Eight million UK homes can access full-fibre broadband but many yet to take advantage of it

The Ofcom logo on a cream background

Ofcom has released its latest Connected Nations report which details the availability of broadband and mobile services across the country. One of the key findings is that full-fibre broadband (Fibre-to-the-Premises) is now available at 8 million homes (28%) up from around 5 million (18%) last year. Unfortunately, it appears less than a quarter of eligible people are taking advantage of their ‘future-proof’ connections.

In 2021, Ofcom found that 750,000 homes had upgraded to full-fibre services bringing the total to just under two million. Ofcom seems a little bit disappointed, however, because this represents less than a quarter (24%) of the homes where full-fibre connectivity is available. It said millions of customers are out-of-contract and are paying more for slower speeds; if they shopped around, Ofcom said, they could find a discounted full-fibre package without paying more.

On the mobile front, Ofcom’s latest report found that the 5G rollout was making ‘swift progress’. It estimated that half of the properties in the UK are in areas where 5G is available from at least one mobile network operator. It also found that customers are meeting network operators as it said the use of 5G handsets has increased substantially. There were 800,000 5G devices in use last year in the UK and now there are six million.

While 5G adoption is moving quickly, 5G traffic still only accounts for a small proportion of overall mobile data traffic at just 3%. Most of the traffic is sent over 4G networks (91%). As a whole, mobile data consumption increase by 37% in 2021. You can download the full Connected Nations 2021 report now.

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