Wales has lowest level of superfast broadband adoption but comes top for mobile Internet access

Wales has the lowest level of superfast broadband adoption in the UK, with households instead opting to use mobile devices to access online services.

According to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, only 48 per cent of premises in Wales have access to superfast broadband, with the UK average sitting at 73 per cent.

"This report is obviously backward-looking and there's no doubt at all that in availability of superfast broadband, and certainly 3G mobile telephones, Wales has been playing catch-up - especially in the more rural, sparsely-populated parts of Wales which have been under-served,” said Rhodri Williams, Ofcom’s director for Wales.

The Welsh government’s Superfast Cymru scheme hopes to remedy this shortfall in superfast broadband access, as it attempts to bring access to 96 per cent of the country by 2016.

Welsh households are far from sheepish when it comes to buying and using mobile phones, however, with 23 per cent of households having just a mobile – compared with the UK average of 15 per cent.

Indeed, 9 per cent of consumers in Wales access the Internet exclusively through a mobile device, which is over double the UK average of 4 percent and the highest of any of the UK’s devolved nations.

Williams added: "Wales remains at the forefront when it comes to mobile-only homes and it is encouraging to see rural Wales leading the way in smartphone ownership, a trend set to continue with the imminent rollout of 4G services across the UK."

The UK government sees 4G access as the future and has been encouraging heavy investment in the next generation of high-speed mobile Internet access. Ofcom reported only this week that 4G services will be available to 98 per cent of the UK by 2017.

Photo credit: Flickr (What What)