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Cable.co.uk comment: Ofcom annual report points to poor rural broadband and mobile coverage

  • Ofcom has today revealed that 1.4 million UK homes and offices remain unable to access broadband speeds over 10Mbit/s
  • Its Connected Nations 2016 report states that 5% of properties cannot reach the speed required to meet a typical household's daily needs
  • Total geographic 4G coverage, where a signal is available from all four operators, is available to just 40% of UK land mass
  • Commenting on the data, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at broadband comparison site Cable.co.uk, said: "It’s all very well pointing and saying ‘this many homes have rubbish broadband and diabolical mobile reception’, but the real question remains: How exactly, in each individual case, are we going to achieve that?"

Friday 16 December 2016: Ofcom has today revealed that 1.4m UK homes and offices – or 5% of properties – are unable to access broadband speeds over 10Mbit/s, the speed required to meet a typical a typical household's digital needs.

The findings are part of the telecoms regulator's Connected Nations 2016 report, an in-depth look at the state of the UK's telecoms and wireless networks. It reveals that around a quarter of properties in rural areas – nearly 920,000 – cannot receive a connection of over 10Mbps. Meanwhile, 'total' geographic 4G coverage, where a signal is available from all four operators, is available to just 40% of UK land mass.

The government's universal service obligation aims for 100% of UK properties to be able to access 10Mbit/s by 2020.

This is Ofcom's press release, issued today

Commenting on Ofcom's findings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at broadband comparison site Cable.co.uk, said:

"Both the USO of 10Mbit/s and the ultimate aim of 100% mobile coverage for the UK landmass are honourable aims. Ofcom is doing exactly as it should in its Connected Nations report – keeping close tabs on how it’s all going and highlighting to government areas of particular concern."

"However, no one is committing to exactly how this is going to happen. Facetiously, if you’re living in a hillside cottage in the Highlands and the promise is you’ll have 10Mbit/s by 2020, should a letter not have already dropped through your door carrying an explanation of exactly when and how this is going to happen?"

"We’re nowhere near there yet. It’s all very well pointing and saying ‘this many homes have rubbish broadband and diabolical mobile reception’, but the real question remains: How exactly, in each individual case, are we going to achieve that?”

Notes to editors

If using our research and/or commentary we would deeply appreciate a link either to this page or to https://www.cable.co.uk

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What is Cable?

Cable is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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