According to research published by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, nearly one in three broadband connections in the country are now superfast (i.e. delivering 30Mbps and above), up from around one in four in November 2013.
With the watchdog citing ‘the growing take-up of superfast cable or fibre services’, it claims that the average UK broadband speed has increased from 18.7Mbps in May 2014 to 22.8Mbps in November 2014. Such an increase, it noted, represented the largest absolute rise (4.1Mbps) in broadband speeds that Ofcom has recorded in its six-monthly research. Almost a third of all broadband connections in the UK (32%) at November 2014 were ‘up to’ 30Mbps or above services, up from 24% a year earlier, while the average actual speed being delivered across such connections reportedly stood at 50.4Mbps; Ofcom did note though that a small proportion of customers do receive actual speeds below 30Mbps.
Cable broadband saw a 26% increase in average speeds to 54.4Mbps, with Ofcom attributing this to a speed upgrade programme carried out by Virgin Media, the country’s largest cable broadband provider. Average fibre service speeds by comparison was 41.6Mbps, roughly unchanged from May 2014, while the average speed of ADSL connections – which remained the most common type of residential broadband – also saw no significant change, standing at 7.3Mbps.
Commenting on the findings, Steve Unger, Ofcom’s acting chief executive, said: ‘The UK has seen significant investment in superfast broadband, and millions of households are now benefitting from faster speeds and more choice. But there’s still more to be done to ensure that everyone can share in those benefits.’