One In Seven Brits Lag 2Mbps Broadband Benchmark

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Around 14 percent of UK homes are missing out on the government’s minimum broadband access speed

An Ofcom survey published today shows 14 percent of customers with fixed broadband connections at the end of last year received speeds of less than 2Mbps, excluding superfast broadband connections.

An interactive broadband map has also been released, breaking the country down into 200 administrative areas. Each area has been ranked according to availability of superfast broadband, average broadband take-up, average actual speeds for ADSL and cable services averaged and the percentage of homes with broadband currently not receiving 2Mbit/s speeds.

London, Bristol and Edinburgh were among the highest in the country while the lowest included rural areas such as Rutland, Durham and Cumbria.

Rural challenges for broadband

The colour-coded map uses green for the highest and red for the lowest. It is clear that urban areas are far better served than rural ones. Huge swathes of Wales are coloured red.

Ofcom noted that low housing density in rural areas was making it cost prohibitive to build new superfast cable and fibre-based networks in these areas.

The government has set itself the target of providing the whole country with at least 2Mbps broadband by 2015. Last year, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was forced to revise the previous government’s target date of 2012.

Ofcom says some customers could improve speeds with changes to their in-home telephone wiring, and around 6 percent have the option to switch to a higher speed cable and fibre-based broadband service.

A picture of the UK’s broadband

Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said: “We are now developing a clear picture of the UK’s fixed broadband infrastructure and how it delivers for consumers. We hope that this information will stimulate further rollout of broadband infrastructure and better performance for households and businesses.”

Across the UK as a whole, 68 percent of UK premises have a fixed broadband connection, and the average maximum speed is 7.5Mbps, excluding superfast broadband connections.

Fifty eight percent of addresses are in areas served by a superfast broadband-enabled telephone exchange or cable network.

Ofcom hopes the data from the map will aid local authorities’ bids for government money to invest in broadband projects.

The map has been published following a government request for information on broadband availability, take-up and speeds in the UK.

Ofcom’s first infrastructure report is due to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport later this year. It is required to report on the UK’s broadband infrastructure every three years and the map is the first stage of it duties.

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