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Ofcom State 95.3% of UK Can Get Standard Broadband of At Least 2Mbps

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 (1:17 pm) - Score 1,677

The communications regulator has today published a new report that outlines the availability of different communications services across the United Kingdom. In particular it finds that “standard broadband” services (i.e. HEADLINE speeds of at least 2Mbps) are now available to 95.3% of households and superfast (30Mbps+) to 67.9% .

It’s important to note that Ofcom defines standard broadband as “affording actual download speeds of at least 2 Mbit/s and generally delivered using ADSL technology“, while superfast broadband should offer “headline download speeds of at least 30Mbit/s” (note: the government still uses a separate figure of 25Mbps+ for older BDUK projects). As usual real-world speeds are likely to tell a very different story.

Never the less Ofcom estimates that approximately 1.2 million homes cannot receive a standard broadband service, which equates to just over 900,000 in England and around 100,000 in each of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The following table affords a more constructive breakdown of the data.

standard broadband uk availability

It’s important to point out that the overall 95.3% figure is sharply different from the approximate of just under 90% given in the regulators 2012 Infrastructure Report, which is apparently due to “methodological differences“.

Ofcom explains that the estimate(s) in today’s report were calculated by considering a postcode not to have standard broadband if the median or mean average speed of connected premises in that postcode was less than 2Mbps.

By comparison the previous 2012 report stated that a postcode was considered not to have standard broadband if any connected line in it experienced a speed below 2Mbps. A similar change in methodology has also impacted the superfast data (up from 65%).

superfast broadband availability uk

The report also contains data on mobile coverage, which found that 99.7% of UK premises (99.9% in urban areas and 99.1% in rural) are served by at least one 2G mobile operator and that falls slightly to 99.1% for 3G (99.7% in urban areas and 96.6% in rural).

However the situation turns more interesting when you look at the raw geographic coverage of 2G and 3G mobile phone services. Take note that 4G isn’t counted yet as only EE have a national network and that roll-out began just a few short months ago.


Ofcom – The availability of communications services in the UK (PDF)

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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