Yorkshire

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Average UK broadband speed slower than most of Europe, report finds

Britain is a broadband laggard with an average speed ranking it 31st in the world trailing most of Europe, Thailand and New Zealand. A new report has found that across the UK the average broadband download speed is 16.5Mbps, at which it takes about an hour to download a lengthy Hollywood film such as Lord of the Rings or an entire TV box set.

The average speed in the UK is less than a third that of Singapore, which tops the global league table measuring broadband in 189 countries, where it takes an average of 18 minutes to download a 7.5Gb film.

The UK falls well short of the average speeds enjoyed by European countries including Germany (18.8Mbps), Spain (19.6Mbps), Sweden (40Mbps) and Hungary (23Mbps). Outside Europe, the UK is bettered by nations including the US (20Mbps), Canada (18Mbps) and New Zealand (16.6Mbps). The report found that overall the UK lags behind 19 European countries, 17 of them in the European Union.

“These results offer us a fresh perspective on where we sit in the broadband world,” says Dan Howdle, consumer and telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, which produced the report. “Relatively speaking, we are near the top of the table. However, many of those ahead of us, some a long way ahead, are our neighbours both in the European Union and wider Europe.

Is it good enough to lag behind 20 other European countries in terms of broadband speed?”

Major European countries that fared worse than the UK include France, which ranked 37th, and Italy at 46th.

Ofcom has set a goal of delivering a minimum of 10Mb broadband to all UK households. This is the minimum speed the media regulator deems necessary to cope with a typical family’s internet needs such as streaming Netflix, downloading a film on Sky and browsing the internet.

Last month, a group of 57 MPs published a report calling on Ofcom to make broadband providers such as BT and Sky compensate customers who do not get the connection speeds they are promised1. Ofcom reckons that the average UK broadband download speed theoretically achievable – although not necessarily the speeds experienced by home internet users – reached 36Mbps in November last year2. Howdle said Cable.co.uk’s report shows an emergence of a broadband “first world” and “third world” with many less developed countries such as Somalia, Congo, Gabon and Malawi appearing at the bottom of the list.

Twenty of the top 30 fastest-performing countries are in Europe, and 17 of the slowest-performing 30 countries are located in Africa.

However, many countries and regions, such as Africa, are expected to bypass broadband via cable and move straight to mobile internet technology.

The report, which examined global data from 63m speed tests over the course of a year, was put together by open internet measurement firm M-Lab, a consortium of partners including New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University’s Planet Lab.

Last month, BT made an offer to the government to roll out broadband to the last 1.4m homes in the UK without it. They are mostly in locations where it is uneconomical for broadband providers to extend their services, such as parts of rural Wales, Cornwall, Yorkshire and Scotland.
3

Global broadband average speed league table

1.

Singapore 55Mbps
2. Sweden 40Mbps
3. Taiwan 34.4Mbps
4. Denmark 33.5Mbps
5. Netherlands 33.5Mbps
6. Latvia 30.3Mbps
7. Norway 29Mbps
8. Belgium 27.3Mbps
9. Hong Kong 27Mbps
10.

Switzerland 26.9Mbps
31.

United Kingdom 16.5Mbps

Source: Cable.co.uk, M-Lab

References

  1. ^ compensate customers who do not get the connection speeds they are promised (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ reached 36Mbps in November last year (www.ofcom.org.uk)
  3. ^ last 1.4m homes in the UK (www.theguardian.com)

August update on state of broadband coverage across the UK and regions

August update on state of broadband coverage across the UK and regions

Another month has flown by and that means its time to look at the changes in broadband coverage across the UK and see how much of an impact all the work is having compared to the number of press releases that are issued. The same number of regions are included in the data this month, but we have now included the number of premises in each region and the breakdown for the various speed points too, thus making it easier to get an idea of what sort of change each 0.1% in the overall figure actually means.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage1 across the UK, its nations and regions for premises
In descending order of superfast coverage – figures 6th August 2017
(change since 7th July 2017) Area % fibre based
VDSL2 or
FTTP or
Cable % superfast
24 Mbps or faster % superfast
30 Mbps or faster % Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under proposed 10 Mbps USO North East 97.7% 96.3% (+0.1) 96% 52.8% (+0.1) 0.06% 0.2% 1.3% 927,552 Premises 905,759 893,634 890,447 877,939 600 2,169 12,094 London 97.2% 96.1% (+0.2) 95.9% 71.1% (+0.1) 1.90% 0.1% 0.8% 4,397,679 Premises 4,272,897 4,224,452 4,215,213 3,124,889 83,368 6,563 36,791 East Midlands 98.2% 95.9% (+0.1) 95.4% 58.7% (+0.1) 0.14% 0.5% 1.9% 1,101,327 Premises 1,081,586 1,055,946 1,051,212 645,955 1,498 5,613 20,570 South East 98.1% 95.7% (+0.1) 95.2% 52.4% (=) 1.22% 0.3% 1.6% 2,154,786 Premises 2,113,165 2,063,073 2,052,302 1,129,449 26,216 7,237 34,850 West Midlands 97.7% 95.4% (+0.1) 95% 64.4% (+0.1) 0.28% 0.4% 1.9% 2,767,345 Premises 2,702,906 2,641,404 2,628,726 1,781,983 7,854 11,345 52,155 North West 97.6% 94.8% (+0.1) 94.3% 48.5% (+0.1) 0.99% 0.7% 2.6% 3,895,746 Premises 3,801,455 3,692,854 3,672,825 1,887,588 38,714 28,239 100,225 England 96.7% 94.1% (+0.2) 93.6% 55.7% (=) 1.76% 0.6% 2.5% 23,891,665 Premises 23,105,672 22,472,665 22,350,644 13,313,043 420,025 135,215 602,189 United Kingdom 96.5% 93.4% (+0.2) 92.8% 52.8% (=) 1.61% 0.8% 3.1% 28,515,090 Premises 27,522,375 26,619,513 26,452,838 15,057,164 458,814 229,100 888,860 Rest Of Scotland 95.5% 92.5% (+0.5) 91.8% 47% (+0.1) 0.12% 1% 4% 2,338,003 Premises 2,231,953 2,161,972 2,147,373 1,098,494 2,833 23,718 92,540 East of England 95.8% 92.3% (+0.3) 91.6% 51.6% (=) 0.59% 0.7% 3.5% 2,602,529 Premises 2,492,069 2,401,162 2,384,473 1,342,575 15,241 19,153 90,202 Wales 95.5% 91.5% (+0.2) 90.5% 32.2% (+0.1) 2.48% (+0.14) 0.9% 4.9% 1,321,385 Premises 1,262,556 1,208,819 1,195,809 426,027 32,715 12,351 64,937 Yorkshire and Humber 93.9% 91.5% (+0.3) 91% 53.1% (+0.1) 5.1% (includes KCom Lightstream) 0.6% 3.9% 2,557,428 Premises 2,401,146 2,339,403 2,327,882 1,357,200 130,305 16,172 100,606 Scotland 94.7% 90.8% (+0.5) 90% 42.7% (+1.9) 0.11% 1.4% 5.3% 2,575,926 Premises 2,440,157 2,338,504 2,318,638 1,100,508 2,848 34,913 137,145 South West 95.6% 90.6% (+0.1) 89.7% 44.6% (+0.1) 3.33% 1.1% 4.4% 3,487,273 Premises 3,334,689 3,160,737 3,127,564 1,553,749 116,229 38,724 154,696 Northern Ireland 98.3% 82.6% (+0.4) 80.9% 30% (=) 0.44% 6.4% 11.6% 726,114 Premises 713,990 599,525 587,747 217,586 3,226 46,621 84,589 Highlands and Islands (HIE) 87.2% 73.4% (+0.8) 71.1% 0.08% (=) 0.08% 4.9% 19.6% 226,458 Premises 197,578 166,175 161,009 173 173 11,168 44,368

A week ago we were quoting 904,000 premises as needing work under the proposed Universal Service Obligation and that has now dropped to 888,860 premises as a result of the roll-outs and this reflects the importance when costing solutions or studying proposals to implement the USO that the impact of the continuing roll-outs of superfast broadband is considered. These figures do not include the contribution that fixed wireless is making to the superfast coverage levels from AirBand in Devon or UK Broadband in Swindon yet, they are on the to-do list to be integrated into the coverage analysis.

Scotland has crossed a milestone this month as it has reached the coveage level of 90.01% for premises (and for those not aware premises comprises homes + businesses) at the 30 Mbps and faster level and it will be interesting to see how long current pace of roll-out can be maintained.

Northern Ireland also appears to have woken up from a relative slumber with more cabinets, infill cabinets and little bits of native GEA-FTTP appearing.

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References

  1. ^ Council, Constituency and postcode broadband availability checker (labs.thinkbroadband.com)
  2. ^ Login (www.thinkbroadband.com)
  3. ^ Register (www.thinkbroadband.com)

Full fibre broadband rollout for Newcastle City Council

Newcastle City Council has announced the rollout of full fibre gigabit broadband across 25 of its social housing developments. Full fibre broadband is already available in 1,180 council homes, and it will continue to roll out across almost 5,000 properties in 25 of Newcastle’s social housing developments, including Todds Nook, Vallum Court, Westgate Court, King Charles Tower, Pandon Court and Lort House. Residential gigabit broadband provider Hyperoptic has been chosen to provide the service, which enables symmetrical speeds of 1,000Mbps – more than 30 times faster than the average.

Councillor Jane Streather, cabinet member for housing and public health, said: “In the world we live in today good quality, high speed broadband can be the key to success when it comes to education, employment and social inclusion. As more and more services go online we recognise that providing ultrafast, reliable and affordable broadband is an essential part of our drive to increase digital inclusion.

“By working in partnership with Hyperoptic, whose gold standard services have been tried and tested by other councils, we know our tenants will receive the best Internet experience possible in the UK today.”

Over the last year Hyperoptic has worked in partnership with councils and housing associations to enable digital inclusion by providing full fibre broadband to tenants at little to no cost to the council. The company is already working with housing associations including Hyde Housing, and directly with Salford Council, Nottingham Council and Thurrock Council. Tim Huxtable, regional director of Hyperoptic, said: “Public services are becoming digital by choice. We are equipping and enabling social housing tenants to access these services in the best way possible – with an Internet connection that helps rather than hinders, and will stand the test of time as technology advances.

Social housing is a strategic priority for us – the public sector has a huge role to play in fulfilling the vision of a full fibre UK and bridging the digital divide.”