One in four UK homes now have access to full-fibre broadband

Around one in four UK homes can now get faster full-fibre internet, according to new figures from regulator Ofcom.

According to the watchdog, just under seven million or 24% of all UK homes can take up full-fibre internet packages, up from 21% at the start of the year.

Close to 12 million or 40% of UK homes can now get gigabit-capable broadband, able to deliver download speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which has increased from 37% in January. This includes full fibre and the fastest cable internet packages.

Some 96% or UK homes can get superfast broadband, meaning download speeds of at least 30 Mbps, while almost all UK homes have access to a ‘decent’ connection, defined as 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload or enough to browse the internet, stream TV shows or make video calls, according to Ofcom

However, around 134,000 UK properties are still unable to get a satisfactory broadband connection, according to the regulator.

Ofcom found that out of 2,500 households surveyed, 85% had taken up superfast packages, up from 75% in November 2019, before the pandemic led to mass home working and learning.

This means that over two million households have been upgraded to packages with advertised speeds of at least superfast level of 30 Mbps or above, the regulator said.

The median average broadband speed recorded in Ofcom’s research was 50.4 Mbps, up 20% on the average speed in November 2019 of 42.1 Mbps.

Of packages measured, Virgin Media’s 516 Mbps service provided the fastest median average download speed of 490.3 Mbps, while BT’s 300 Mbps full fibre package had the highest median upload speed at 50.6 Mbps.

Ofcom also found that mobile coverage remains largely unchanged since January, with 4G available to 92% of the UK’s landmass from at least one operator.

Yih-Choung Teh, group director strategy and research at Ofcom: “Over two million households have upgraded their internet package since the pandemic began, and broadband firms are rushing to meet the UK’s need for speed. With full-fibre networks being built at a record rate, the UK’s networks are being made fit for the future. But our figures show work is still needed to get decent broadband to remote parts of the UK.”

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