GLASGOW appears to have begun taking broadband internet to its heart, after having previously been lagging behind the rest of Scotland.
According to an annual report about the media and telecommunications use, broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, is claiming that, between the first quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year, broadband internet take-up in Glasgow leapt by ten per cent, from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.
That compares with a seven per cent increase across Scotland as a whole, during last year, which itself is catching up with the rest of the UK.
Sixty-eight per cent of homes in Scotland now have broadband, up from 61 per cent 12 months previously. The rise was driven by increased take-up of both fixed broadband up from 57 per cent to 64 per cent, and mobile broadband, which grew from nine per cent to 12 per cent, between the start of 2011 and 2012.
Says year’s report, Scotland’s broadband take-up was 13 per cent lower than the UK average of 74 per cent and the lowest of all the UK nations. This year it is eight per cent lower than the UK average of 76 per cent, on a par with Wales and Northern Ireland.
The figures are contained in the latest edition of Ofcom’s Communications Market Report. Just as Scots seem to be catching up with the UK average when it comes to hooking up to broadband internet, so too it is in catch-up mode when it comes to smartphones. The rate of growth in smartphone take-up in Scotland last year outstripped that of the UK as a whole, growing from 18 per cent to 32 per cent, with the increase most marked in urban areas. This, however, still remains below the UK average of 39 per cent.
Adds Ofcom: “There were similar signs of catch-up in the use of mobile phones to access the internet – the rate of increase between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 was rapid, with the proportion rising from 21 per cent to 31 per cent. This has been accompanied by a significant increase in use of social networking sites in Scotland from 35 per cent in Q1 2011 to half (49 per cent) of all adults in Q1 2012.”