This is Ofcom’s seventh annual
report. Its objective is to act as areference source covering the UK communications sectors, aimed at industry, policy makers,analysts and consumers. The report also provides context for the work that Ofcom conductsin furthering the interests of consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate.The report contains data and analysis on broadcast television and radio, broadband andfixed/mobile telephony. It also offers insights into how people are using the internet andconverged devices to access audio-visual and audio content.Take-up of several digital devices and services passed new thresholds in 2009/10. Over seven in ten people (71%) now have access to a broadband connection at home; over ninein ten (92%) have digital television installed on their main set in the home. And more than aquarter (26%) of mobile users now have a smartphone, offering consumers access to muchmore than just voice telephony.Growing levels of device take-up are reflected in the new ways in which people relate tocommunications services and media content. Broadcast television viewing and radiolistening have remained comparatively stable year on year. But people are also using theinternet to access audio and audio-visual content. Nearly four in ten people claim to watchtelevision services online, while 14% listen to radio over the web. Moreover, a fifth (23%) of mobile handset owners now use it to access data-related services such as the internet.This is just a snapshot of the findings emerging from this year’s report. The first section(page 15) provides a fuller summary. This is followed by an examination of how peopleconsume media content and communications services across a variety of digital devices –with a particular focus on concurrent use (Section 1.3). The report goes on to examine thebundling of communication services (page 55), followed by an assessment of the impact of the economic cycle on communications markets in the UK (page 69). It concludes bycomparing communications markets across the four nations of the UK (page 83).The remainder of the report sets out a range of data from the television/audio-visual contentindustries (page 96) and the radio/audio sector (page 188). It continues with an analysis of internet take-up and the use of web-based content (page 234) and concludes with anassessment of telecoms and networks (page 278). Each section now also includes analysisof converged media, devices and consumption.Finally, to make this report and its resources more useable to stakeholders we are, for thefirst time, publishing all the data and charts in a searchable resource. This can be found atwww.ofcom.org.uk/cmruk. Companion reports for each of the UK’s nations are once againbeing launched alongside this report; these can be found atwww.ofcom.org.uk/cmr10.We publish this report to support Ofcom’s regulatory goal to research markets constantlyand to remain at the forefront of technological understanding; it also fulfils the requirementson Ofcom under Section 358 of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act) to publish an annualfactual and statistical report. And it addresses the requirement to undertake and make publicour consumer research (as set out in Sections 14 and 15 of the Act)The information set out in this report does not represent any proposal or conclusion byOfcom in respect of the current or future definition of markets. Nor does it represent anyproposal or conclusion about the assessment of significant market power for the purpose of the Communications Act 2003, the Competition Act 1998 or any other relevant legislation.