Ofcom has published its Connected Nations spring update, reporting that full-fibre broadband (FTTP/H) is now available to 48% of homes, up from 42% since January 2023.
Gigabit-capable broadband has reached 21.9 million homes (73%), an increase of 3% since the last update.
The number of houses that can't receive a 'decent' internet connection (10Mb download or higher) is slowly creeping down and sits at 68,000 premises, down from 80,000 in December 2022.
However, this number grows to 435,000 premises if you only look at fixed-line connections. The majority of these will be located in rural areas and represent some of the hardest-to-reach areas, meaning it will be a while yet until the whole country has access to what the Government deems 'decent' internet.
Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie, comments: “The UK has lagged behind on its broadband infrastructure for ages, and now comes 53rd in the world for speeds. This data shows there have been efforts made to upgrade our connections, but there is a long way to go.
“Nearly half of homes can now access full-fibre broadband, but the challenge will be to make it affordable to people. Providers need to ensure that people struggling on slow speeds know they can switch to a new, faster deal and may even pay less.
“There have been nearly a million new Gigabit-capable connections made since Ofcom’s last update, but with these packages often costing above £50 per month, consumers may be slow to take advantage of them.
“The number of homes unable to get ‘decent’ broadband has fallen again, which is welcome news on the whole. The reality, however, is that the Government defines ‘decent’ as 10Mb, which is becoming increasingly unworkable as homes become more connected to Wi-Fi enabled gadgets.
“With our growing digital demands and greater opportunities to work from home, the Government needs to reevaluate the speeds it should be aiming to achieve.
“More than 300,000 commercial premises are also unable to get these ‘decent’ speeds, leaving many businesses disadvantaged. This should also be a priority for the Government, as fast broadband is vital to growing small businesses.”
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