The UK's average broadband speed has risen to 17.8Mbps, a five-fold increase since 2008, while one in four homes and businesses can now access a superfast connection of 30Mbps or more.
However, the gap between speeds seen in urban and rural areas has widened further.
Ofcom revealed the data in its latest broadband speed report, in which it also noted the average superfast connection has risen to 47Mbps, an increase of 15.1Mbps since May 2010.
Overall the average broadband speed has risen dramatically since 2008 when Ofcom first started collecting data, as the graph below shows.
The vast improvements in speed and availability were welcomed by the government, which has been pumping money into broadband rollouts. Communications minister Ed Vaizey said the report was proof that this strategy was paying off.
“Ofcom’s report confirms the remarkable transformation of UK broadband currently underway,” he said. “The UK has the best superfast coverage of all five leading European economies, and the news that average speeds continue to rise is tremendous news for homes and businesses alike.”
However, the report noted that those in remote areas are still lagging behind those in urban and suburban areas:
- Average urban speed: 31.9Mbps
- Average suburban speed: 21.8Mbps
- Average rural speed: 11.3Mbps
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said it was important the UK did not ignore this divide and ensured it directed funding and effort to provide the same speeds across the country.
“The growth in superfast broadband and the rise in average speeds is testament to the investment in the sector. But the benefits are not shared evenly across the UK,” he said.
“There is more work needed to deliver wider availability of broadband and superfast broadband, particularly in rural communities, but also in some locations within cities to enable wider access to fast internet.”
The government recently stumped up £10m in funding for rural broadband trials as it seeks to find other ways to fill in coverage gaps. Services such as 4G and satellite connections have been touted as solutions to this issue.
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