Eurobites: Britain's couch potatoes sliced and diced

…by Ofcom, that is. Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: former regulator bigwig joins MTN; CityFibre heads to Hastings; Virgin Media's Scottish rejig.

  • Traditional broadcast TV is dying a slow death – that much we know. But new research from UK communications regulator Ofcom casts more light on the rate of decline. The figures show that Brits aged 16-24 spend less than an hour (53 minutes) in front of broadcast TV in an average day – a fall of two-thirds in the last ten years – while those aged 65 and over still spend around a third of their waking hours watching broadcast TV, their eyes glued to the box for almost six hours (five hours and 50 minutes) daily, which is slightly higher than the case a decade ago. And around a fifth of UK homes subscribe to all three of the most popular streaming platforms – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. However, this figure could well fall as the UK's cost-of-living crisis deepens – the inflation rate rose to 10.1% this morning.

    (Source: iStock)
    (Source: iStock)

  • In a now familiar gamekeeper-turned-poacher maneuver, Willington Ngwepe, CEO of South African communications regulator ICASA for the last five years, has joined South Africa's MTN Group in a new role of chief of staff in the office of the company's group president and CEO, Ralph Mupita. (See MTN snags former SA regulator Willington Ngwepe.)

  • UK altnet CityFibre plans to invest £30 million (US$36 million) in a new full-fiber network covering the south English coastal towns of Hastings and St Leonards, around 60,000 homes in total. CityFibre says it now reaches up to 8 million homes and businesses across the UK.

  • Virgin Media O2 has been trumpeting what it's been up to in Scotland, highlighting initiatives that include covering 58 towns and cities with 5G and boosting 4G capacity in more than 33,000 postcodes. On the fixed-line side, the company says that all 1.2 million premises on its Scottish network are now able to access broadband speeds of 1.1 Gbit/s.

  • EE, the UK mobile operator owned by BT, has announced a revamped line-up of monthly plans, including one for iPhone users that offers the Apple One package (comprising Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and iCloud+ with 50GB storage) as part of the deal.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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