Despite worries that the UK’s communications infrastructure could not cope with the extra strain from millions of displaced workers using their home networks for work as well as entertainment, the UK’s fixed and mobile networks have generally coped well with demands, and in the meantime gigabit connections have increased markedly, says UK telecoms regulator Ofcom’s annual Connected nations report.
The study measures progress in the availability and capability of broadband and mobile services in the UK during the pandemic, and was published as the UK continues to address the challenges of Covid-19 when homes and businesses have come to rely on their phone and broadband connections like never before. Ofcom’s report focused on how the networks have performed during this period and how the availability of services has evolved.
The shift to more people being at home driving increased demand on broadband networks and access to services was increasingly undertaken on gigabit-capable broadband, which is now available to 7.9 million homes, 27% of those in the UK. Full-fibre broadband is available to 5.1 million homes (18%).
This was 2.1 million more premises (8% points) than a year ago and represents the highest year-on-year increase seen so far. Superfast broadband,