A total of 1.4 million homes and businesses still cannot receive good quality broadband of at least 10Mbps according to a new report from Ofcom. The report also found that upload speed averages have stalled at a lowly 4Mbps.
The regulator said that this means five percent of premises remain unable to access the government's future minimum speed requirements. While 1.4 million is a high number it is down on the 2.4 million in the same report last year, showing progressing is being made in getting faster services to more locations.
Many properties that remain unable to get good service as those in rural locations, with 920,000 listed as being unable to access high speeds, mostly because they are so far from an exchange and services degrade over long copper connections.
Mobile services are also improving but leaving many behind. In total 72 per cent of premises can now receive 4G up, and this is up from just 28 per cent last year. But many parts of the UK remain uncovered by 4G, with many rural areas and transport links particularly blighted.
Ofcom said it hoped rules in place requiring O2 to coverage 98 per cent of the UK premises by the end of 2017 should push this along, and hopefully encourage other operators to keep pace too.
For those that can get good connections the situation is only getting better, with the average download speed in the UK rising from 29Mbps to 37Mbps due to improving coverage and more people choosing faster sevices.
The average speed just for those on fibre services is 74Mbps and Ofcom estimates the UK average would be as high as 132Mbps if all homes that can access fibre services moved to these services.
In total there are now 9.1 million premises with superfast broadband up from around eight million last year.
Meanwhile superfast fibre services are also available to 80 per cent of SMEs, up from 68 per cent in 2015, but many are still stuck on slow services due to being situated in business parks with poor connections.
Steve Unger, Ofcom Group Director, said that it "unacceptable" that so many locations are still waiting for a good quality fixed and mobile broadband services to arrive.
"We're challenging mobile operators to go beyond built-up areas, and provide coverage across the UK's countryside and transport networks. Today we've also provided technical advice to support the Government's plans for universal, decent broadband."
Another poor area of performance is upload speeds. The average for all connections remains just 4Mbps, but for superfast services is now at 8Mbps, and Ofcom noted that it appears work on improving this has stalled.
"This may restrict the quality of experience for some popular online services that require good upload, as well as download, speeds, such as social media sites and cloud backup services," it said.
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