Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic

16/10/2020

Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic Add to Your Pages

13 May 2020

Ofcom analysis shows UK broadband speeds have withstood a surge in demand during the Covid-19 lockdown

Gap in internet speeds between rural and urban areas continues to fall

New broadband data reveals 3.5 million homes can now get faster full fibre

Average UK broadband speeds largely held up during the Covid-19 lockdown despite rising demand from home working, online lessons and TV streaming.

Ofcom's Home Broadband Performance Report reveals how broadband speeds changed before and after the lockdown measures came in when there was a surge in broadband use. Download and upload speeds fell only by 2% and 1% respectively. [1]

Demands on the broadband network have been driven in part by home working and by school closures, leading to a rise in people using streaming and educational services. Some providers have reported an increase in weekday daytime traffic of between 35 and 60% since the coronavirus restrictions came in. [2]

As children and adults look for ways to entertain themselves indoors, Netflix download speeds fell by 3% in the lockdown period compared to pre-lockdown indicating that people rushed to catch-up with their favourite shows in their free time. But data use from increased screen time was offset by Netflix reducing the streaming quality of its content.

The responsiveness (latency) of broadband networks the delay between a connection requesting an action and that action taking place also remained stable. The 2% increase in delay measured would have had little effect on performance for most people.

The report also reveals that broadband speeds in rural areas are catching up to those in towns and cities. The proportion of rural lines receiving at least superfast broadband (30 Mbit/s and above) during peak times continues to increase from 44% in 2018 to 56% in 2019 while the proportion not receiving a decent connection (10 Mbit/s and above) at peak times fell from 33% to 22%.

But broadband speeds in rural areas still lag behind those in urban areas. Urban peak-time speeds reached 75 Mbit/s, almost double the rural average of 39 Mbit/s in 2019.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom's Group Director for Strategy and Research, said: Broadband in the UK has really been put to the test by the pandemic, so it's encouraging that speeds have largely held up. This has helped people to keep working, learning and staying connected with friends and family.

Top tips on helping you stay connectedOfcom's Stay Connected campaign includes a range of tips to help ensure people get the best out of their internet connection during the coronavirus period:

For more information, see our guides on getting the most out of your broadband and mobile services at home.

Broadband and mobile coverage revealedToday, we have also published our Connected Nations spring update, which provides a summary of broadband availability and mobile coverage in the UK as of January 2020, before the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK. This shows that:

3.5 million homes (12%) can now access full-fibre broadband, up by a fifth since September last year.

Availability of other high-speed broadband services has continued to increase. Ultrafast broadband (speeds of 300 Mbit/s and above), is now available to 55% of UK households, compared to 53% in our last update an increase of 700,000 homes. Superfast broadband remains available to 95% of UK households, but the total number of homes able to receive superfast broadband has increased by 300,000.

Around 2% of homes and businesses are unable to get a decent fixed broadband connection (offering download speeds of 10 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 1 Mbit/s). However, anyone who cannot get a decent service, now has the legal right to request one thanks to new rules that came into force in March. The continued rollout of mobile broadband services is also helping to get more people connected.

Ofcom is ensuring our regulation helps support local areas as they roll out faster fibre networks including price protections for customers. This is part of our work to support competition and investment into faster, more reliable fibre networks.

Mobile coverage remains largely unchanged since our December report. But since then, the UK Government and four mobile network providers have agreed to develop a shared rural network, to help improve coverage across the UK. Each company has committed to deliver good-quality 4G coverage to at least 90% of the UK over the next six years.

END

NOTES TO EDITORS

Ofcom commissioned technical partner SamKnows to set up a panel of people who connected a hardware monitoring unit to their broadband router. This enables us to measure the performance delivered by different services and assess how they vary by factors including technology, provider, package, where people live and when they use their service. Data comparing pre and post-lockdown performance is from the first and last weeks of March.

BT reported a 35 60% increase in weekday daytime traffic as people started to work from home more, following Government advice. However, this was still well below the average evening peak time traffic levels usually seen prior to the coronavirus situation.

Our report looks at the UK's eight largest broadband providers. Our Data covering the lockdown period is from the last week of March of this year, the pre-lockdown data is from the first week of March, while the rest of the report looks at broadband use in November 2019.

Our research also looks at the performance of wifi routers. Our report reveals that newer routers perform better than older ones regardless of the model meaning people may be able to improve their signal by simply upgrading to the latest model.

Latency was measured looking at the response time of servers of commonly used social med
LINK: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__search/s/redirect?collection=web&url=https:...
See more stories from ofcom

More from OFCOM

12/02/2021

Ofcom fines O2 10.5m for overcharging customers

Ofcom fines O2 10.5m for overcharging customers Add to Your Pages 12 February 2021 O2 broke Ofcom's rules by failing to provide customers with accu...

04/02/2021

Ofcom revokes CGTN's licence to broadcast in the UK

Ofcom revokes CGTNs licence to broadcast in the UK Add to Your Pages 04 February 2021 London, 10:15 GMT, 4 February 2021: Ofcom has today withdrawn the ...

03/02/2021

New plans for seamless broadband switching

New plans for seamless broadband switching Add to Your Pages 03 February 2021 Proposals for a new one touch' process to cut out the hassle of broad...

17/12/2020

Gigabit broadband reaches four in ten Scottish homes

Gigabit broadband reaches four in ten Scottish homes Add to Your Pages 17 December 2020 New Ofcom figures reveal broadband and mobile coverage across Sc...

17/12/2020

Gigabit broadband reaches one in four homes

Gigabit broadband reaches one in four homes Add to Your Pages 17 December 2020 New figures reveal broadband and mobile coverage across the UK 8m homes ...

15/12/2020

Maggie Carver appointed Ofcom interim Chair from January

Maggie Carver appointed Ofcom interim Chair from January Add to Your Pages 15 December 2020 The Government has appointed Maggie Carver as Ofcom's in...

12/12/2020

BT fined for breaking Ofcom rules in Northern Ireland tender

BT fined for breaking Ofcom rules in Northern Ireland tender Add to Your Pages 11 December 2020 BT failed to meet regulatory obligations during procurem...

09/12/2020

Traditional UK broadcasting at risk without radical shakeup, Ofcom warns

Traditional UK broadcasting at risk without radical shakeup, Ofcom warns Add to Your Pages 08 December 2020 New laws and rules needed for public service...

26/11/2020

Delivering postal users' needs in a digital age

Delivering postal users' needs in a digital age Add to Your Pages 26 November 2020 Royal Mail needs to become more efficient and modernise its parce...

25/11/2020

Broadcasters must look beyond London and reach the whole UK

Broadcasters must look beyond London and reach the whole UK Add to Your Pages 25 November 2020 Ofcom calls on industry to reflect wider range of geograp...

25/11/2020

Ofcom appoints six new Content Board members

Ofcom appoints six new Content Board members Add to Your Pages 24 November 2020 Ofcom has appointed six new members to its Content Board. Ofcoms Conte...

07/11/2020

Vulnerable customers must be treated fairly

Vulnerable customers must be treated fairly Add to Your Pages 23 July 2020 Ofcom sets out how phone, broadband and pay-TV companies should treat those w...

28/10/2020

Mobile firms to be banned from selling locked' handsets

Mobile firms to be banned from selling locked' handsets Add to Your Pages 27 October 2020 New rules to help customers put off from switching becaus...

16/10/2020

Reappointment of Mairi Kidd to MG ALBA board

Reappointment of Mairi Kidd to MG ALBA board Add to Your Pages 30 April 2020 Ofcom has today announced the reappointment of Mairi Kidd to the board of M...

16/10/2020

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (May 2020)

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (May 2020) Add to Your Pages 12 May 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of six new community radio li...

16/10/2020

Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic

Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic Add to Your Pages 13 May 2020 Ofcom analysis shows UK broadband speeds have withstood a surge in demand du...

16/10/2020

Jonathan Oxley to step down

Jonathan Oxley to step down Add to Your Pages 13 May 2020 Ofcom has today announced that Jonathan Oxley, Group Director for Competition and Board member...

16/10/2020

Ofcom appoints Alison Marsden as Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement

Ofcom appoints Alison Marsden as Director of Content Standards, Licensing and En...

16/10/2020

New Board appointment for Channel 4

New Board appointment for Channel 4 Add to Your Pages 29 May 2020 Ofcom has today announced the appointment of a new non-executive director to the Board...

16/10/2020

Ofcom's General Counsel Polly Weitzman to move on

Ofcoms General Counsel Polly Weitzman to move on Add to Your Pages 01 June 2020 Ofcom has today announced that Polly Weitzman, Ofcom's General Couns...

16/10/2020

UK's internet use surges to record levels

UK's internet use surges to record levels Add to Your Pages 24 June 2020 Adults spending record 4 hours a day online on average, as coronavirus chan...

16/10/2020

Royal Mail fined 1.5m for missing 2018/19 delivery target

Royal Mail fined 1.5m for missing 2018/19 delivery target Add to Your Pages 10 July 2020 91.5% of first-class post was delivered next working day in 20...

16/10/2020

Ofcom awards three new community radio licences in Northampton

Ofcom awards three new community radio licences in Northampton Add to Your Pages 22 July 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of three new community...

16/10/2020

Broadband customers to save millions following Ofcom review

Broadband customers to save millions following Ofcom review Add to Your Pages 28 July 2020 Out-of-contract customers could save over 270m a year in tot...

16/10/2020

Ofcom confirms plans for spectrum auction early next year

Ofcom confirms plans for spectrum auction early next year Add to Your Pages 03 August 2020 January auction for important airwaves to boost mobile capaci...

16/10/2020

UK talks for longer during lockdown

UK talks for longer during lockdown Add to Your Pages 08 October 2020 Callers spent around 50% longer on their mobiles during early stages of the corona...

08/04/2020

Ofcom sets out licensing plans for small-scale DAB

Ofcom sets out licensing plans for small-scale DAB Add to Your Pages 07 April 2020 Local radio listeners will be able to tune into new digital stations ...

03/04/2020

Changing attitudes of viewers and listeners revealed

Changing attitudes of viewers and listeners revealed Add to Your Pages 03 April 2020 TV and radio programmes that are unsuitable for children, or which ...

25/03/2020

Helping broadband and mobile users stay connected

Helping broadband and mobile users stay connected Add to Your Pages 25 March 2020 As families work and learn at home, Ofcom launches practical tips to g...

25/03/2020

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (March 2020)

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (March 2020) Add to Your Pages 25 March 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of six new community radi...

13/03/2020

Ofcom finalises rules for mobile airwaves auction

Ofcom finalises rules for mobile airwaves auction Add to Your Pages 13 March 2020 New airwaves will boost mobile capacity and enhance 5G services Airwa...

10/03/2020

Ofcom welcomes shared rural network' agreement to improve mobile coverage

Ofcom welcomes shared rural network' agreement to improve mobile coverage Add to Your Pages 09 March 2020 The Government has announced it has reach...

03/03/2020

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (February 2020)

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (February 2020) Add to Your Pages 03 March 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of three new communit...

15/02/2020

Companies must tell customers about their best deals

Companies must tell customers about their best deals Add to Your Pages 14 February 2020 Providers must now tell you when your contract's up, and wha...

12/02/2020

Ofcom Board appoints Dame Melanie Dawes as Chief Executive

Ofcom Board appoints Dame Melanie Dawes as Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 12 February 2020 The Ofcom Board has today announced the appointment of Dam...

12/02/2020

Ofcom response to Government announcement on online harms regulation

Ofcom response to Government announcement on online harms regulation Add to Your Pages 12 February 2020 Jonathan Oxley, interim Chief Executive: We sha...

04/02/2020

Parents' rising concern over children online (Wales)

Parents rising concern over children online (Wales) Add to Your Pages 04 February 2020 Gaming and self-harm among biggest concerns Half of older childr...

04/02/2020

Parents' rising concern over children online

Parents' rising concern over children online Add to Your Pages 04 February 2020 Gaming and self-harm among biggest concerns Half of older children ...

30/01/2020

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (January 2020)

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (January 2020) Add to Your Pages 30 January 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of four new communit...

21/01/2020

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint update

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint update Add to Your Pages 21 January 2020 Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Consumer Group Director, said: We...

09/01/2020

Helping customers get fair treatment and fair prices

Helping customers get fair treatment and fair prices Add to Your Pages 09 January 2020 New scorecards help customers compare phone and broadband firms ...

08/01/2020

Supercharging investment in fibre broadband

Supercharging investment in fibre broadband Add to Your Pages 08 January 2020 Ofcom sets out conditions to help bring full fibre nationwide Improving t...

20/12/2019

Latest Scottish broadband and mobile coverage revealed

Latest Scottish broadband and mobile coverage revealed Add to Your Pages 20 December 2019 Number of homes with access to superfast broadband increased b...

20/12/2019

Latest UK broadband and mobile coverage revealed

Latest UK broadband and mobile coverage revealed Add to Your Pages 20 December 2019 Full-fibre broadband now available to around three million homes So...

18/12/2019

Celebrity Big Brother tops TV complaints for the decade

Celebrity Big Brother tops TV complaints for the decade Add to Your Pages 18 December 2019 Ofcom publishes most complained-about shows of the 2010s An ...

17/12/2019

Ofcom plans ban on mobile firms selling 'locked' phones

Ofcom plans ban on mobile firms selling locked phones Add to Your Pages 17 December 2019 New rules also proposed to make broadband switching easier Mob...

21/11/2019

Ofcom's Mansoor Hanif to step down

Ofcoms Mansoor Hanif to step down Add to Your Pages 21 November 2019 Ofcom has today announced that Mansoor Hanif has stepped down from his role as Chie...

07/11/2019

Ofcom appoints Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive

Ofcom appoints Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 06 November 2019 The Ofcom Board has today announced that Jonathan Oxley will...

29/10/2019

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year Add to Your Pages 28 October 2019 Ofcom updates on proposals to auction new frequencies Airwaves wil...

25/10/2019

Ofcom welcomes mobile firms' agreement to build a shared rural network'

Ofcom welcomes mobile firms' agreement to build a shared rural network' Add to Your Pages 25 October 2019 Ofcom spokesperson: We warmly welc...