Ofcom confirm broadband networks stand firm during pandemic

Today Ofcom confirmed average UK broadband speeds largely held up during the COVID-19 lockdown despite rising demand from home working, online lessons and TV streaming.


Ofcom's Home Broadband Performance Report shows how broadband speeds changed before and after the lockdown. 

Home broadband providers have reported an increase of between 35 per cent and 60 per cent in weekday daytime traffic since the lockdown began.

Additionally, the report shows that broadband speeds in rural areas are catching up to those in towns and cities, through they still lag behind those in urban areas. The proportion of rural lines receiving at least superfast broadband during peak times continues to increase – from 44 per cent in 2018 to 56 per cent in 2019 – while the proportion not receiving a decent connection at peak times fell from 33 per cent to 22 per cent.

Today Ofcom also published their Connected Nations spring update, which looks at broadband availability and mobile coverage in the UK in January 2020, before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK.

It contains lots of very insightful statistics including:

  • 3.5 million homes (12 per cent) can now access full-fibre broadband, up by a fifth since September last year
  • Ultrafast broadband is now available to 55 per cent of UK households, compared to 53 per cent in our last update. Superfast broadband remains available to 95 per centof UK households
  • Around 2 per cent of homes and businesses are unable to get a decent fixed broadband connection. However, due to new rules that came into force in March anyone who can’t get a decent service now has the legal right to request one
  • Mobile coverage remains largely unchanged since their December report. But since then, the UK Government and four mobile network providers have agreed to develop a shared rural network, to help improve coverage across the UK. Each company has committed to deliver good quality 4G coverage to at least 90 per cent of the UK over the next six years.


Link to Ofcom's Home Broadband Performance Report



Link to Ofcom's Connected Nations spring update 



  • Jo O'Riordan

    Jo O'Riordan

    Head of Spectrum Policy and Telecoms
    T 020 7331 2191

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