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More than a million UK properties don't have access to 'decent' broadband speeds

Ofcom's Connected Nations report finds broadband is still lacking across 4% of the UK

Ethernet plug with fiber optic wire

More than a million British homes are losing out on acceptable broadband speeds as an Ofcom report has found that 4% of UK properties cannot get the bandwidth they need to meet their internet needs.

The watchdog's Connected Nations report noted that around 1.1 million UK properties, comprising homes and offices, are in areas that cannot get acceptably speedy broadband.

Ofcom defines 'decent' broadband speeds to be 10Mbps (megabits per second) for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads.

However, a swathe of UK properties cannot hit these speeds, particularly in rural areas where some buildings are a good distance from telephone exchanges or broadband street cabinets.

Some 17% of properties in rural areas have unacceptable broadband speed compared to 2% in urban areas.

This lack of decent broadband speeds could stymie people and businesses from accessing the services they need to carry out tasks such as working from home.

"Broadband coverage is improving, but our findings show there's still urgent work required before people and businesses get the services they need," said Ofcom's technology chief Steve Unger.

"Everyone should have good access to the internet, wherever they live and work. So we are supporting plans for universal broadband, and promoting investment in full-fibre technology that can provide ultrafast, reliable connections."

Interestingly, 90% of UK properties have access to 'superfast' broadband, but it is bought by less than four in ten properties meaning there is still plenty of scope for the broadband speeds across UK properties as a whole to improve.

And currently only 3% of properties have 'full fibre' access, whereby fibre optic cables are run all the way to a building not just a nearby cabinet and therefore offer better speeds.

Indoor 4G coverage is improving significantly, up 40% over last year, with six in ten properties receiving the speedy mobile broadband signal. There are still plenty of properties across Britain that don't have access to 4G signals; only 43% of UK properties have access to 4G coverage.

As such Unger stressed there's more work to be done to ensure the UK has the broadband coverage it needs.

"With all the technological advancements we've seen in recent years, people shouldn't have to second guess where they can and can't get decent mobile reception," he said.

"The public and our economy depend on mobile coverage that allows people to call, text or get online wherever they are. So we need to see mobile companies step up and prioritise improving coverage across the UK."

Given the UK is investing 645m into superfast broadband there are at least some efforts in place to improve the broadband speeds Britons have access to.

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