According to latest data from Ofcom, superfast broadband in the UK is still patchy with many households and businesses still not having access to 2Mbps broadband.
The report found that average download speeds in the UK are 23 megabits per second (Mbps). But unfortunately, about 3 per cent of premises still do not have access to basic broadband of 2 Mbps, while 15 per cent still fail to access the 10 Mbps speed which is deemed as the usual requirement for a typical household these days. Around 18 percent of the households don’t bother with any home internet access at all, Ofcom noted.
According to the regulator, almost half of the UK’s small and medium-sized companies do not have access to superfast broadband. Only 56 per cent of SMEs have superfast broadband access as compared to 75 per cent of overall UK premises.
Furthermore, Ofcom found that the number of UK homes with a TV set has fallen for the very first time as Brits have started watching programmes online – on gadgets, computers and tablets.
The telecom regulator revealed that there are now around one million homes with broadband but no TV, while only 18 per cent of households have no home internet access.
More than a third of people now make phone calls over the internet using “voice over IP” services, such as Skype or Apple Facetime, up from 35 per cent last year.
Commenting on the report, Ed Richards, Ofcom CEO, said “Digital infrastructure is crucial to the UK’s future. As a country we are continuing to make real progress, particularly in the roll out and take-up of superfast broadband and 4G mobile services.”
“But there is more to be done. We need to continue asking whether collectively we are doing enough to build the infrastructure of the future, and to maintain the competition that benefits consumers and businesses.”
“The way consumers interact with their TV, phone and broadband is changing as fast as technology is evolving. Our challenge is to keep supporting competition and innovation, while also helping to improve coverage across the country – particularly in hard-to-reach areas where mobile and home internet services need to improve.”
In addition, Ofcom has also rolled out an interactive online map tool that will allow Brits to assess the broadband, mobile and TV services coverage in their areas.
The report also found that UK households and small business firms are now downloading an average of 53GB of data a month on their fixed-line connections, equivalent of 35 feature films a month, a 77 per cent increase on last year. An average mobile owner’s data usage has gone up 46 per cent since last year to about 1.5 GB per year.