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UPD Ofcoms Interactive UK Map of Fixed Broadband ISP Speed and Availability

Posted: 06th Jul, 2011 By: MarkJ
uk broadband speed map 2011ofcom uk average broadband ISP speeds March 2011The communications regulator , Ofcom , has today launched a new interactive UK map of fixed line broadband ISP availability, adoption and performance. The map also includes data on what proportion of homes are receiving download speeds of less than 2Mbps (i.e. 14% are below the governments minimum speed target of 2Mbps for 2015 (Universal Service Commitment)).

Under new rules Ofcom is required to submit a report on the UK's communications infrastructure to the governments Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Jeremy Hunt, every three years. The new map represents the first stage of that process and has been constructed by sourcing actual data from internet service providers (ISP).

Ofcom's Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said:

"We are now developing a clear picture of the UK’s fixed broadband infrastructure and how it delivers for consumers. We hope that this information will stimulate further rollout of broadband infrastructure and better performance for households and businesses."

Each area of the map has been ranked on how they score using four broadband metrics, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest or fastest and 5 the lowest or slowest. Overall it reveals that 68% of UK premises have a fixed broadband ISP connection and the average maximum modem sync speed is 7.5Mbps (excluding superfast broadband connections).

ofcom uk broadband speed by country 2011

This is not to be confused with the 6.2Mbps figure reported by Ofcom in March 2011 (here), which was based on actual average real-world tests and performance. By comparison the modem sync speed is the maximum rate at which data is transferred from the ISP to the end users across their broadband connection. It is an optimistic figure and usually higher than real-world performance.
Map Highlights

* The City of Brighton & Hove has the highest take-up of fixed broadband services with 80%.

* The City of Edinburgh has the fastest average maximum speeds at 10.1Mbps, with the City of Bristol just behind on 9.9Mbps.

* The City of Edinburgh and City of Bristol also have the lowest percentage of people receiving less than 2Mbit/s (4.5%).

* Some 58% of addresses are in areas served by a superfast broadband enabled telephone exchange ( FTTC , FTTP ) or cable network.

* Luton (England) and Newtownabbey (Northern Ireland) have the highest percentage of addresses served by a superfast broadband enabled exchange (100%).

* Superfast broadband availability across Northern Ireland is very high, with 97% of addresses served by a superfast broadband enabled exchange (BT plans to bring superfast broadband to 88% of lines in the country by March 2012).
Ofcom envisages that its data will primarily be of interest to local authorities in developing their local broadband plans. Broadband availability and speeds can vary significantly over relatively small geographic areas and as a result Ofcom believes that the granularity of the data presented in its report will be of limited value to consumers.

It may also be worth pointing out that a separate study from Simplifydigital.com has revealed how customers in urban areas pay an average of £8.40 per month (excluding line rental) for their broadband, while rural folk have to stump up £16.26 (usually do to the lack of cheaper unbundled or cabled competition).
Ofcom's Interactive UK Fixed Line Broadband Map
http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/

Ofcom's UK Broadband Speeds Report (Map Data)
http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/downloads/ofcom-uk-broadband-speed-report-2011.pdf
UPDATE 1:21pm

A comment from Eclipse Internet UK.

Clodagh Murphy, Director of Eclipse Internet, said:

"This clearly points towards the need for more investment in upgrading networks and technology. There are two key aspects to consider when increasing broadband penetration in the UK – one is the universal service commitment of 2Mb for customers, and the other is targeting those areas that can receive a fast service, but where the uptake is low.

Being realistic about line speeds is a key part of the future long term success of broadband services. It has never been more important for websites and sales teams offering broadband deals to provide absolute clarity on speeds.

Investment strategies also need to ensure that those homes and businesses not currently using the Internet start embracing technology and the many services available. However, this will only work if the government initiates and highlights the right incentives and benefits to increase broadband uptake."
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