Media Release: Scotland dominates UK’s broadband top ten

SURFERS in North-east Scotland and Shetland are switching on to ADSL broadband faster than any other parts of the UK.

Figures released today by BT Wholesale reveal that Aberdeenshire and Shetland have become the first local authority areas in Britain to have more than half of their homes and businesses hooked up to the technology.

Scotland dominates a top ten league table of ADSL broadband take-up in counties around the UK. Aberdeenshire is in top slot with a take-up rate of 50.9 per cent, with Shetland just a fraction behind on 50.7 per cent.

Sitting in third place with 48.4 per cent is Stirling, closely followed by Aberdeen on 48.3 per cent. Moray completes the all-Scottish top five with 47.9 per cent, with the Welsh local authority of Monmouthshire coming sixth on 47.5 per cent. The next highest Scottish local authority is Highland, in 10th place with 45.8 per cent.

The Scottish national average is 33.3 per cent, ahead of the UK average of 31.2 per cent.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “Aberdeenshire, Shetland, Stirling, Aberdeen and Moray are in a league of their own when it comes to broadband take-up. These areas have consistently been among the leaders in the UK for broadband adoption, which emphasises the innovative nature of their people and businesses.

“It says a great deal for Scotland and its people that it now boats the five most switched-on local authority areas in the UK. Fast internet access is now making a huge contribution to the economic success of Scotland, as businesses find new markets and work more efficiently, and households capitalise on the almost limitless abilities of the internet for education, entertainment and shopping.

“Broadband adoption makes a lot of sense in tackling remoteness and enabling people to work where they live, and it has massive potential in terms of our national contribution to tackling climate change.”

BT now has 855,000 wholesale broadband connections in Scotland and more than 10.9 million across the UK, smashing its initial target of five million connections by the end of 2006.

The UK is the world’s most competitive broadband market with more than 200 service providers and more than 99 per cent of all UK homes and businesses are connected to a broadband-enabled exchange – the highest percentage in the G8.

Broadband has become the fastest growing consumer product in recent years vastly outpacing the growth in televisions, CD players, video recorders or mobile phones, and has resulted in Britain leading Europe in online shopping and ecommerce.

Aberdeenshire 50.9 per cent
Shetland 50.7 per cent
Stirling 48.4 per cent
Aberdeen 48.3 per cent
Moray 47.9 per cent
Monmouthshire 47.5 per cent
Oxfordshire 46.8 per cent
(eq.) Scilly Isles, Flintshire 46.4 per cent
Highland 45.8 per cent

For more information please contact Mitch Reid or Anna Steven at the BT Scotland Press Office on our free, 24-hour number
0800 085 0660

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Contact: Mitch Reid or Anna Steven
Phone: 0800 085 0660