A million homes can’t get decent broadband, watchdog warns

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has decided not to force BT to sell off its broadband business.

Greater than one million houses and companies within the UK can’t get respectable broadband, the communications regulator has reported.

Though protection is enhancing, Ofcom discovered that 1.1 million – roughly four% of properties within the UK – had been caught with speeds under 10 megabits per second.

The quantity has fallen from 1.6 million final yr, Ofcom stated in its Linked Nations 2017 report.

Nevertheless it added: “In too many areas protection remains to be poor, broadband speeds are gradual, and cellular providers are unreliable or not obtainable.”

This was significantly damaging for 230,000 small companies which weren’t in a position to get a very good connection to the web.

For home web customers in rural areas the dearth of protection was important, with 17% of houses not gaining access to good web speeds – in comparison with simply 2% of houses in city areas.

Ofcom’s chief know-how officer, Steve Unger, stated: “Broadband protection is enhancing, however our findings present there’s nonetheless pressing work required earlier than individuals and companies get the providers they want.

“Everybody ought to have good entry to the web, wherever they dwell and work.

“So we’re supporting plans for common broadband, and selling funding in full-fibre know-how that may present ultra-fast, dependable connections.”

Comparison of download speeds. Pic: Ofcom
Comparability of obtain speeds. Pic: Ofcom

Ofcom is trying to advertise funding in full-fibre networks, though that is at present solely obtainable to three% of houses.

The minister for digital, Matt Hancock MP, stated: “We may have taken superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by the tip of the yr however we’re not complacent and there’s extra work to be executed.

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“We’re ensuring that by 2020, each house and enterprise within the UK may have entry to dependable, excessive pace broadband.

“There’s additionally a transparent want for speedy enchancment on cellular protection. We have lately eliminated outdated restrictions, giving cellular operators extra freedom to enhance their networks together with hard-to-reach rural areas.

“However business must play their half too via continued funding and enchancment of their networks, ensuring that prospects will not be paying for providers they do not obtain.”

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