Ofcom’s 2017 Connected Nations ReportSarah Shepherd
The 2017 Ofcom Connected Nations Report, published December 15th, once again sets out the year’s main developments for both fixed and mobile networks’ performance as well as coverage.
Ofcom headlines the fact that 1.1 m UK homes and business (4% of properties) cannot get decent broadband – defined as having a download speed of 10Mbps. To address this, the government today announced that it will be mandating a regulatory Universal Service Obligation to make high speed broadband a legal right by 2020.
Whilst coverage of superfast (30Mbps) broadband is up on last year’s figure to 91%, the figures are based on May-June 2017 data and as such are already out of date – current government figures put coverage at 94+%. And whilst more people are subscribing to the faster speeds on offer, take up still stands at only 38% – an upwards jump of 7%.
Full fibre too is seeing upwards movement in deployment, yet reaches only 3% of premises, something the government is particularly keen to address.
As far as mobile data usage goes, the increasing take up of 4G across the UK is driving greater data usage, with average volumes consumed now standing at 1.9GB per month per subscriber. Despite this 46% jump in consumption the monthly total volumes of data sent over mobile networks remains a fraction of that (a mere 4%) sent over fixed.
The report reveals variances in coverage not just across the nations, but also between urban and rural areas, with rural areas still faring worse for both speed and access.
Steve Unger, Chief Technology Officer at Ofcom, noted: “Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show that there’s still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need”.