Renewed calls for better mobile and broadband in the UK

Following a report issued on Friday by Ofcom which stated that calls and text messages could not be sent on the major networks in 30% of the UK, Lord Adonis, head of the National Infrastructure Commission has called for urgent action to tackle mobile dead spots and poor broadband speeds around the country.

In a message to Ofcom, Adonis said:

“In an age when access to a mobile signal is regarded as a must-have, it is deplorable that even in areas previously considered to have strong coverage, operators are still delivering such poor services that customers can struggle to make a quick phone call … The situation is even worse that we thought. It demonstrates the need for urgent and radical action to tackle this issue immediately, ahead of new mobile spectrum being auctioned and 5G technology being rolled out.”

The report which Adonis was commenting on was released at the end of last week. On the broadband side of things, it found that too many premises lack ‘decent’ broadband, which is defined as achieving a download speed of at least 10Mbit/s and an upload speed of 1Mbit/s. It estimates 1.1 million UK premises (4.4%) have sub-par connections.

As for mobile coverage, it said 70% of the UK has call and text coverage from all four of the major networks, while 63% has mobile data coverage - up from 52% in 2016. The regulator said the situation had improved but was still unacceptably poor.

If ISPs continue to be slack in giving the entire country good broadband speeds, they’ll likely find themselves tarnishing their own reputations under new rules put forward by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The new rules, which come into force in May, say that ISPs must advertise speeds which people will actually receive rather than the potential speed which they’ll likely never reach. The advertised speeds must be representative of what 50% of customers can achieve at peak times.

Source: BBC News

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