UK approaches 98% broadband coverage

UK approaches 98% broadband coverage

The UK is close to achieving its longstanding goal of providing broadband coverage to the whole of the population.

That is according to data from the European Commission (EC), cited by V3, which claims that 99.8 per cent of the country now has access to some form of fixed internet services.

Around 81.6 per cent of those connections can be classed as higher-speed ‘next-generation access’ (NGA).

However, the remaining 18.2 per cent of connections are as low as 144Kbps – below the UK's goal of 2Mbps or above for all residents.

In terms of mobile connections, coverage for 4G services now covers around 61 per cent of the country, while mobile data coverage has reached 98.5 per cent.

Both of these numbers will offer much encouragement, as they are ahead of the European average.

In terms of penetration, the UK is also ahead of the curve, with 43.3 per 100 people in the UK having a fixed internet connection.

Around 34.1 per cent said they had a connection over 144Kbps or above, while 8.7 per cent had over 30Mbps. Just 0.5 per cent said their connection speed was over 100Mbps.

However, the EC said in the glossary of the report: “For fixed-line broadband, there is often one subscribed line per household or business location, so that in a fully saturated market the penetration will be (much) lower than 100 per cent."

The findings come on the back of a verdict given by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which suggested that around 45,000 firms across the UK are still relying on a dial up connection.

It argued that around 94 per cent of business owners consider a reliable internet connection to be a vital part of their company's success, meaning that in order for businesses to really reach their online potential, the UK will need to continue striving to improve broadband speeds.