Ofcom Says More Needs To Be Done On Broadband, Mobile Coverage

LONDON (Alliance News) – UK telecoms regulator Ofcom said Friday that more needs to be done to improve broadband and mobile coverage in the UK, particularly in rural areas, as whilst the “digital divide” is narrowing 1.1 million homes and businesses cannot get “decent” broadband. The finding is part of Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2017 report. The report found that access to superfast broadband – defined by Ofcom as a download speed of 30 megabits per second or more – continued to improve.

The option of taking superfast broadband was available to 91% of UK homes and small businesses – or 27 million- by May 2017, up from 89% from a year earlier. Around 2.7 million small and medium-sided enterprises, or 84% of the UK total, can now get superfast broadband or faster, up from 81% from 2016, Ofcom said, but around 230,000 SMEs across the UK are unable to get a decent broadband connection. “Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show there’s still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need,” said Chief Technology Officer Steve Unger.

“Everyone should have good access to the internet, wherever they live and work. So we are supporting plans for universal broadband, and promoting investment in full-fibre technology that can provide ultrafast, reliable connections,” Unger said. Elsewhere, more needs to be done on mobile coverage, Ofcom said, and it will be consulting on plans to improve coverage in rural areas by setting new coverage obligations and it will be enforcing existing obligations.

“While the industry works to improve mobile coverage, it’s vital people can get a trustworthy picture of reception across the UK. Using our tools, mobile users can see which network offers the best service in areas where they live, work and travel, before they take out a new phone contract,” Unger said. By Hana Stewart-Smith; [email protected]

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