UK households looking to get faster home broadband have received a welcome boost, with new figures from Ofcom revealing that two-thirds of households can now subscribe to gigabit broadband.
Gigabit broadband is the fastest home broadband available and offers speeds of at least 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) – allowing you to download a movie in HD in less than a minute. The latest figures from Ofcom show these speeds are available to 66% of all UK homes (19.3 million) – up from 37% at the same time last year.
Full fiber broadband, which provides internet using fiber optic cables without the need for decades-old copper wires, has also seen a major increase in availability. A third (33% – 9.6 million) of all homes can now benefit from full fiber packages, which offer faster and more reliable internet. That’s up from 21% when Ofcom reported in May 2021.
The progress comes as a number of competing companies continue to roll out faster networks across the UK. This includes in hard-to-reach areas, with the number of premises unable to get a decent connection – classified as offering download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps – dropping now at just under 100,000.
However, this still leaves many people struggling to get online. Some may be eligible for universal broadband service, which helps connect people who can’t get decent speeds.
According to Lindsey Fussell, Director of Network and Communications at Ofcom Group:
“Our rules encourage businesses to invest in improving their networks, and we are now seeing a real race to roll out faster internet to people across the UK. But faster doesn’t necessarily mean bigger bills – full fiber packages are on offer for around £25 a month, so you can boost your broadband without paying for a bundle.
Today’s figures also show that a 4G mobile signal should be available in around 92% of the UK landmass, according to our latest December update. And while mobile companies are still building their 5G networks, our figures show that outdoor 5G coverage is offered by at least one provider to around half of UK homes.
This data is published in Ofcom’s Connected Nations spring update, which provides an overview of the availability of broadband and mobile services in the UK and its countries, as of January this year. Ofcom’s Broadband and Mobile Checker, which lets you check what coverage is available in your area, has also been updated to include the latest figures.