Ofcom, the UK’s digital regulator, has said that gigabit broadband is now available in a quarter of all UK residences – that’s around 8 million homes. The new figure was stated in its annual Connected Nations report which looked at the availability of broadband and mobile phone services across the country.
The report also states that full-fibre broadband is now available in just over five million homes which represents an increase of 80% compared to last year. According to the regulator, full-fibre is more reliable than the old copper wires and can cope better with peak usage and severe weather.
In terms of data, UK households have been using 36% more data than they did last year, this is likely to be, in part, due to the coronavirus forcing people to work from home. When we compare usage to four years ago, it has increased by a huge 225% and this will only grow further as people buy more Internet of Things devices.
Discussing the findings, Ofcom’s Network and Communications Group Director Lindsey Fussell said:
“For millions of families this year, life during lockdown would have been even more difficult without reliable broadband to work, learn, play and see loved ones.
So, it’s encouraging that future-proof, gigabit broadband is now available to a quarter of homes, and we expect that to rise even faster in the coming months.”
The UK government recently announced that it was aiming to make gigabit connections available to 85% of residences by 2025. It was initially aiming for 100% but scaled this goal back and as a result, those in rural areas could be left with slower connection speeds.