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November 3, 2011

Ofcom reveals communications coverage, capacity in UK

Data shows considerably better household coverage compared with geographic coverage

By CBR Staff Writer

Ofcom has released digital communications coverage maps, as part of its first report on the UK’s communications infrastructure which the company is required to submit to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport every three years.

Ofcom’s report refers to the coverage and capacity of the UK’s fixed and mobile telephone networks and broadcasting networks.

Each of the 200 areas of the UK has been ranked according to a score given for coverage and color coded with green ranking highest and red lowest.

The new maps also include Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) coverage and Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radio coverage.

The report shows that DTT national coverage is 89% and DAB national coverage is 91% for public service broadcasting channels.

Ofcom’s data shows considerably better household coverage compared with geographic coverage. The maps show that 97% of premises and 66% of the UK landmass can receive a 2G signal outdoors from all four 2G networks.

For 3G, 73% of premises and 13% of the UK’s landmass can receive a signal outdoors from all five 3G networks, with lower coverage in less densely populated areas. he areas of lowest 3G geographic coverage are in the highlands of Scotland and mid-Wales which are both sparsely populated with hilly terrain.

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Residential fixed broadband customers are using on average 17 Gigabytes of data per month. This compares with mobile broadband demand which is on average 0.24 Gigabytes per month per connection.

Data from the London Internet Exchange shows that traffic over its network, which connects UK internet service providers, has increased seven fold in the past five years.

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