UK superfast broadband adoption lags behind the best in Europe

Superfast broadband is available to 73% of UK households but less than a fifth have adopted it, according to Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard 2014

While superfast broadband is available to 73% of UK households, less than a fifth have adopted the service, according to Ofcom’s European Broadband Scorecard 2014.

The UK scored three out of five for superfast broadband pricing on the scorecard, based on a comparison across the five largest European economies (EU5).

But Ofcom’s scorecard found that, among the EU5, using the most recent comparable data, the UK had the highest broadband take-up (all types, by household), at 83%. The UK also scored highest in terms of the proportion of people who have bought goods online over a year (77%).

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: “The government’s roll-out of superfast broadband is accelerating - Britons already do more business online than any other European country, and the news that we now have the best superfast coverage of all five leading European economies is testament to the progress made to date.”

However, while the UK may well lead in broadband speeds among the five largest economies in Europe, Boris Ivanovic, chairman and founder of Hyperoptic, a provider of FTTH broadband, said: “The overall conclusion that the UK has the best broadband in Europe is highly questionable, as broadband infrastructure in other European countries – especially in Scandinavia – is far superior to ours at the moment."

Ivanovic also questioned the accuracy of Ofcom’s broadband data, compared to other third-party figures. While Ofcom puts the UK average broadband speed at 17.8Mbps, Ivanovic said Akamai has measured it at 9.1Mbps. 

“The reason for this is because of the way the data is collated and measured; median and average speeds are confused – just because providers report they are increasing speeds it doesn’t mean that the consumer is able to receive it,” said Ivanovic.

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The UK needs to get itself sorted out as it is now way behind Europe. I live in Moldova for part of the year. Supposedly this is the poorest country in Europe, However they have one of the fastest communications networks in the world. 4G was installed here throughout the country a long time before the UK and it is about 4 times the speed. The coverage is really good and standard broadband is also fast and really cheap. (the upload speed of my broadband in Moldova is about 30 times the speed in the UK). In the rural area where I live, it is not exactly poor - Salcombe which they call Chelsea-on-sea is a few miles away, but the broadband where I live is hopeless. I notice that BT profits last year were 6.18bn, so perhaps the regulator should ensure that what should now be an essential service is provided to everyone. How would everyone feel if the electricity provided was not 240 volts but something much less - it wouldn't be acceptable.


My friend who lives in rural Sweden has a far superior Internet connection than I feel I will ever have in a rural Lincolnshire village. I just laughed when I read the UK was reported to be the best in the EU for broadband.


I live in a rural area and fiber is coming here by the end of 2014. I'm actually surprised since Virgin offers 50+Mbps to SOME houses that use the same cabinet, while others are stuck on 2-4Mbps.


What good is superfast anything if you cannot afford to use it, our internet services are far too expensive, so most people resort to the slow cheaper internet, the internet also suffers from fair usage policy which is the same as deliberately slowing the service down, so that they can cram more people on a single service, maximising the money and debilitating the service.


It's an utter joke. BT finally upgraded my exchange to fibre after a mere connectivity of 1MB down and 0.09 up, but here's the catch.. after having an extra £200m shovelled in to speed up the upgrade process we were pushed 6 months in advance, great? No. Out of the four cabinets that serve my local exchange, only one has been switched to fibre. So they're claiming to be successful at sticking to their will to upgrade the UK, but really they're doing a half assed job.


I live in a difficult bit which is 15 miles from Hull, we don't have mains gas, a Post Office, rural bus service, any 3G coverage and fortunately no Tesco Extra either.
But don't worry because BT can provide a whole 0.25Mb service, as long as it isn't raining, windy or any other weather condition you can think of.
Lets stop wasting money speeding up services in areas where people don't want or need them and actually sort out 100% coverage to minimum service level first.


All the other services have other options, oil or electric instead of gas, stamps can be ordered and delivered and most other Post Office services are available online (if you have internet access), everyone has a car around here as it is essential and you can always use Skype to chat with friends (if you have internet access), don't need 3G coverage (if you have internet access), online shopping is a wonderful replacement to the drudgery of a trip to the supermarket (if you have internet access) - a pattern seems to be emerging here...

The one service that has no other option is high speed internet access !


I live almost exactly halfway between Bristol and Gloucester. Mains gas - yes if I fork out £2500+ for transco to lay 10 meters of pipe. We started a community shop that sells stamps, nearest PO is 5 miles as is the nearest small(ish) supermarket. I am totally reliant on the Internet for shopping as I no longer am able to drive. Bus service - twice a week, 3 busses. - which I am unable to use as the shaking of the bus on the appallingly maintained roads is too painful for me to withstand. Local councils say they have been so stripped of funds by central govt. they are unable to provide any social services.

I am able to achieve +/- 400kbps down and 40 up in good weather conditions and provided no one local is trying to stream TV. For this I pay £35. It's the fastest that is available and essential for my research. The nearest market town and all the surrounding villages have requested a timeline for fast, never mind superfast broadband and we have been told there are no plans as yet. 3G coverage is abysmal so no joy there.

To get to my point, the UK is supposedly a first world and one of the richest countries. Why is the population still being treated as factory fodder? All the advances