Brits Lead World In Digital TV Use

Dennis Faas's picture

New figures show the US is one of the few places where female Internet users outnumber male users. The study also unveiled intriguing facts about television and cell phone use worldwide.

The figures, produced by British communications regulator Ofcom, directly compare the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Canada and Japan. The researchers also produced a separate report on countries with developing economies such as China and Russia. Because the analysis is so detailed and brings together several outside surveys, the figures cover activity in 2007 rather than this year.

Across the seven main countries in the report, there is an average of 26 broadband connections per 100 people. Given that many people share their connection with other household members, that likely means much more than 26% of people have high-speed access. The Netherlands has the widest access with 35 connections per 100 people.

Only 7% of people in the US say they watch less broadcast television since getting Internet access, compared with 15-21% in the other countries. While the report doesn't address the point, it's possible this is down to European users being more likely to download popular US television shows as soon as they air rather than waiting for local broadcasts some weeks or months later.

The ratio of male to female Internet users is even in the UK and France, with most places having more women (56% in Spain), and the US standing out with a 52-48 split in favour of men. The US also has the highest proportion of Internet users aged under 18, along with the highest average time spent online (just over 15 hours a week). (Source:

The study also found that Britain has the highest proportion of homes with digital television (thanks largely to over-the-air broadcasts being available in digital format since 1998), while digital downloads now make up a majority of music sales in France, Italy and Japan. (Source:

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