Ofcom research reveals broadband reaches 11m homes

The number of UK homes with access to full-fibre broadband has increased by more than 50% to 11m in the past year, according to regulator Ofcom’s latest research.

Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations autumn update reported that 37% of households can now get full fibre capable of delivering download speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s - an increase from 24% a year ago, when just under 7m homes were covered.

By contrast, the number of properties “unable to get a ‘decent’ broadband speed”, which Ofcom described as “at least 10 Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload”, has fallen by 38% since last year to 83,000. Of these, around 66,000 are not expected to be covered by a publicly-funded roll-out scheme in the next twelve months, and therefore may be eligible for the recently introduced broadband universal service.

Commenting on the findings of the report, an Ofcom spokesperson said the rise of broadband coverage was particularly significant for small and medium-sized businesses following a shift towards hybrid working.

“The pandemic has accelerated a shift towards hybrid working for businesses with between 10 and 250 employees, making home broadband more of a priority,” they added. “For the majority of SMEs, the communications market is meeting their needs. However, rural SMEs are four times more likely to be very dissatisfied with mobile reception than their urban counterparts [12% vs. 3%] and twice as likely to be dissatisfied with the reliability of their internet service [15% vs. 8%] according to our findings.”

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