Broadband is no toy for early adopters. More citizens in the UK have access to the internet than ever before and...
those in the industry have had to move at a rate of knots to keep up with demand for better coverage, faster speeds and necessary regulation.
The year of 2012 has been filled with the big, traditional players cementing their places, community projects innovating for the sake of the locals and the government making promises we all wait to see if they can keep.
Here are our top ten broadband stories of 2012.
The race for the best broadband speeds kicked off early in 2012 with Virgin Media announcing it would double the speed and bandwidth allowance of its broadband service for more than four million customers by mid-2013, increasing top level speeds to up to 120Mbps.
BT followed Virgin Media's lead in March by boosting the speeds of its fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) downloads, moving up from 40Mbps to 80Mbps. The firm said the speeds would be available to two thirds of the country by 2014.
Unlike other operators in the UK, as the market leader BT is made to offer up its lines on a wholesale basis so other ISPs can provide their services. In February Ofcom told BT it was charging these ISPs, including TalkTalk and Sky, too much and wanted it to reduce the cost of a broadband and phone line from £91.50 a year to £87.41, and to reduce the cost of a broadband only line from £14.70 a year to £11.92.
Despite widespread improvements to the speeds and provision of broadband in the country, the UK was shown to be far behind many other locations around the world. Akamai's state of the internet report, released in April, listed the 100 best cities globally for broadband and not one UK city made the grade.
Industry boards and analysts soon spoke up about UK broadband plans with many agreeing more needed to be done. One such organisation was the FTTH Council Europe whose president, Karin Ahl, said "the UK doesn’t have ambitious enough broadband plans."
The government then got a kicking from a House of Lords Select Committee. It slammed the government’s broadband strategy, claiming the UK “can and must do better” when rolling out internet infrastructure.
With all the debate around speeds, Ofcom entered the fray to defend the UK's current stance. It claimed whilst many weren't taking up the superfast speeds, the overall network improvements made a huge difference to the quality of lower tarriffs.
World beating speeds are not out of the UK's grasp. In November BT revealed it was trialling fibre broadband in Cornwall that could achieve speeds of up to 10Gbps.
Government plans may have fans and critics in equal measure, but in November it finally got the permission of the European Union to go ahead and start spreading the £530m of wealth for broadband roll-out across the UK
To end the year, Chancellor of the Exchequor, George Osborne, confirmed 12 more cities to gain extra funding to become "super-connected" with broadband of a minimum 80Mbps speed.