Economy

Ofcom Says More Needs To Be Done On Broadband, Mobile Coverage

Ofcom Says More Needs To Be Done On Broadband, Mobile Coverage”

Just over a million premises in Blighty, or 4 per cent of properties, can not get speeds of 10Mpbs, according to a comprehensive report by regulator Ofcom.

The regulator said the number of properties with superfast broadband - the government's target of speeds of 30Mbps or more - had risen from about 30% to 40%.

The number has fallen from 1.6 million previous year, Ofcom said in its Connected Nations 2017 report. It said 17% of homes were not getting decent internet, compared with 2% in cities and towns.

The minister for digital, Matt Hancock MP, said: "We will have taken superfast broadband to 95% of the United Kingdom by the end of the year but we are not complacent and there is more work to be done".

"Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show there's still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need", said Chief Technology Officer Steve Unger.

He said that the watchdog was "supporting plans for universal broadband, and promoting investment in full-fibre technology that can provide ultrafast, reliable connections".

Just 3 per cent of properties in the United Kingdom have access to full fibre broadband, where fibre optic cables are directed to the building, instead of relying on telephone exchanges or local street cabinets, up from 2 per cent the previous year.

The government is considering whether to accept BT's voluntary offer to connect 98.5 per cent of premises to speeds of 10Mbps by 2020, rising to 99 per cent by 2022, as opposed to a mandatory 100 per cent. BT has said it will cost around £600m, which it will recoup by further hiking everyone's broadband bill.

The research also found that almost six in ten households and offices can now receive an indoor 4G mobile signal from all four major networks, up from 40 per cent previous year.

Ofcom also found that although 58 percent of the United Kingdom population can now get indoor 4G, up from 40 percent, it was concerned that just 43 percent could get 4G from all four major operators and that coverage on trains, roads and in rural areas was still poor.

For calls and text messaging, only 30 per cent of the UK's properties now do not receive a signal from all four operators - down from 37 per cent previous year.

"While it's good to see superfast coverage has continued to improve, half a million businesses still don't have access to superfast broadband".

Unger added: "People have never relied so much on their phones in daily life".

"The public and our economy depend on mobile coverage that allows people to call, text or get online wherever they are", he said.



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