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Ofcom: Broadband networks hold firm during coronavirus lockdown

Paul Lipscombe
May 13, 2020

The lockdown has seen a huge spike in broadband usage, reveals Ofcom

Ofcom has revealed that broadband networks have performed well during the pandemic despite the rising demand on these services.

According to the regulator’s Home Broadband Performance Report, download and upload speeds fell by two per cent and one per cent respectively.

It comes despite networks being under more pressure to deal with millions of UK workers working from home.

With some providers reporting an increase in weekday traffic of between 35 and 60 per cent since the lockdown began.

While the regulator also revealed that latency on networks has remained stable, with just a two per cent increase.

Closing the gap

Broadband speeds in rural areas are also catching up with those in towns and cities, with the number of rural areas receiving superfast speeds (30Mbps and above) increasing.

This has increased from 44 pc in 2018 to 56 per cent last year, while the number of people not receiving a decent connection down too.

However rural speeds are still far off those found in urban areas according to Ofcom.

On average urban peak-time speeds hit 75Mbps, as opposed to the 39Mbps in rural areas last year.

Ofcom Group director for strategy and research Yih-Choung Teh has hailed the performances as “encouraging”.

“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.”

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