Future broadband speeds in the UK

The latest survey which was completed by December 2011 reveals that in the European broadband speed ratings, the UK ranks 25th. Though the broadband speeds in the UK are improving fast, it is estimated that only 30 per cent of the connected are getting broadband speeds above 5 Mbps. According to the European broadband speed ratings, in the Europe, the most connected country is Netherlands where 68 per cent of the population get broadband speeds above 5 Mbps. In the case of the UK, in the year 2011, 70 per cent more users received UK broadband speeds of 5 Mbps when compared to the previous year, which shows that the broadband facilities in the UK is improving.

When the availability of broadband speeds of at least 2 Mbps is considered, the UK gets the 11th ranking. In the UK, though the super fast broadband connectivity is improving fast, only 91 per cent of users get speeds above 2 Mbps whereas in Bulgaria 97 per cent of the users are getting more than 2 Mbps and in the Czech Republic 95 per cent of consumers receive broadband speeds of more than 2 Mbps. The original plan of the UK Government was to provide all premises in the country with broadband speeds of at least 2 Mbps by the close of 2012 and unfortunately that target has been postponed to 2015. Though there are many reasons, the primary reason being the lack of funding, for this postponement, the Government reiterate that by 2015 the Britain will be having the best broadband facilities in the Europe. How it is going to achieve the objective or the detailed plans for the same etc. are not revealed yet.

Along with this the European Commission has put forward a proposal to deliver Super fast broadband to houses and businesses and for this purpose it is ready to sanction funding to the tune of €9 billion and the work of this project is expected to be started in 2014 and would be completed by 2020. It is presumed that the European funding should be matched by Government and private investments. Though it is a long term goal it is ambitious and once the project is completed the houses and businesses in Europe would have broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps and 50 per cent of the households would be getting speeds of about 100 Mbps.

In the UK, the current Broadband speeds are 5.01 Mbps which is faster than the speeds available in France. (3.84 Mbps) However, this speed is lower than Holland (8.49Mbps) and Ireland (7.03Mbps). The fastest average broadband speed in the World is Japan 9.0 Mbps, the speed available in the USA is 6.14 Mbps, in Canada 5.95 and in Russia it is 4.28 Mbps. In the UK there is regional variation in the speed availability. While broadband speeds of over 10Mbps are available in Edinburgh, London has average broadband speeds of about 6.1Mbps.

In the UK currently 70% of homes can access cable broadband thanks to the fibre optic cable. There are only two providers of cable broadband infrastructure in the UK namely Virgin Media and the British Telecom (BT). BT allows other distributors also to use its cable infrastructure. It is to be noted that to get the best broadband deals and services, one has to compare different options offered by different companies and it is possible with the help of internet.

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