Broadband speeds are still on the rise according to research by Ofcom. In the last 6 months they have found that the average broadband speed has increased by 10%.
In November/December the average broadband speed they found was 6.2Mb and in the latest broadband speed test results they show the average has crept up to 6.8Mb by May 2011.
The study and results also showed that along with the broadband speeds increasing the gap between the advertised broadband speed and actual broadband speeds people receive has also increased. Previously the average advertised speed back in Nov/Dec was 13.8Mb making the gap between advertised and actual 7.6Mb, howevere in May 2011 the average advertised broadband speed was 15Mb making a difference of 8.2Mb gap between advertised and actual average broadband speeds.
The study looked at 14 packages available form the 7 largest UK broadband providers who account for over 75% of UK residential broadband connections.
The Chief Executive of Ofcom, Ed Richards, said:
“The UK broadband market has transformed since Ofcom first published its research two and a half years ago.
By publishing this research, Ofcom has encouraged ISPs to invest in faster broadband networks; we are now seeing consumers increasingly move to higher rated services and enjoying genuinely faster speeds.
Consumers also have access to better broadband information, allowing them to decide which provider to use based on actual speeds they can achieve at home.
However, the research is still telling us that some consumers are not receiving anywhere near the speeds that are being advertised by some ISPs. Ofcom continues to urge the CAP and BCAP committees to make changes to their advertising guidance so that consumers are able to make more informed decisions based on the adverts they see.”
The differences between different ISPs average broadband speeds can be viewed below:
The 3 month trial of Virgin Medias fastest 1.5GB cable broadband in London has proved to be a success.
The trial was done with 4 companies in the area of London known as the “Silicon roundabout” which is a tech business center.
It is unlikely that we will see these speeds rolled out to the general public on Virgin’s network any time soon who’s current head line speed is 100Mb. The interesting part is that the same technology that is used to provide the 100Mb broadband to customers currently is the same that has been used to provide this 1.5GB broadband trial.
With the current UK average broadband speed being just 6Mb this 1.5GB trial put it at a whopping 250 times faster than what most of us are currently receiving.
Ed Vaizey, the UK Communications minister said:
“the Prime Minister set out our ambition for London’s East End to become a world-leading technology city to rival Silicon Valley. Developments like Virgin Media’s will help make this ambition a reality.”
As more and more users in a household want to connect and stream live data from the internet in the form of TV or films, then having faster and faster broadband connections will mean that all the media will stream fast and not suffer from lag.
Welsh broadband is to receive a huge boost to the tune of £57m from thew UK government according to Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary.
Providing the Welsh government match that of the UK government then 90% of homes and businesses in Wales will have access to superfast broadband.
The £57m also includes the previous £10m that was pledged in February by Chancellor George Osborne and will come out of the £530m broadband pot that has been set aside to roll out universal broadband of at least 2Mb across the UK and also to provide superfast broadband, with the UK government aiming to have full coverage of a minimum of 2Mb broadband across the country by 2015.
he funding announcement came only a day after Ofcom said that at least 12 out of the 22 council areas in Wales were classed as areas with a “poor start of broadband provision”.
Rachel Evans, the regional director of the Countryside Alliance in Wales, said:
“This announcement comes not before time. Rural communities are increasingly being forced to depend on the internet for the survival of their businesses.
A reliable broadband network is a necessity if these communities are going to weather the recent financial troubles.“
FM radio waves could be used to provide broadband to rural areas according to Ofcom, the Communications regulator.
Doing this would be similar to other trials which are taking place in the Isle of Bute in Scotland also also around Cambridge where “white space” which is available in the TV spectrum is being used to deliver broadband. With the TV digital switchover due to be complete in the UK by 2012 this means there will be the chance to make use of this part of the spectrum.
Using the radio waves could work out as an ideal solution to providing broadband in rural and remote areas, as radio waves are available in both high and low frequency means that in the case of low frequency these will work well in buildings as other frequencies can’t pass through buildings as easily.
However, although the potential to use the radio waves is an option it is unlikely that we will see a large scale roll out of it as the government still have not announced a date where radio signals will all be switched form analogue to digital (in much the same way we have done with the TV signals).
Ed Richards, the Chief Executive at Ofcom, said:
“Spectrum is a resource that is in huge demand, fuelled by the recent explosion in smart phones and other wireless technologies. However there is only a limited amount of it to go around, which means we need to start thinking more creatively about how it is used. White space devices could offer the creative solution we are looking for.“
Poorer people and those living in rural areas are paying more for broadband and receiving slower speeds according to figures released yesterday.
In the study, done by Simplifydigital.com, they found that those customers living in post code areas that are well served payed on average £8.40 per month (not including line rental) for their broadband, compared to those living in post codes that were not well served who were paying around £16.26 per month. The least well served post codes also trended to be in rural areas and many also in some of the poorest areas of the UK.
The reason for these prices differences is due to the fact that broadband providers can install their own equipment into the local telephone exchanges, they mainly choose the areas that have allot of people and more urban areas where there will be far more demand for their services than in rural and countryside areas where they won’t be able to make as good a return on their investment.
This means that prices in the areas where there is not so much competition are higher due to companies not competing for the customers so strongly.
To add insult to injury, customers in rural and more countryside areas also tend to receive slower broadband speeds due to the fact they they are usually further away form their local telephone exchange than those living in towns and cities. This can mean that not only are they paying more for their broadband, they are also getting an inferior broadband speed too.
The study looked at the prices that were charged by BT, O2, Orange, Plusnet, Sky & TalkTalk.
Check the speed of your broadband with our broadband speed test.
North Yorkshire homes and businesses are set to receive a broadband boost with £16.4 million funding from the government.
“Connecting North Yorkshire” project will receive around £16.4 m from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), which is a government run organisation aimed at helping allocate funding for broadband across the UK.
North Yorkshire County Council was one of the 4 places that were successful in their bid for national broadband trials to get high speed broadband deployed in rural areas.
The council will also be working with the European Regional Development Fund and Nynet (the councils broadband company) where they are hoping to match the funding and end up with a pot of around £30 million in investment for the broadband deployment.
Councillor Car Les, said:
“Indeed, high-speed broadband benefits a broad demographic of people. Young people, for example, can access e-learning and a broader curriculum, often unavailable to remote, rural schools.
It also enables technology to be used to monitor and provide care direct into individual homes, allowing people to stay independent for as long as possible.“