Keep on taking the tablets

Published Thursday, 01 August 2013
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Tablet computers are only a few years in existence, but already one in three homes in Northern Ireland possesses one. That's higher than the UK as a whole where the proportion is one in four ...

It's not clear why these devices are more popular in this part of the world, but there's no doubt the widespread availability of internet services here has hastened the uptake.

Four in five homes are connected to the internet. That's up seven percentage points on the year and puts Northern Ireland on a par with the rest of the UK. On superfast broadband the performance is even better. Availability is the highest in the UK.

Mobile phone take up is actually slightly greater here than in the rest of the country but interestingly smartphone popularity lags a little way behind the national average. This may reflect the quality of coverage. Three in four mobile users here say they have faced problems with coverage compared with one in two across the UK

These figures have emerged in the latest report from the communications regulator Ofcom. It has a wealth of information about not just about access to the internet but also on our listening and viewing habits.

Northern Ireland stands out for popularity of local radio stations. We are addicted to local voices both on commercial and BBC stations. The implication of that for national listening is quite stark. The proportion of people listening to the BBC radio network here is about half what it is across the rest of the UK. Even in Scotland where you might imagine local voices to be popular, BBC national stations are listened to one and a half times more than here.

But of course we can't let any discussion of viewing pass without a reference to teatime news viewing. UTV attracts one of the highest rates of viewership for local news across the UK. In only three regions is its record beaten. And no, Northern Ireland isn't one of those regions.

© UTV News
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Jamie Delargy
Jamie Delargy

Jamie Delargy is UTV's Business Editor with a keen eye on local and global economic issues.

A Cambridge Philosophy graduate, Jamie had a brief spell in teaching before launching his career in journalism. In his spare time he enjoys a spot of tennis and is an avid reader.

His favourite saying is "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

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