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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