Conventional economic wisdom would have it that people stay glued to the sofa more during tough times, but that's by the by.

Other insights contained in Ofcom's latest market report include news that the average monthly household spend on internet service is £10.71, down from £11.37 last year. Those figures of course take into account the 30 per cent of households that don't want or can't afford broadband.

Almost half - 46 per cent - of households are now on bundled packages taking more than one communications service from a single provider. That's up from 39 per cent last year, and Ofcom reckons "more canny" consumers are driving better deals. Helped by its consumer-friendly regulations, naturally.

There's a breakdown of Ofcom's findings with links to the source reports here. ®