The Communications Market Report: England
Broadband take-up more than doubles in five years
The story of England's communications market in 2009 is one of relatively high take-up of a selection of communications services, often above the UK average.
Broadband take-up in England has more than doubled in the past five years and it's now the highest (73 per cent) among the UK's four nations.
Nine out of ten people have mobile phones but there are fewer mobile-only households in England (13 per cent) than in other nations.
Four in ten people in England use social networking sites, the highest proportion of any UK nation and mobile broadband take-up in inner London (27 per cent) is the highest of anywhere in the UK.
However, regional variations do exist in England, as well as differences between urban and rural consumers.
Broadband take-up is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, while online viewing in rural areas has also increased by 11 per cent to 44 per cent, overtaking levels of online viewing in urban areas.
More than half of adults in rural areas also engage in online banking and radio listeners in rural areas of England are also more likely to own a DAB radio.
But rural consumers are less likely to have access to super-fast broadband, a 3G phone signal, and to a choice of suppliers through their local fixed telephone exchange.
Our research shows that the average broadband speed delivered to premises in rural locations are also typically lower than in urban areas, while rural households are less likely to take communications services in bundles.
Digital TV take-up in England as whole has now reached 92 per cent of main sets.
Two English regions the West Country and Granada have now completed digital switchover.
Some 40 per cent say they watch television over the internet.
Take-up of catch-up is higher in England (24 per cent) than any of the other nations.
Television (48 per cent) remains the main source of local news for people in England.
BBC and ITV1 spent £153m on regional TV programmes for viewers in England in 2009, down by 20 per cent year on year.
However spend on programmes for England still represented 60 per cent of total spending on nations and regions programming.
Almost four in ten people in England own a DAB set, higher than in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Around 17 per cent of those without a DAB radio set said they were likely to purchase one within the next 12 months.
Listening to radio channels via digital TV is highest in the South West (43 per cent) but lowest in the East of England (25 per cent).
The BBC spent £138m in 2009/10 on local radio in England, up 3.1 per cent.
One in five people in England listen to radio online.
Broadband take-up in England has more than doubled in the past five years - 73 per cent now have broadband, the highest among the UK's four nations.
Take-up is highest in the South East (80 per cent) and lowest in the West Midlands (62 per cent). Take-up is also higher in rural than urban areas.
Mobile broadband take-up in inner London (27 per cent) is the highest in the UK.
Some 23 per cent of people living in London use their mobile phone to access the internet, higher than the English average (17 per cent) and the UK average (16 per cent).
Four in ten people in England use social networking sites, the highest proportion of any UK nation and up by 11 per cent over the year.
Some 33 per cent of people in the South West, East of England and outer London areas say they use the internet to find information relating to health issues.
Online viewing in rural areas has increased by 11 per cent to 44 per cent, overtaking levels of online viewing in urban areas.
England has the highest level of fixed-line ownership (86 per cent) across the nations. Take-up is higher in rural areas than in urban areas (93 per cent vs 85 per cent).
England has fewer mobile-only households (13 per cent) than any of the other nations.
A 2G mobile signal is available to 99 per cent of people in England.
Higher-speed 3G mobile, which is available to 87 per cent of the UK population, covers 91 per cent of the English population.
Thirty-two per cent of mobile phone handsets in London, 31 per cent in the North East, and 30 per cent in Yorkshire and Humberside are 3G. The average in England and the UK is 26 per cent.
In London (24 per cent) and the South East (25 per cent) more people use VoIP to make internet voice calls than elsewhere in the UK. VoIP use is also high in the South West (21 per cent) and the East Midlands (19 per cent).
The market in context
- Availability of communications platforms and services in England
- Take-up of communications platforms and services in England
- Adoption of communications technology/service in urban and rural locations
- 52% of homes in England took a bundle of communications services, up by four percentage points year on year
- Consumers in the East of England most likely to take bundles of communications services
- Spending by public service broadcasters on television and radio content in England
- PSBs command the lowest TV viewing shares in the UK in London and the Border regions (54%)
- Four in ten internet users in England use the web to watch television content; one in five use their mobile phone to access the internet
- Consumers in England continue to value their communications services relative to other items
- The communications services on which consumers would be most likely to cut spend
- English consumers believe that communications providers are responding to the recession with better deals
- Bundled communications services continue to be popular among English consumers
- English consumers agreement/disagreement that they were more likely to take communications services
- English consumers embrace HDTV in spite of the economic downturn
- Consumers agreement/disagreement with a range of statements exploring changes in behaviour over the last 12 months
- Attitudes of English consumers towards the economy
- Availability and take-up of broadband and mobile services in England
- Fixed broadband services
- Broadband speeds in England
- Virgin Media cable broadband
- Average download speeds by nation
- Mobile services
- 2G mobile coverage
- 2G mobile coverage by population
- 3G mobile phone geographic and population coverage, by number of operators
- 3G coverage map
- Almost a third of mobile phone users in England claim to regularly experience mobile not-spots
- Most mobile phone users in England claim that they are satisfied with their mobile phone service
- The consumers experience of mobile not-spots in England
- Case study: dealing with intermittent coverage in a rural area
- Current progress and future work on not-spots
TV and audiovisual content
- HD and 3D TV
- Channel 7
- Hyper-local TV online
- Digital switchover is under way in England
- Some parts of Wales have been affected by overlapping coverage areas and have temporarily received some services in Welsh.
- PSB spend on TV programmes for viewers in England
- Spend on programmes for viewers in each nation
- Change in investment, by genre and nation, 2004 - 2009
- Investments per head made by the BBC and ITV1 in regional and national output, 2009
- TV programmes for viewers in England account for 65% of nations total
- The cost of output for the nations, by genre, 2009
- Programme production in the nations and English regions
- Expenditure on out-of-London production
- Volume of out-of-London production
- Breakdown of expenditure, by broadcaster
- Volume of out-of-London production by broadcaster
- Non-network production in the English regions
- Number of DTV households
- Satellite is the most widely-used TV platform in England, closely followed by DTT
- Over half of homes (54%) in England take a pay-TV service
- TV viewing fell furthest and is lowest in the West
- Reduction in combined share of the five PSB channels, 2004 2009
- PSB portfolio channel share growth in all regions
- Local television news viewing is lowest in London and the North East
- Sources of local news in each nation, 2009
- Combined total hours of viewing of early evening regional news bulletins, per person per year, all homes, 2004 to 2009
- Households in rural areas more likely to watch television and video content over the internet
- Catch-up TV was most popular in London and the south of England
- Use of the internet to watch video clips is highest in southern England
- Take-up of games consoles was higher in urban areas of England
Radio and audio content
- Community radio
- Station format changes
- Smaller players winning plaudits
- BBC radio funding in England
- Commercial radio revenue
- DAB digital radio coverage increases, with further transmitters installed
- DAB station choice higher in larger cities
- Hours of radio listening are second highest in England of all the UK nations
- BBC share of listening higher in England than in other UK nations
- Weekly reach for national / local BBC services
- Ownership of DAB
- Likelihood to purchase DAB radio set higher in England than in Scotland and Wales
- Reasons for not purchasing a DAB radio set
- Ownership of MP3 players
- Listening to radio online and via DAB is higher in England than in other UK nations
- Varying trends in digital listening across the English regions
- A quarter of radio listening hours in England are via digital platforms
- Use of a mobile phone to listen to audio is higher in urban areas, particularly London
- London has higher internet radio use than other urban areas
- Listening to streamed audio services is still a niche activity
- Satisfaction with choice of radio services higher in southern England
Internet and online content
- UK Digital Champion
- The emergence of hyper-local
- Broadband take-up
- Internet access
- Three-quarters of people in inner London are aware of mobile broadband
- Internet use via mobile phones has reduced, particularly in London and the South East
- Non-ownership of broadband
- Use of internet applications
- Three in ten people in England access government and council services online
- Half of all people in rural areas use the internet for online banking
- Using the internet to access health-related information is most popular in England
- Social networking
Telecoms and networks
- Fixed voice telephony and narrowband internet availability
- Broadband internet availability
- DSL broadband availability
- LLU broadband availability
- Urban households more than twice as likely as rural ones to be able to access LLU broadband services
- Map of LLU DSL availability reflects higher availability in urban areas
- Cable broadband availability
- England has the highest proportion of both urban and rural homes passed by Virgin Media's cable broadband network
- As with LLU DSL, cable broadband availability is concentrated in urban areas
- geographic coverage of 2G services
- geographic coverage of 3G services
- Service take-up
- Personal use of mobile phones, by age
- Cross-ownership of household telephony services
- Main method of making calls
- Type of mobile subscription
- 3G take-up
- Use of the internet to make phone calls (VoIP) higher in rural areas than in urban areas
- Satisfaction with telecoms services
- Satisfaction with value for money of fixed-line services
- Fixed broadband
- Overall satisfaction with mobile services
- Satisfaction with value for money of mobile services
- Satisfaction with mobile reception in England