Ofcom Connected Nations and infrastructure reports 2020Gulistan Ladha
This year’s Connection Nations Report states that despite the high demand throughout the pandemic leading to significant changes to the use of their services, the fixed and mobile networks have coped well. A shift to more people being at home drove increased demand on daytime home broadband traffic, and mobile networks saw record numbers of calls made during the first UK-wide lockdown. Both broadband and mobile services have remained resilient as networks put in place measures to manage the extra demand.
- Gigabit-capable broadband is available to 7.9 million homes (27%).
- Full fibre broadband is available to 5.1 million homes (18%) which equates to 2.1 million more premises than a year ago – so far the highest year-on-year increase.
- Superfast broadband is available to 96% of homes and around 60% of premises that can get superfast broadband now take up this service.
- The universal broadband service is helping some people unable to get decent broadband but around 190,000 homes and businesses (0.6%) are still without access to a decent connection.
- The number of mobile base stations providing 5G services has risen ten-fold, to around 3,000 across the UK. 87% of these are in England, 7% in Scotland and 3% in both Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Mobile coverage is generally stable. The four mobile network operators each estimate they provide outdoor coverage to 98%-99% of premises. Their networks’ coverage of the UK landmass ranges from around 79% to around 85%. The Shared Rural Network programme agreed in March 2020 will extend coverage beyond this by 2025.