U.K. online use catching up with U.S.

TV viewing staying constant

Americans spend the most time online, but Brits are catching up.

This is according to the third annual Intl. Communications Market report conducted by British media regulator Ofcom, which looked at global trends in TV, the Internet and cell phone usage.

On average, Americans spent 15 hours a week online last year. In Blighty, where Internet usage per subscriber has risen fastest, Netizens spent nearly 14 hours a week.

Spaniards spent the least time online of all Europeans — 7.5 hours a week.

Despite the increased use of the web, TV viewing levels remained strong.

In the U.S., Ofcom estimated that on average auds watched 4.5 hours of TV a day last year.

In Europe, tube addiction is less severe. Polish viewers watched more TV than the other European countries at four hours a day, while the Swedes watched the least at 2.6 hours a day. Brits consume 3.6 hours of TV a day on average.

The report also found that cell phone use is soaring in emerging markets with 216 million new mobile subscriptions registered in Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2007.

China, where Ofcom estimates the number of TV households grew by more than 50 million between 2002 and 2007, added 88 million mobile users last year, more than the total number of subscriptions in the U.K.

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