The government has told V3 it is unconcerned by slow average upload speeds in the UK, arguing that people are far more interested in consuming content than uploading it.
Data from Ofcom published earlier this week revealed that the average UK download speed is 14.7Mbps. However, buried away in the report was data that showed the average upload speed is just 1.8Mbps, a rise of 0.4Mbps on November 2012 data.
V3 contacted the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for its stance on this figure, asking if it felt more needed to be done to improve it, especially as services such as YouTube and Dropbox mean more data is being uploaded from devices than ever before.
However, in a statement the department said the fact the average is rising proves the issue is being addressed.
“In the last year average upload speeds have been rising at roughly the same rate as download speeds. We expect upload speeds to continue to increase: the fastest consumer fibre packages now offer upload speeds of up to 19Mbps,” it said.
DCMS also said that it believes download speeds are still more important than uploads for most people’s use of the internet.
“It is always likely that consumer broadband will have faster download speeds than upload: a household is more likely to be watching several HD streams at the same time than to be uploading them," it said.
However, analysts have questioned this stance. Paolo Pescatore, director of apps and media at research firm CCS Insight, told V3 the demand for better upload speeds is increasing dramatically.
“People are often using smartphones at home on WiFi, and most tablets are WiFi only, while devices like smart TVs are set to grow too, so this is putting a huge strain on capacity as people do more uploading,” he said.
“The government and Ofcom needs to do a lot more to push this issue with the broadband providers, especially if the UK wants to be seen as a leader on technology innovation."
Ofcom acknowledged ADSL services "don't provide very high average upload speeds" but also pointed to rising use of superfast services – which went from 14 percent of the market to 19 percent between November 2012 and May 2013 – as boosting overall upload speeds.
“We believe upload speeds will become increasingly important as consumers turn to applications such as video calling, online gaming and cloud computing," it said in a statement to V3.
"Our research shows that superfast networks generally offer much higher upload speeds, and takeup of these services is increasing fast. So we expect consumers will benefit from higher average upload speeds in future, as the availability and takeup of superfast broadband continue to rise.”
The issue comes as data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that 83 percent of people in Britain now use the internet at least once a day.
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