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Over a million UK homes still lack superfast broadband, says Ofcom

Despite process rolling out broadband, there is still a lot of improvements to make Ofcom report says.

By April Slattery

Millions of homes across the UK still struggle to receive good Broadband, despite efforts to boost the network, according to a new Ofcom report.

The Connected Nations report revealed that around 4% of properties still cannot get a broadband that is fast enough to meet their needs, despite the promise for full-fibre by the Government.

Although the number is still high, it is somewhat an improvement on last year, down from 1.6m homes last year to 1.1million homes this year.

“Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show there’s still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need,” said Steve Unger, Ofcom’s technology chief, in a statement.

Britons need for superfast broadband has increased as a result of the amount of data being carried across networks increasing, with a 52% jump compared to last year as the average home broadband connections carry almost 200GB of data each month.

Mobile network coverage is also an area of improvement, says Ofcom, as many users have weak signals when travelling across roads or railways. Such problems are currently being tackled by the Government as promises to have 4G across underground rails have been made.

Over a million UK homes still lack superfast broadband, Ofcom says

A further £500m will be invested into 5G and full-fibre from the Autumn Budget

However, although there is still much improvement, the coverage of 4G mobile network has improved with 58% of premises receiving signals compared to 40% last year.

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The recommended superfast broadband speed is of 30Mbps or more, which is not obtained by some households because they are in rural areas that lack proximity to broadband hotspots. The Government has repeatedly promised the UK will receive full-fibre broadband, with the aim to reach at least 95% of the UK by the end of this year.

Matt Hancock, Digital Minister, said: “In the coming months, we will be examining the market for investment in future connectivity in the UK, to ensure we have markets and regulations that encourage investment now and in the future.

“To build on what has been achieved so far, and make sure that the conditions are as good as they can be to maximise investment in full fibre and new technologies.”

The UK’s commitment to 5G and full-fibre broadband was reaffirmed as Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the Autumn Budget last month, pledging a further £500m to boost the rollout process of full-fibre across the UK.

Hammond said: “Not only will it drive productivity for businesses and consumers alike, 5G connectivity will enable driverless cars to become a reality on modern British roads and further transform the UK’s infrastructure with more consistent Wi-Fi speeds and mobile signal across all parts of the country.”

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How the Autumn Budget supports broadband rollout
4G future across the tube

The UK Government aspires to be a ‘world leader’ in full-fibre and 5G technology and though the results from Ofcom’s report are promising there is still much work to do.

At the annual Broadband Stakeholder Group meeting, Hancock assured attendees that the government is doing everything to boost the technology across the country, reinvested taxpayers money to networks to ensure everyone has the best broadband possible.

Hancock said: “This commitment to developing a full fibre Britain will make the country the best place in the world for a telecommunications company to invest because with full fibre comes the unlimited potential for business.”

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