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Ofcom data on communication usage
December 20, 2015, 4:35 pm

Americans are happiest giving away personal data: When asked how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement "I am happy to provide personal information online to companies as long as I get what I want," Americans were most likely to agree strongly. Respondents from Sweden were least likely to agree with this premise, while German and Spanish individuals were also more likely to be suspicious of companies using their personal data.


TV tops internet for news, by small margin: In most countries, respondents said that the TV was their primary source of national news — but only just, with the internet a close second in pretty much every country asked. Newspapers and magazines did have a slightly better showing when respondents were asked about where they got their regional news though.


Facebook is top social network for news: This is not much of a surprise given how many more people use Facebook than Twitter (1.44 billion vs. 302 million), but it is a reminder that Facebook dominates when it comes to "reading, watching, sharing, or discussing news." Only in Japan is YouTube more popular, while Twitter has its best showings in the UK and Spain.

US pays most; UK pays least: To compare the price of cellphone tariffs in different countries, Ofcom looked at different tiers — from a super-basic line with only 50 minutes of talk time a month, to a premium package with 500 minutes, 200 texts, and 5GB of 4G data. The report shows that America is clearly the most expensive country to buy a cellphone tariff, even though prices fell 3 percent during 2015, the UK was the least expensive. (Ofcom's figures factor in the cost of handsets in these tariffs, amortizing them over a three-year period.)

Less fixed phone line usage: The total minutes of outbound calls on fixed phone lines fell by an average of 7.5 percent across the countries surveyed. The biggest drops were in Italy (-10.3 percent), China (-9.9 percent), and India (-8.5 percent). By comparison, monthly outbound mobile minutes increased by an average of 9.5 percent per year. So at least, overall, we are not talking less.

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