Ofcom finds Northern Ireland leads on super-fast broadband
Super-fast broadband availability is higher in Northern Ireland than any other UK nation, according to Ofcom's 2012 Communications Market Report.
The telecoms industry watchdog revealed 94 per cent of properties in Northern Ireland have access to fibre optic broadband services, compared to the UK average of 60 per cent.
Technology is having a major impact on Northern Irish consumers, the regulator said, with almost three-quarters of broadband users making online purchases and two-thirds accessing social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Jonathan Rose, Ofcom's director for Northern Ireland, said: "Significant investment by the Executive and the telecoms companies has put Northern Ireland in an enviable position and provides significant opportunities for consumers and businesses."
Ofcom also found broadband uptake is rising faster in Scotland than the rest of the UK, with an increase of seven percentage points recorded during 2011.
Some 68 per cent of Scottish homes now have a broadband connection, while fixed broadband penetration climbed from 57 to 64 per cent.
This upturn means Scotland is closing the divide on the rest of the country. The gap in broadband take-up now stands at eight percentage points, down from 13 percentage points last year.