Revealed: The UK’s Most Online-Obsessed Areas

LONDON, October 17th 2022 – A recent study by – a broadband price comparison website, has identified the UK regions which use the most data per household. Using Ofcom data from May 2022, the analysis took into account Gigabytes of data downloaded per household right across the UK.

Looking at average usage, the research showed that residents of the nation’s capital are the most online-obsessed, with households in Greater London using on average 506 GB of data per month. This is 11% more than the UK average.

75% of Greater London’s connections are rated either ‘Superfast’, or ‘Ultrafast’, and quicker connections are undoubtedly responsible for the proportionally higher usage of broadband. 33 of the 114 locations analysed have 5% or more Ultrafast connections and the average usage is 480 GB/month; 5% above the UK average. Typically, where faster broadband is available, usage increases.

Where Do the UK’s Biggest Gigabyte Guzzlers Live? 
Outside London, the North West region is the biggest consumer of data, with an average of 478 GB/month. Manchester averages at 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.

Drilling down to street level, Wilkie Court in Milton Keynes averages an eye-watering 14,910 GB/month or 14.9 TB/month.

The Environmental Impact of Broadband Usage Is Very Real 
It is estimated that 13.8 grams of carbon is produced for every GB of data transferred. With this in mind, the UK produces 158,000 tonnes of carbon every month through broadband usage alone. To put that into perspective, it would take in the region of 90 million trees to offset the nation’s annual carbon emissions from broadband usage.

Only 4% of UK Households Have ‘Ultrafast’ Connectivity 
Project Gigabit was announced in 2021, a Government initiative to deliver fast, reliable broadband to homes and businesses across the UK, with investment to the tune of £5bn. The Government boasts that ‘Gigabit-capable broadband is now available to over 70% of the UK’, but the analysis by BroadbandUK showed that despite the claims of 70% coverage, uptake of Ultrafast broadband is significantly lower.

The research showed that just 4% of UK homes have Ultrafast (300 Mbit/s or more), 68% Superfast (30 Mbit/s or more), and 28% Standard (under 30 Mbit/s) connections.

Saveen Rajan, CEO at BroadbandUK, comments:

“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.”

Read the full analysis at Complete data set available upon request.

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