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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2005, 16:34 GMT
Broadcasting: Facts behind the fiction
All the drama-documentaries in the IF series are based on rigorous journalism and research.

Here are just some facts surrounding the issues of digital television and broadcasting in the UK.

    BBC Two
    Monday, 21 March, 2005
    2320 GMT

    In Britain we each spend an average of more than 50 hours every week watching television, listening to the radio and using the internet, compared to only 30 minutes reading books and 50 minutes reading newspapers and magazines.
    (Source: BBC Daily Life Survey, 2002/3; Nielsen Net Ratings/Oftel/Forrester, 2003; Screen Digest, "The Media File to 2010", 2001)

  • Multi-channel viewing is increasing: BBC One and ITV1 have declined by 22% and 41% respectively since 1993.

  • Turnout in the last general election, in 2001, was 59%, the lowest since 1918. Only 39% of those aged between 18 and 34 voted.
    (Source: Electoral Commission)

  • By contrast, 8.6 million people voted in the final week of Big Brother 2002.

  • The first steps towards electronic voting were taken in the May 2002 England local elections.
    (Source: Electoral Commission)

  • In 2004, nearly four million homes had access to a broadband connection. By 2016, this is estimated to rise to between 15 and 20 million homes.
    (Sources: Ofcom, The Ofcom Internet and Broadband Update, 2004

  • More than 50% of UK adults now have internet access at home. 25% of these adults now connect to the internet using broadband.

  • The UK has a greater percentage of digital households than another country - 53% (more than 13 million) of UK households.
    (Source: Ofcom, figure by 31 March 2004; and Barry Cox, Free for All)

  • A further 4% of households subscribe to analogue cable, bringing the total number of households receiving some form of multi-channel television to almost 57%.
    (Source: Ofcom; ntl results Q1 2004; Telewest Broadband results Q1 2004)

  • The government aims to switch off the analogue signal in 2012.

  • The BBC licence fee raised 2.8 billion in 2003-4 and is set to continue until 2012. It will cost 126.50 a year from April 2005. The government is considering future alternatives to the licence fee.

  • Ofcom was set up in 2003. It has a budget of 145m for 2004 - 2005. It regulates television, radio and telephones, but not the internet.

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