Internet usage has doubled in a decade

Internet usage has doubled in a decade

According to Ofcom’s “Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report” published yesterday, UK adults (aged 16+) spend on average 20.5 hours per week online. This is twice as much time compared to 10 years ago (9.9hours).

The tenth edition of Ofcom’s report shows that whilst computers, laptops and netbooks remain the most used devices to go online, the dramatic increase in internet usage could be attributed to smartphones and tablets, used both inside and outside the home.

In 2010, only 5% of adults used tablets to go online compared to 39% in 2014 while 61% now use a smartphone to go online. In a decade, out of home internet use has increased five-fold from half an hour to nearly 2.3hours per week.

These findings concur with the BSG report into Out of home internet use published in November 2014. The research found that the growth in out-of-home internet use is not only due to the wider availability of mobile devices but also due to the increase in the number of and ease of accessing WIFI hotspots and 4G services.

The report also found that the internet is used for a variety of applications; the use of mobile devices to watch TV or films online, shopping, banking, online gaming and creating content has increased in a decade. Whilst it is not particularly surprising that usage amongst younger users (16-24 year-old) is greater it is interesting to note the increases across the board on those watching content online:

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We will be looking at some of the challenges that this throws up for telecoms networks in our work on IPTV.

Telecoms networks will clearly need to continue adapting to meet consumer demand. As we see convergence actually starting to take place, it is timely for Ofcom and the European Commission to start considering the regulatory and policy implications that this will bring.

digital takeup

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