Ofcom in its Infrastructure Report 2014 said that typical UK households may now need a connection offering of at least 10 Mbit/s to support its internet activities. This is based on the current broadband consumption patterns that point to rapid increase in both time spent on a wide range of digital interfaces as well as the increasing consumption of rich content. Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, found that on average, a UK household or small business is downloading 53 Gigabytes (GB) of data on their fixed broadband line every month - equivalent to 35 feature films, and a 77% increase on 2013. The average home is also uploading 7 GB of data to the internet each month, equivalent to 3,500 digital photographs. Driving this level of consumption is the advent of multi-screen services, which enables sharing of movies, music and applications across a wide range of personal devices. According to Ofcom, as more rich content is consumed and as sharing becomes more widespread, households with connection speeds slower than 10Mbit/s are likely to encounter performance issues on their web activities.
Ofcom also expects the use of VoIP services to increase from 22% of adults in 2012 to 35% of adults in 2014. VoIP services cover voice communications on data connections enabled by applications as such Skype, Viber, Whatsapp and a host of other OTT services. With the advent of Rich Communications Services that promises the real-time sharing of rich content and integration with other online applications, there is a strong expectation in the market place that VoIP services, RCS and the upcoming VoMBB services will take over the traditional voice services. More surprising is what Ofcom found on the TV services front, where the number of homes without TV but with broadband have risen to one million. At the same time, the number of households with TV fell from 26.33 million as at the end of 2012 to 26.012 million as at end of 2013. On-demand content services such as Netflix, catch-up TV services offered by incumbent TV stations and satellite as well as cable broadcasters and video sharing applications such as YouTube have become some of the alternative sources for information and entertainment across most of today's households.