Blog: Don’t be a plug when you want to get connected
30 September 2013
You might think that as a company where one of its core services is connecting businesses in many different ways, to the internet, other locations, data or Cloud services, that we would welcome with open arms the ability to sell more of what we do well in more places more of the time. And of course we do.
That’s why we pay close attention and contribute when we can to the many discussions and debates in political and public circles around how poorly off the UK and in particular Scotland is with regards to getting connected to the Internet. Ubiquitous connectivity (think getting connected how you want to rather than how someone says you should), the ability to get the same high speed, reliable connectivity experience almost regardless of where you are and what you are doing, has been at the forefront of many of these discussions.
The challenge is however must be to deliver a sustainable expectation in a changing world.
Currently the technology needed to wire in every one at a same base line speed, let’s say 8Mbit/s as this is approximately the average UK broadband speed and you need around 5Mbit/s to stream live HD TV, regardless of where you are in Scotland does not exist in an affordable manner. Yes we can fund projects, schemes and initiatives which connect up not spots or indeed improves connectivity to areas which are below this base but the true costs of these investment to this level over a long period of operation is massive. Indeed I would argue that if it wasn’t the investment would have already been made by the private sector with no need for government funding or support. But largely these schemes are all about being wired and plugged in to something in the wall.
You won’t be surprised that usage of the internet is changing rapidly with regards when and where users want access and the devices used to do so. You may be surprised however to hear that while Scotland is slightly behind the UK average of home broadband take up (68% vs 75%) and smartphone ownership (51% vs 45%) we are ahead of the rest of the UK in the usage of smartphone for visiting websites (50% compared to 39%), accessing email (45% compared to 37%), and social networking (44% compared to 37%). We are also on a par with the rest of the UK for tablet ownership and usage and across all these area in front of or at the same level as the leading other European nations. *OFCOM Report http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2013/08/01/mobile-internet-use-grows-in-scotland/
This means that as a geographical area and a population we are right up there with the next guy, I just hope we don’t lose this position while looking for somewhere to plug in to.