Northern Ireland embraces broadband and the online world

Northern Ireland embraces broadband and the online world as findings presented in the Ofcom annual report indicate. The report has identified that Northern Ireland residents have continued to integrate communication innovations into their way of life. The results have revealed an increase in the use of the following areas:

  • Social networking;“Over a third of people in Northern Ireland (37 per cent) now use social networking sites.”
  • Watching catch-up TV; “38 per cent watch TV online.”
  • Internet calls; “15 per cent of households make phone or video calls over the internet.”

The report has also identified an increased level of communication services take-up with “88% claimed to have a mobile handset.” This puts Northern Ireland in parallel with the UK. “Higher speed 3G mobile and covers 40% of people in Northern Ireland.”

Home broadband has risen “by six percentage points. Cable broadband is available to 30% of homes in Northern Ireland, compared to the UK-wide figure of 48%. Also, 100% of fixed exchanges are capable of supporting broadband.”

Broadband “speeds experienced by consumers depend on a variety of factors. These include the length of the line from the exchange to a customer’s premises, and the number of people connected to a single exchange that are logged on to the internet concurrently.”

Furthermore, the study has uncovered a number of interesting statics as follows:

  • “72% of rural homes now have a broadband connection, compared to 69% in urban areas.”
  • “90% of rural homes have a mobile phone, compared to 87% in urban areas.”
  • “51% of rural homes have a satellite TV connection compared to only 40% in urban areas.”
  • “The use of mobile broadband has increased by 6 per cent from last year and is now used in 14 per cent of all homes.”
  • “Four in ten households in the Belfast area use the internet for banking.”
  • “Mobile broadband take-up has continued to grow by six percentage points.”
  • “Awareness of mobile broadband increased by 10 percentage points to reach 60%”
  • “Ownership of a fixed-line home phone is lower than the UK average and Falling. It has seen a fall of six percentage points.”
  • “Broadband take-up in Northern Ireland has reached 70%”
  • “Northern Ireland has 18% of mobile-only households.”
  • “Northern has the highest growth rate in households connected to an LLUenabled Exchange 59 percentage point increase.”
  • “Pay-as-you-go mobile phones are more popular in Northern Ireland (64%) than in the UK (52% )as a whole. pre-paid mobiles in Northern Ireland has fallen by 4% over the last year, compared to 1% across the UK.”

Read the full report on Northern Ireland online usage.