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Ofcom has published its Communications Market Report, which looks at the take up, availability and usage of the internet and telecommunications across the UK.
Last year, the report found major differences in take-up levels of broadband and digital TV, both between nations, and between rural and urban areas. This year's report (pdf) shows that these gaps are narrowing.
Key findings of the report:
- In 2005 there was a gap between the number of adults with broadband at home in Northern Ireland (24%), Wales (25%), Scotland (31%) and England (highest at 36%). This gap has now narrowed - take-up in has risen to 45%, but Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have now reached 42%.
- 45% of individuals across the UK said that they had broadband at home in 2006, compared with 35% in 2005.
- In England, broadband penetration was highest in the South West, East Midlands, East of England and the North West (47%), and lowest in the West Midlands (40%).
- Broadband take-up in urban areas (45%) was higher than in rural areas (41%).
- Of those without broadband, 35% said they didn't have broadband because they didn't use the internet enough, 25% felt it ws too expensive, and 23% said they were happy with current connection speeds.
UK digital divide driven by internet 'refuseniks'