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The Communications Market Report: Scotland

Scotland closes the broadband gap

Broadband take-up in Scotland has risen faster than any other UK nation over the last year, jumping 7 percentage points over 2011.

Sixty-eight per cent of homes in Scotland now have broadband, up from 61% a year earlier.

The rise was driven by increased take-up of both fixed broadband (57% to 64%) and mobile broadband (9% to 12%) between the start of 2011 and 2012.

In last years report, Scotlands broadband take-up was 13 percentage points lower than the UK average of 74% and the lowest of all the UK nations.

This year it is 8 percentage points lower than the UK average of 76%, on a par with Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scottish consumers are also much more satisfied with the speed of their fixed broadband service, with satisfaction levels rising by 12 percentage points to 85%. This returns satisfaction levels to what they were in 2009.

There is evidence of more home grown TV productions being made in Scotland

First-run productions by the five main PSB channels accounted for 4.9% of expenditure of originated network programming, up from 4.6% in 2010.

Producers in Scotland delivered 6.8% of all first-run originated network hours on the five main PSB channels in 2011, up from 4.6% in 2010.

However, year on year, spend by public service broadcasters on first-run originated programming for viewers in Scotland was down 2% to 53m.

For the first time, Ofcom reports on the postal market following its new responsibilities under the Postal Services Act 2011.

In Scotland, fewer consumers (51%) claim to send items of post regularly than the UK average of 58%.

Forty per cent of adults agree that they prefer to send e-mails rather than letters whenever possible, slightly higher than the UK average (38%) and a much higher than in Wales (27%) and Northern Ireland (30%).

Vicki Nash, Director of Ofcom Scotland, said: Last years report found there was a risk of Scotland being left behind in terms of broadband take-up.

'This year the picture is much healthier with Scotland closing the gap on the other nations'

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  Annex A: Adults' media literacy in the nations

People in Scotland watch more TV (4.5 hours per day) than the UK average (4 hours).

Some 44% of homes have satellite on their main set. Penetration is higher in rural areas (54%) where cable services have lower availability.

Almost half (47%) of homes in Scotland say they have high definition TV (HDTV) channels, five percentage points above the UK average of 42%.

HDTV take-up is particularly high in Scotlands rural areas, where over half (53%) of homes claim to have HDTV channels.

Four per cent of TV households in Scotland own a smart TV, on par with the UK average.

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Adults in Scotland listen to an average of 21.4 hours of radio each week, the lowest across all of the UK nations.

Scots are more likely to listen to commercial radio.

Local and national commercial stations accounted for 53% of listening share, the highest in all the UK nations and 6 percentage points higher than the UK average.

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Broadband take-up in Scotland has risen faster than any other UK nation over the last year (from 61% to 68%).

Take-up in the Greater Glasgow area, which had been particularly low, increased from 50% to 60% between the start of 2011 and 2012.

Only one in three (33%) Scottish households earning less than 17.5k per year have broadband internet access, in contrast to the rest of the UK where more than half (56%) of the equivalent households have taken up broadband.

Eleven per cent of households in Scotland own a tablet computer, on par with the UK average.

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Lady on the phone

Household fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband availability in Scotland was the lowest among the UK nations in March 2012, at 10%. This was 21 percentage points lower than the UK average (31%).

Forty-two per cent of homes in Scotland had superfast broadband services available to them by March 2012. This was the second lowest proportion across the UK nations after Wales (34%).

Some 68% of Scottish premises have mobile coverage from every 3G operator, higher than both Wales (52.4%) and Northern Ireland (55.9%) but lower than the UK average.

Over one-quarter (28%) of the geographical area of Scotland has no 2G mobile coverage from any operator, which is the highest of the four nations.

However, by premises, 99.2% of Scottish homes are served by at least one 2G operator.

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People in Scotland send the lowest average number of letters and cards per month (2.5 compared to the UK average of 3.1).

Almost half of consumers in Scotland (49%) use First Class stamps all the time.

But fewer consumers (51%) claim to send items of post regularly than the UK average of 58%.

Forty per cent of adults agree that they prefer to send e-mails rather than letters whenever possible, slightly higher than the UK average (38%) and a much higher than in Wales (27%) and Northern Ireland (30%).

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Scotland's Communication Market 

Television and audio-visual content

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