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According to figures from Ofcom, 17 million UK homes (or 57%) now have access to full-fibre services, with 4.6 million having signed up.
December 19, 2023
Of the four UK nations, Northern Ireland is top of the pile, with 91% able to get access according to Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations report.
28% of homes and businesses that can access full fibre have signed up, and uptake in rural areas is nearly double that of urban homes at 49%.
“The rapid rise in availability of full-fibre broadband is good news for people and businesses across the UK, with millions more able to benefit from fast, reliable and future-proof internet,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Network and Communications Group Director. “When the time comes to take out a new broadband contract, we encourage people to shop around and find out what options are available to make sure they are on the best package for their needs.”
In terms of satellite broadband, there are now around 42,000 UK customers connected to Starlink’s service, up from 13,000 last year. The majority of these are in rural areas.
On the 5G front, the reports puts ‘coverage provided outside of UK premises by at least one operator’ at 85% – a rise on last year’s 67%. Traffic clocked 140% growth and represented around 17% of total mobile traffic.
The majority of mobile traffic continues to be carried over 4G however, which accounts for 81%. 4G coverage is now available from all operators outside more than 98% of UK premises, says Ofcom.
The report also notes that operators are starting to switch off their 3G networks, with EE, Vodafone and Three planning on doing so next year followed by Virgin Media O2 in 2025. There are around 2.4 million devices still reliant on 2G or 3G networks, which has more than halved from last year’s estimated 5.5 million.
To put that into context, according to Ofcom data of all network data traffic, just 3% is used by 3G, a 44% decrease year on year.
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