Ofcom’s Home Broadband Performance Report measures the broadband speeds delivered to a sample group of people’s home wifi routers. This year’s Report includes analysis of how broadband speeds changed before and after the coronavirus lockdown measures came in during March.
Overall, UK broadband networks have held up well, despite a surge in broadband use due to homeworking, online lessons and TV streaming. During this period, average download and upload speeds fell by 2% and 1% respectively. The Report also shows that average download speeds increased from 54.2 Mbit/s in 2018 to 64 Mbit/s in 2019. Upload speeds almost doubled from 7.2 Mbit/s to 14 Mbit/s.
Ofcom has also published its Connected Nations Spring update, setting out the availability of broadband and mobile services in the UK as of January, before the coronavirus restrictions came in. The latest data shows:
- 5 million homes (12%) can now access full fibre broadband, up by a fifth since September 2019;
- ultrafast broadband (speeds of 300 Mbit/s and above), is now available to 55% of UK households, compared to 53% in the last update, which is an increase of 700,000 homes;
- superfast broadband remains available to 95% of UK households, but the total number of homes able to receive superfast broadband has increased by 300,000;
- around 2% of homes and businesses are unable to get a decent fixed broadband connection (offering download speeds of 10 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 1 Mbit/s). However, anyone who cannot get a decent service now has the legal right to request one, thanks to new rules that came into force in March; and
- mobile coverage is largely unchanged since the last update. However, this is expected to increase following the UK Government and four mobile network operators’ agreement to develop a shared rural network.