Broadband more popular with country folk than city slickers

23 May 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Rural areas of the UK are more likely to be connected to broadband than cities, according to new research from Ofcom.

The report shows that there are a larger proportion of households with broadband

in rural areas of the UK than there are in urban areas, for the first time since its introduction in 2000. Rural areas have overtaken their urban counterparts with 59 per cent of households connected compared with 57 per cent in urban areas.

The report quashes previous worries that there would be a town and country divide when it came to broadband connection. When it was first introduced in the UK in 2000, households in urban areas were quick off the mark, whereas it took time for rural areas to get connected.

Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, said: "Our report highlights a closing of the geographical divide in the UK. Rural households are today as well connected to broadband as their urban neighbours."

As well as looking at connection uptake, the report looked at internet usage in different parts of the UK. It found that the English spend more time on the internet than any of the UK's other nations. It also found that the way people use the internet is changing, for example, that 30 per cent of people in England now use the internet to watch television.

According to Ofcom's report, 57 per cent of households across the UK are now connected to broadband, up from 45 per cent last year. And, throughout the UK, England saw the highest growth at an increase of 13 per cent.

However, the report did not just focus on broadband but on other modern breakthroughs, such as digital television and radio. Commenting on their popularity, Mr Richards said: "The report shows that across the UK, take-up of all communications services continues to grow with more people watching digital television and listening to DAB digital radio and consumers are benefiting from convergence and using new ways to access traditional services."

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