UKCheapBroadband Comments on Britain’s Digital Divide

A new report has highlighted how deep the digital divide between the north and south of the country really is Almost all areas with very high broadband penetration are no higher north than the Bristol Channel

Online PR News – 04-November-2009 – – Point Topic, a Broadband analyst firm, has released a report that shows a strong divide in broadband penetration, finding that of the 68 cities, districts and towns with high penetration are almost exclusively located in the south of the country. Meanwhile, the north has large spots where penetration is either low or very low.

London and towns like Bristol, Plymouth and Southampton have seen above average penetration, while while Northern Island and the Midlands have seen the worst take-up.

17.3% of the country live in an area where broadband take up is very high or high, while only 8.8% live in low or very low areas, despite these areas being geographically much larger. As expected, this shows penetration is heavily linked with living too far from an exchange.

Although options like satellite and mobile broadband exist for those without access to a normal connection, these are still very expensive compared to fixed line, ADSL broadband. Many people in areas that are not supplied by an exchange cannot afford these costs.

Charles Mcfey, Product Director at says:

“This research might not be that surprising for anyone that has been following the ‘Digital Britain’ news stories or is already aware of the problems the UK faces with broadband penetration.

The most interesting thing highlighted here is how the Scottish governments approach to broadband has provided the country with a much more even level of broadband take-up.

Although Scotland might not face the same economic issues as the UK, its geographical problems are very similar, and these have been solved by having more exchanges per head of population – sometimes just serving single, small communities.

Investment has also been strong in Scotland, and the government has spent millions to improve services already.

Hopefully in the coming years we’ll see a similar level of investment in England, although right now the governments focus on providing speed rather than value or reliability is a worrying one."


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