Thought you had a grasp on the UK's technological landscape? Think again...
In a deeply revealing report regulator Ofcom has announced some remarkable statistics about the UK's digital life, most stunning of which is the rise of the rural technocrat.
According to the statistics gathered for 2007, 59 per cent of households in designated rural areas are now equipped with broadband connections compared to just 57 per cent of urban homes. This represents a vast swing since the introduction of broadband in 2000 when city centres were the first areas to benefit. Despite this shift, the overall picture does show a leap from 45 per cent across the Home Nations just 12 months ago.
As for digital television, the UK fairs even better with 85 per cent market penetration overall (up 10 per cent on 2006) while digital radio take-up is at just 22 per cent, increasing a mere three per cent on last year. Moving onto the mobile phone, 12 per cent of home have now given up the landline entirely with Wales (28 per cent), the county of Greater Manchester and the city of Derry (both 27 per cent) showing the highest levels of distaste for BT.
As for newer technologies like VoIP, online TV and 3G mobile phones Aberdeen (26 per cent), Edinburgh (45 per cent) and Dundee (29 per cent) rather humorously came top in these money saving categories respectively enhancing the Scots' reputation for a 'bargain'.
Most bizarrely however (and as a Geordie I grit my teeth at this) Sunderland is reported to be the most connected part of the UK with 66 per cent of the population having broadband and 96 per cent using digital TV (*takes deep breath, avoids bitchy comment*). By contrast Glasgow is our most technologically backward broadband area with just 32 per cent having tossed away the old dial-up modem, while Northern Ireland (at 79 per cent) comes bottom of the digital TV switch. London scored highly in all categories without winning any.
Just you wait 'til those lawyers, bankers and brokers get their bonuses...