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Rural Broadband Households Overtake Urban Dwellings

Posted: 22nd May, 2008 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has revealed that 59% of households in rural areas now have broadband compared to 57% of urban areas, suggesting that rural locations are finally better connected than their urban neighbours. Broken down the figures look like this:

UK Broadband Take-up Trends - Urban vs Rural

Broadband Enabled UK Households (%)
England - 60% Rural | 58% Urban
N.Ireland - 54% Rural | 52% Urban
Scotland - 59% Rural | 52% Urban
Wales - 51% Rural | 43% Urban

Overall, broadband is in 57% of UK households, which is up from 45% a year ago. England saw the highest growth, up 13% to 58%. The East of England has the highest proportion of broadband households (68%) with the East Midlands at the lower end of the scale with only 37% of households having broadband.

In Scotland as a whole, 53% of households have broadband, up 11% in twelve months. In Northern Ireland 52% of households have broadband, an increase of 10%. The lowest growth of broadband households is in Wales, up just 3% to 45%.

Meanwhile, 30% of adults have used the internet to watch video content, while 12% have used it to make VoIP phone calls. In addition, 20% of adults have accessed the Internet using a mobile phone. The full summary of all the statistics, broken down into regions, can be found here:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/cm/cmrnr08/

However, we fear that some readers might get the mistaken impression that the digital divide no longer exists, which simply isn’t the case. Rural areas are more likely to receive far slower speeds due to poor infrastructure and longer lines.

The lack of unbundled (LLU) exchanges also means that they could be paying more for some broadband services than their urban counterparts. Likewise, rural areas are more likely to be within the last 1% of the population that can not get any form of broadband at all (excluding satellite).
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