Around half of rural areas have sub-par broadband speeds

OFCOM research shows that 48 per cent of rural areas receive less than 10Mbps

A new report has revealed that around half of the UK's rural areas are still receiving broadband speeds of less than 10Mbps.

The figures, which come from communications watchdog OFCOM, show that 1.5 million consumers in remote areas are still stuck with sub-par connectivity.

48 per cent of rural consumers receives less than 10Mbps, while one in five has less than 5Mbps.

The problem is particularly pronounced in Scotland, where the report states that 57 per cent of these premises with poor broadband are located.

The government is aiming to address these concerns, with a 530 million scheme targeted at achieving 90 per cent superfast broadband coverage in rural areas as part of the Broadband Delivery UK initiative.

"Expanding superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK and beyond, and ensuring a minimum Universal Service Obligation, will be key to the Government's stated aims to expand the UK economy beyond major cities," said Neil Fraser, Satellite Programme Lead at ViaSat UK. 

"Continuing to invest in the right mix of technologies to provide truly superfast internet access to everyone who might want it, and at a cost the nation can afford, it is a vital part of that," he stated. "Otherwise, the UK will face a sharp divide between the broadband haves and have-nots."

OFCOM calls speedy internet one of the "essential enablers of our working and social lives", and says that "a download speed of at least 10Mbps is necessary to deliver an acceptable user experience". 

The report also shows that British consumers' average monthly data use has risen 41 per cent in the last year, and is now around 82GB per month.

However, the quality of service from internet providers is only part of the picture. OFCOM says that in over 75 per cent of households with poorly-rated broadband connections, part of the problem lies with the quality (or lack thereof) of their networking equipment.

In order to help address this, the organisation has produced an app, to help users determine whether their WiFi problems are being caused by their router rather than slow broadband speeds.

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