50% of UK households can now access full-fibre broadband

Latest Ofcom figures show big increase in our ability to access to gigabit-speed internet, right across the UK. 

New figures published by regulator Ofcom show that significant progress has been made on the government’s Project Gigabit, which aims to ensure we can all access fast and reliable broadband.

lan, network, computer

Full-fibre connections and upgraded cable networks can deliver download speeds of 1 gigabit per second or higher, which is increasingly needed in the ways we do business, communicate and enjoy entertainment. 

Ofcom’s newly ‘Connected Nations’ spring update shows that in January this year, some 14m households – or 48% of UK – could access full-fibre broadband delivered via fibreoptic cables. This was an increase of some 5.5m from the same time the previous year. 

Progress has continued since then and the figure passed 50% in March. It’s thought we’ll reach 80% by 2025. 

As a sign of how far we’ve come, in 2018 the figure was just 6%. 

Ofcom’s figures show that gigabit broadband is now available to nearly 22 million UK homes (73%) via full-fibre and other technologies. That’s a rise on 66% from the same time last year. 

5G mobile coverage also continues to grow, with 82% of UK household able to get a 5G signal outdoors – up from about 50% last year. 

The number of premises unable to get good broadband has seen a corresponding fall. Ofcom defines a ‘decent’ broadband connection as a download speed of 10 Mbit/s and an upload speed of 1 Mbit/s. Last year, 99,500 households could not access this basic level; this year, 68,000 households have yet to benefit from good connections. 

Lindsey Fussell, Group Director of Network and Communications at Ofcom, said earlier this year that the rapid roll-out of fibreoptic infrastructure was due to, ‘Healthy, effective competition’ between different broadband companies. 

‘Competition is the force that is driving better broadband for everyone. By promoting it, and keeping it fair and effective, we can help secure the UK’s digital future.’

In related news, last month Ofcom warned that millions of people in low-income households in the UK miss out on broadband deals that could save them £200 each year.

Photo by MediaDS.


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