Ofcom reports UK improvement in broadband

Boris Johnson says people should go to the pub to avoid massive rush-hour delays during the Olympics, but perhaps teleworking would be better for business

London mayor Boris Johnson might have recommended that people should spend their afternoons in the pub to avoid massive rush-hour delays during the Olympics, but businesses may find it better to offer teleworking.

The latest report from Ofcom shows a marked improvement in UK broadband, making it more feasible for staff with laptops to work efficiently at home, especially during the Olympics, when the London transport system is expected to become gridlocked.

Ofcom announced a jump in UK broadband speeds as part of its latest research. The regulator said the difference between the monthly rental fees for "superfast" services (those with an "up to" headline speed of 30Mbps or more) and "current generation" services (which have a lower headline speed) is often relatively small. 

“More than four in 10 broadband consumers remain on packages with speeds of 10Mbit/s or less, even though many of them would be able to get a higher speed at little or no extra cost if they switched package or provider,” said the regulator. 

However, Ofcom reported that capacity constraints on ISPs' networks (contention) remained largely unchanged since May 2011.

BT Infinity, the operator’s 40Mbps fibre-based service, delivered average download speeds of around 36Mbps, according to regulator Ofcom.

The service improved from approximately 34Mbps in May 2011. The service also achieved the highest average upload speeds of 8.8Mbps. For comparison, Virgin Media’s "up to" 50Mbps continued to have the highest average download speeds of approximately 49Mbps. 

All other ISP packages did not change significantly from May 2011, Ofcom stated.

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