- There are areas in geographic folds that suffer poor FM radio reception, never mind the pockets which don’t have any (or indoor) DAB reception.
- Freeview coverage isn’t total, and is unlikely to significantly improve until digital switchover can start in NI around 2012.
- As well as problems of cost/age/interest that prevent some households from investing in computers and broadband, there are also commercial and technical availability constraints that mean that cable and broadband/DSL doesn’t pass by everyone’s front door or farm yard.
When it comes to mobile, GSM (and GPRS) mobile coverage reaches a lot of parts it didn’t ten years ago. But 3G is a different story.
There’s a real divide. Living in or commuting between some post codes - like Greater Belfast - you’ll think 3G is ubiquitous. Live elsewhere and maybe one or more likely zero providers will cover your area.
I’ve cut out Northern Ireland so you can make some basic comparisons. Purple indicates areas with outdoor coverage that met the technical criteria behind Ofcom’s assumptions. (They’re listed in alphabetical order of company, rather than by percentage coverage.)