Rural broadband still a second-class service

Owl says: it will drag down the “doubling of growth” our LEP promised us. But perhaps they mean in urban areas only.

“There has been a marked improvement in home broadband, according to an annual survey by the UK’s communications watchdog Ofcom.

It said that average fixed-line download speeds rose by 28% over the year to 46.2 megabits per second, while uploads gained by 44% to 6.2 Mbps.

It added that the typical household now consumed 190 gigabytes of data a month, in large part due to the use of Netflix and other streamed TV services.

But rural consumers still lag behind.

Ofcom said:

in urban areas, 59% of connections delivered average speeds topping 30 Mbps over the 20:00-22:00 peak-time period – meeting the watchdog’s definition of “superfast” – while 17% were under 10 Mbps.

but in rural areas, only 23% of connections surpassed 30 Mbps over the same hours, while 53% were under 10 Mbps.

The regulator said the primary reasons for the discrepancy were less availability and reduced take-up of cable and fibre services in the countryside.

Later this month, internet service providers will be obliged to quote average peak-time speeds in their adverts and other promotional materials, rather than the “up to” figures that have been more common.”

One thought on “Rural broadband still a second-class service

  1. I would have taken up a super-fast service as soon as our local exchange was fibre enabled if it was available in our rural hamlet.

    We can have fibre broadband, but because the green box is in the local town, not far from the telephone exchange, the length of copper wiring is about the same, and we would actually get a lower speed connection on fibre than we would on standard broadband.

    So, if my case is typical, take-up of fibre broadband in rural communities is a result of, rather than the cause of, non-availability of super-fast speeds.

    P.S. As far as I know, BT has been paid for homes (like mine) that are fibre enabled rather than those that are super-fast enabled, and if so this is what I would call the Great Super-Fast Broadband Rip-Off.


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