Ofcom: Superfast Coverage Varies Wildly in Cities

News Article - Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:53

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has released the results of a new study which aims to measure superfast broadband speeds and coverage between cities.

The study showed that just like in rural areas, "superfast broadband coverage varies wildly between major urban areas, with Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland the best performing city for superfast broadband coverage at 99%”.

The research took eleven cities from around the UK to study how many premises were still using a relatively slow broadband connection of 2 Mbit/s or less. It was found that those living in Cardiff and Inverness were "twice as likely to be on a slower connection than those in London or Birmingham.”

Whilst superfast networks varied between cities, it was found that most had around 90% coverage, although the findings were not particularly consistent across all of them. This was due to numerous factors influencing deployment and take-up, as well as local planning.

It was also found that slower connections tended to be more prevalent amongst those on lower incomes. This, Ofcom says, represents another barrier to superfast broadband take-up, although in some areas, such as the poorest areas of Manchester, it was found that superfast was less widely deployed.

In Manchester, overall availability of superfast was measured at around 85%, in the most income deprived area deployment stood at just 80.6%. This was even more marked in Glasgow however, with just 57.8% of premises having access to superfast broadband in the poorer areas of the city.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: "Access to fast broadband is an important part of modern life, and a source of economic growth and investment across the UK.

"We know from previous research that rural areas often lack fast broadband coverage, something the Government is helping to address with public funding.

"Today’s findings suggest that the usage and availability of faster broadband also vary widely between cities. We will carry out further work in this area to help bring faster broadband to UK homes, whether in cities or rural areas.”

More information on the finding of the study can be found on the Ofcom website .

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