In an Ofcom study during Q4 of 2016, the telcoms regulator identified 1.4m UK households are still without reliable internet connectivity! In modern life, broadband is no-longer a nicety, it’s essential for our digital lives to develop, such as video-calling friends etc.
For those that may not be aware, Ofcom have previously announced that the national minimum download speed is 10Mb/second. Interestingly, the total number of properties in 2016 without 10Mbps broadband has fallen 42% since the end of 2015. This equates to 2.4m with slow broadband! “Too many people and businesses are still struggling for a good service – we think that is unacceptable.” said Steve Unger, Group Director, Ofcom.
Ofcom’s annual Connected Nations report into the state of the UK’s telecoms and mobile networks did find there has been significant improvement in recent years allowing the digital “have-nots” to join the high-speed broadband revolution – credit to Major Network Operators (MNOs) for investing in their infrastructure.
Matt Hancock, the Digital and Culture Minister stated, “We have made good progress but more needs to be done to help make sure we build a country that works for everyone. We’re driving up mobile coverage and the Universal Service Obligation we are taking through parliament, alongside the £1bn for full fibre and 5G in the autumn statement will do exactly this, by further boosting mobile coverage and delivering fast, reliable broadband to people struggling with slow speeds.”
The ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association) which represents companies including BT, Virgin Media and Sky have suggested the roll-out of super-fast broadband to all households comes with significant costs. “As an industry, we understand the frustrations of those who still receive slow speeds. Our members have worked hard to reduce the number of premises with speeds of less than 10Mbps, however, reaching the final 5% requires significant additional investment.” ISPA warned that based on Ofcom research it could cost up to £1.1bn to enable faster speed services to reach all households, which could see household bills rise by £20pa.
Ofcom painted a mixed picture of the progress on the 4G mobile phone coverage. On one hand, the proportion of premises that can now receive a 4G mobile signal indoors from all four networks – EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three – has risen from 28% to 72%, however, availability of 4G coverage geographically across the UK overall remains low. Many people in rural areas, as well as those travelling by car and train, continue to suffer from poor mobile signals. Total geographic 4G coverage, where the signal is available from all four operators, is still only available across just over 40% of the UK. (This is, at least, up from the 8% recorded in 2015, so there has been evidence of investment.)
Unger said, “We’re challenging mobile operators to go beyond built-up areas and provide coverage across the UK’s countryside and transport networks.”
A Communications Specialist from Tardis 4G has suggested, “With the ever-growing need for super-fast broadband connectivity in homes, new homes and office space, it comes as great news that the roll-out of 5G is going to be better equipped for installation to cope with the increased demand. An area of our business that has grown in recent years is the number of New Home WiFi connections but it’s important to note of the 1.4m homes with slow broadband, none are new homes.”
For those they may not know, Tardis 4G is the UK’s leading Rapid Response Broadband Partner and specifically for the new homes market, we support many of the National House Builders meaning the reputations of companies like Countryside Properties remain safe as they can GUARANTEE a broadband connection in any new property. Customer reviews have improved and sales have increased for them in Q4 last year.
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