Over 1m United Kingdom homes and businesses without decent broadband

by Frankie Norman December 19, 2017, 0:22
Over 1m United Kingdom homes and businesses without decent broadband

However, the regulator found that 91 percent of premises, or 26.7 million households, have access to at least 30Mbps, up from 89 percent previous year.

Urgent action is required by the United Kingdom communications watchdog to tackle "deplorable" mobile phone coverage, the head of the government's infrastructure adviser has warned.

The average amount of data carried across United Kingdom networks grew by 52% during that period.

"Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show there's still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need", said Steve Unger, Ofcom's technology chief, in a statement. The average mobile user consumes 1.9GB of data per month, up from 1.3GB previous year.

Standard needs are defined as a download speed of at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) - the rate at which data is downloaded and uploaded over an internet connection - and an upload speed of a minimum of 1Mbps.

At these speeds, downloading a high-definition movie could take up to 90 minutes, said Ofcom, if no one else was using that link to the net.

Ofcom recently reported that FFTP penetration was just 3 per cent, which according to the rankings puts the United Kingdom in second last place - ahead of Nigeria, which now has 2 per cent FTTP penetration.

The 10 down/one up split is the specification for Ofcom's proposed universal service offering - which every property in the United Kingdom should be able to receive, it said.

Superfast broadband - defined as a download speed of 30Mbit/s or more - was available to 85% of Northern Ireland homes and small businesses by May 2017, up from 83% a year earlier. The report, however, would suggest that a speed of around 10mbps is about what most should achieve.

The annual report outlines progress on the availability and take-up of broadband and mobile services.

The communications watchdog now defines this as broadband offering a download speed of at least 10Mbit/s, with an upload speed of at least 1Mbit/s - although it expects these requirements to increase over time.

Now, about 58% of premises can get a 4G signal indoors - up from 40% in 2016. "We've removed outdated restrictions, giving mobile operators more freedom to improve their networks including hard-to-reach rural areas", he said. "Total" geographic 4G coverage, where reception is available from all four mobile operators, is available across just 43 per cent of the UK's landmass.

Lord Adonis, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), has today written to Ofcom urging it to address the UK's "deplorable" mobile phone coverage.

These consumers risk being left behind as more people upgrade to fibre and 4G on mobile and have near-permanent fast access to online services and entertainment.


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