Brits benefit from cheaper TV, internet and mobile rates

14 August 2008
In a world of rising prices, consumers will be pleased to hear that the cost of “communicating” has fallen.

A new report from regulator Ofcom found that in 2007 Britons spent more time than ever before watching television, surfing the net and talking on the phone – but are paying less for the pleasure.

In 2007, people in the UK spent an average of seven hours and nine minutes a day using such “communications services”, with mobile phone and internet usage increasing the most. In fact, the amount of time spend texting and talking on a mobile has doubled since 2002, up from five minutes a day to 10 minutes, and time spent on computers is up fourfold.

Despite this increase in usage, Ofcom says people are getting more for their money; in 2007 the average household spent £93.63 on communication services, a 1.6% fall from the previous year and a near-5% fall from 2004.

The fall in the cost of activities such as watching TV, listening to the radio and emailing, is mainly down to a rise in the number of people buying discounted bundles.

For example, many households find paying for multiple services, such as TV, phone and internet, is generally cheaper than buying each service on a individual basis. In addition, the cost of broadband has fallen and consumers are taking advantage of increased competition by shopping around to find the cheapest deals.

Peter Phillips , from Ofcom, says: "We are spending more and more time with our communications devices but spending less on them. Our devotion to watching, listening and staying in touch wherever and whenever we want shows no sign of diminishing and, with healthy competition, overall prices offer increasing value for money."

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