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1.1 million UK homes and businesses can’t connect to ‘decent broadband’

Manny Pham
December 18, 2017

The average UK home consumes 190GB of data per month

Around 1.1 million UK homes and businesses are unable to connect to a good broadband connection, according to an Ofcom report.

The report was posted today (Dec 18) by the regulatory body. The report focused on premises that are unable to receive 10Mbps and 1Mbps, download and upload speeds respectively.

Although the figure has fallen from 1.6 million in 2016. Rural areas are the worse to access broadband connections, around 17 per cent of rural premises do not meet decent levels, compared to two per cent in urban areas.

Full-fibre broadband is now available to three per cent of homes and businesses, which is up from two per cent year-on-year. Ofcom expects this figure to grow after a number of network operators announced plans to build new networks.

According to Ofcom superfast broadband (30Mbps download speed) was available to 91pc of premises by May 2017, up from 89pc. Broadband networks saw data traffic increase 52pc year-on-year. The average UK carries over 190GB of data per month.

Around 11.2 million broadband customers have bought superfast connections, the figure is up from 9.1 million. Small and medium-enterprises take up 1.9 million of that figure, making SME adoption rates up 81pc.

But around 230,000 SMEs are unable to connect to a decent broadband connection.

Steps for improvement

Ofcom is also taking a range of steps to help improve broadband coverage and speeds, including:

1. Promoting industry-wide investment in full-fibre networks. These connections can deliver far quicker, more reliable broadband. Ofcom is making it easier and cheaper for competitors to lay their own ultrafast networks using BT’s network of telegraph poles and underground ducts.

2. Supporting plans for universal broadband. Ofcom has provided technical advice to the Government on its plans for homes and businesses across the country – including in rural and remote areas – to have the right to request a broadband connection with a download speed of at least 10 Mbit/s, and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbit/s.

3. Ensuring better information for customers. Broadband shoppers must receive better information about speeds before they commit to a contract, and can walk away from their contract if speeds fall below a guaranteed minimum. New protections were set out by Ofcom in October.

Ofcom chief technology officer Steve Unger said: “Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show there’s still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need.

“Everyone should have good access to the internet, wherever they live and work. So we are supporting plans for universal broadband, and promoting investment in full-fibre technology that can provide ultrafast, reliable connections.”


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