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Study: UK homes use 456 GB of data per month

October 13, 2022

A study has found that UK households use on average 456 GB of data every month. That’s the equivalent of 65 hours of UHD streaming on Netflix, or streaming more than 63 thousand 3 minute songs on Spotify.

Using Ofcom data from May 2022, the analysis carried out by BroadbandUK took into account Gigabytes of data downloaded per household right across the UK, right down to street level.

The data revealed that the region with the highest average consumption is Greater London, with 506 GB/month; 11 per cent above the national average. In second place, households in the North West use on average 478 GB/month. With 3.18 million connections in the North West, total annual usage comes to 18.6 billion gigabytes.

Outside London, the areas with the greatest data consumption include Manchester, which averages 533 GB/month and Oldham 531 GB/month. At the opposite end of the scale, homes in Torquay average just 328 GB/month and Harrogate 372 GB/month.

The research identified a correlation between fast connection speeds and high data consumption. A key finding was that despite Government claims that Gigabit-capable broadband is now available to over 70 per cent of the UK, the analysis showed that uptake of Ultrafast broadband is significantly lower. Just 4 per cent of UK homes have Ultrafast (300 Mbit/s or more), 68 per cent Superfast (30 Mbit/s or more), and 28 per cent Standard (under 30 Mbit/s) connections.

The study also considered the environmental impact of data transfer. It is estimated that the UK produces 158,000 tonnes of carbon every month through broadband usage alone. To put that into perspective, it would take around 90 million trees to offset the nation’s annual carbon emissions from broadband usage.

Saveen Rajan, CEO at Broadband UK, commented: “The Government’s levelling up agenda has included a major push to deliver full fibre broadband across the UK. However, while the pace of this rollout has been rapid, our research shows that take-up has so far lagged behind due to lack of awareness and high pricing. The carbon footprint of our gadgets, the internet and systems supporting them is a real and growing concern – estimated to be similar to global emissions from the aviation industry. We hope that ISPs will be encouraged to reduce and offset their carbon footprint to help mitigate climate change and promote a sustainable future.”

Categories: Articles, Broadband, Consumer Behaviour, Research

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