More than a quarter of UK homes do not have adequate broadband services, causing issues with basic internet need.
In a report published by price comparison site uSwitch.com, homes across the UK struggle to cope with typical broadband needs, such as downloading films, and watching content on Netflix and other streaming websites.
Out of some 28 million households across the UK, more than 26% have broadband speeds of less than 10Mbps, which Ofcom says is the bare minimum for a modern home.
Ofcom’s report estimates that the average broadband download speed experienced across the UK is around 46Mbps. It also found that nearly one-third of users get speeds of 30Mbps or more, which represents a 22% increase from three years ago.
The regulator believes there are around 1.1 million “forgotten homes” across the country that cannot access the minimum required speed of 10Mbps.
By 2020, the UK Government aims to provide all homes and businesses with the legal right to demand speeds of at least 10Mbps.
As part of this broadband infrastructure push, providers will be legally required to provide the minimum standard to anyone requesting it. However, this could be subject to a cost threshold.
Slowing the UK Down
Earlier this week, it was reported that Greenmeadows Park in Gloucestershire has the worst broadband speeds anywhere in the UK – with a paltry average download speed of just 0.14Mbps.
Using broadband speeds similar to those found in Greenmeadows, a web user would need to wait more than 100 hours to download a two-hour high definition film on Netflix, according to a similar report by price comparison site, uSwitch.com.
“This research lays bare the extent of the UK’s digital divide,” according to Dani Warner, a broadband expert at the site.
“Streets that are relatively close geographically can be light years apart when it comes to the download speeds they are getting.”
According to uSwitch’s data, of the top 20 slowest streets in the UK, two are located in Scotland.
Ha of Gills, located in Canisbay, Caithness, experiences an average download speed of just 0.439Mbps.
Additionally, households in this area still have no access to superfast broadband. Also featured on the list is Halkburn Road in Galasheils.
Households on this street can expect an average download speed of just 0.466Mpbs. Similar to their Caithness counterparts, households here do not have access to superfast broadband speeds, the report found.
Darwin Street in Livingston, West Lothian, was ranked among the top streets in the UK for download speeds, the report revealed. Households here get an average of 164.235 Mbps.
The report found that although many households across the UK experience poor broadband services, more than one-third (35%) have the option of getting superfast broadband but are unaware of better services at their disposal.
Warner commented: “Awareness continues to be the biggest hurdle to people getting faster download speeds.
“On more than a third of the slowest streets people have no need to be crawling along on completely unusable internet services. The industry should be doing more to help consumers understand what sort of broadband they can get at home.”