England’s take-up of broadband (58%) has been higher than the UK average, slightly above Scotland and Northern Ireland and noticeably higher than Wales.
There is no real disparity within the regions, but the Northwest and the East Midlands have a slower growth in take-up. Rural areas now match urban areas. Sunderland (66 %) and the Scilly Islands are among the highest areas.
England’s growth has increased 10 % points in 2 years.
The growth looks set to continue though probably not at the same rate.
New technologies are being introduced, usually in trial areas, giving point-to-point fibre connections in a few locales.
However putting fibre connections all over England would cost in the region of £10 billion.
An impressive 90 % of basic Government services are now online.
Across Europe the picture is mixed. The Scandanavian countries fare well in broadband take-up, usually better than England and the rest of the UK. South eastern countries like Italy and Greece are falling behind and Eastern Europe is slow but now playing catch up.
But Europe as a whole is now above the United States in terms of broadband take-up.
What this shows is that England can’t afford curtail its efforts in broadband communication. Although 58 % remains a reasonable score, many countries in Europe are beginning to catch-up.