One million UK homes still without decent broadband signal

More than a million UK homes are still unable to get a 'decent' broadband signal, new research from Ofcom claims.

The regulator said 1.4 million homes remain unable to receive broadband speeds over 10 megabits per second (Mbit/s), the speed Ofcom says is required in a typical home to meet a household’s digital needs.

However, Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2016 report did find that a million more homes than last year could now access such speeds.

The Government has pledged to make broadband a universal service that gives everyone a right to access 10 Mbit/s speeds, a scheme Ofcom is advising on.

The report also announced discussions with mobile operators, urging them to do more to improve 4G mobile data coverage in the UK.

Steve Unger, Ofcom Group Director, said: “Mobile and broadband coverage continued to grow this year, but too many people and businesses are still struggling for a good service. We think that is unacceptable.

“So we’re challenging mobile operators to go beyond built-up areas and provide coverage across the UK’s countryside and transport networks.”

Mobile giant EE has already pledged to bring 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK landmass by 2020.

“Today we’ve also provided technical advice to support the Government’s plans for universal, decent broadband,” Unger said, referring to information the Government requested earlier this year.

Ofcom has offered three potential scenarios in response - a standard broadband offering the 10 Mbit/s, a more highly specified version of the service that also includes 1Mbit/s upload speeds, or a superfast broadband standard involving 30 Mbit/s speeds.

Ofcom said it would monitor the universal service and recommend minimum speed to increase when necessary.

The regulator’s report also said that the coverage and quality of broadband in the UK has increased in the last year, with the average download speeds rising by 28 per cent, while nearly a third of homes (31 per cent) are now using superfast broadband with download speeds of 30 Mbit/s or higher. 

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