Broadband speeds increasing across UK, says Ofcom
Average broadband speeds in the UK are on the rise, according to new research from Ofcom.
The regulator’s annual report into home broadband performance found that average download speeds have risen 28% over the last year.
Ofcom said the main driver of the increase was people upgrading to superfast services.
Average speeds were clocked up of 46.2 Mbit/s, well above Ofcom’s definition of superfast broadband, which is a minimum download speed of 30 Mbit/s.
The findings, gathered in November 2017, also urged consumers to look into upgrading their broadband package, with Ofcom stating only two in five UK households subscribed to a superfast broadband service despite 93% of UK premises now having access to superfast speeds.
Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at comparison site uSwitch.com, said more needed to be done to help consumers receive better internet speeds.
“Ofcom’s report on the state of the nation’s broadband speeds shows that the UK’s connectivity is moving in the right direction,” he said.
“It’s positive to see the top line improvements painted by this report, but let’s be clear – there are still two in five households that remain on slower, less reliable ADSL services. There will be many consumers still reporting real frustrations with their broadband.
“We have been saying for years that consumers need to be brought along on the journey to faster and more reliable broadband services. With some superfast services actually costing less than standard broadband, consumers could upgrade and still save money.
“Surely it’s high time for the industry to step up and do more to give all consumers the tools, information and confidence to upgrade.”
Alongside the broadband results, Ofcom also released figures on mobile phone habits in the UK, following a survey of 5,000 people who installed a research app on their device.
The research showed that using a smartphone for browsing the internet was seen as more important than making calls for people in the UK, with 92% of those asked rating web access as very or extremely important, compared with 75% for making phone calls.
The report also showed that three-quarters of the time, users connected to the internet on their smartphone using Wi-Fi rather than a cellular network.
It also said 84% of those surveyed were satisfied with the overall network performance of their mobile provider.
Responding to the broadband figures, Minister for Digital Margot James said: “The Government’s rollout of broadband has transformed the UK’s digital landscape, with 19 out of 20 homes and businesses now able to get superfast speeds.
“It’s fantastic to see more and more people signing up for faster connections, and I encourage everyone to contact their broadband provider, or a comparison website, and check if they’re able to upgrade.”