Faster internet connections reaching more homes than ever, Ofcom says

The telecoms regulator's latest Connected Nations report says quicker broadband and mobile services are now more widely available than ever.

More than 40% of homes across the UK can now access full fibre broadband as the rollout of the faster, more reliable internet technology continues across the UK, Ofcom has said.

The telecoms regulator’s latest Connected Nations report showed that 42% of UK homes – around 12 million properties – now have access to a full fibre connection, and 70% could receive a hyper-fast Gigabit-capable connection, up from 47% last year.

But Ofcom’s report notes that only around 25% of households are taking up these faster connections.

According to the report, around 80,000 homes and businesses in the UK – about 0.3% of properties – still do not have access to a “decent” broadband connection, although this has fallen from 123,000 last year.

Ofcom said it estimates that a further 15,000 of these premises will be covered by publicly-funded broadband schemes rolling out over the next year.

“Millions more people are benefitting from faster, more reliable internet as the rapid rollout of full-fibre broadband continues,” Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s network and communications group director, said.

“That can be particularly important at this time of year, as online shopping peaks and people stream festive favourites.

“It’s also encouraging to see more people in hard-to-reach areas get access to decent broadband, as work continues to connect rural communities.”

The rollout of 5G mobile services has also increased over the last 12 months, Ofcoms’s report says, estimating that around seven in 10 UK properties are now in areas where 5G connectivity is available from at least one mobile operator.

This is up from around half of households last year.

The number of 5G-capable mobile handsets has risen too, doubling in the last 12 months Ofcom says – while 5G traffic has trebled over the same period and now makes up almost 10% of all mobile traffic.