Ofcom’s 2016 Connected Nations Report has both positive and negative news about the UK’s digital infrastructure.
The overall tone of the report is positive, identifying that in 2016 saw an improvement of both fixed line and mobile communications networks. As in other years 2016 saw an increase in the amount of data we all use as constant connectivity becomes ever more necessary to our lives. Another welcome factor was the ever improving download and upload speeds.
These improvements however, only serve to make those without adequate provision feel even more isolated and with over 1.4 million homes still without access to decent broadband that’s a lot of people to be on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide’
The 1.4 million figure refers to those homes where broadband speeds are still below 10Mbps which is still the most likely figure for the Universal Service Obligation (USO), this leave many premises requiring upgrade before the USO can take effect.
On the other hand Superfast connections (defined here as >30Mbps) are available to 89% of premises as of May 2016 with the expectation that the figure is even higher now. The issue which the report identifies is that take up of Superfast services is slowing and suggests that pricing may need to decrease further to aid take up.
This comes from Ofcom’s annual report into the UK’s digital infrastructure. As well as covering the UK as a whole, the report also analyses each of the home nations individually, highlighting changes in infrastructure accessibility and uptake since the previous year’s report. Connected Nations reports for each of the home nations can be found here: Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.