Ofcom has published a communications market report, that covers all the areas in the bodies remit, TV, telephone services, Internet access, digital TV/Radio. The document can be downloaded as a PDF document from here, and before you send it to the printer remember it is 126 pages long.
We will look at a few of the possibly key statistics relevant to the broadband audience, but for those looking at regional variations a closer read of the document is a must. We will add also that in respect of the broadband availability figures, these are based on 'households passed by the network' for ntl/Telewest and 'households connected to an enabled exchange', in both cases there will be properties not able to get a service, either due to things like wayleave issues, or length of metallic line to a property. In terms of ADSL, of the eight million running ADSL connections, there is around a further 32,000 who have applied for the service but failed to get a working ADSL service. This is the basis for the often quoted 0.4% who cannot get ADSL. While the percentage is small, it is of no comfort to those who cannot get broadband in any reasonably affordable form. For an example of a cluster on the far limits of reach, with some getting the slowest speeds and some nothing, one only needs to look at parts of Docklands in London (E16 postcode).
A word needs to said on the implied line length column. The implied means it is not based an actual measurements, but is rather an estimate based around the distance in a straight line multiplied by the the square root of 2, (~1.4). This means that things like local geography and anomalies in how the cables are routed are not taken into account, which also goes some way to explaining what looks like a large difference to this report back in June 2005. The 2km figures are interesting, a line of this length can manage around 15Mbps using ADSL2+, but speeds tail off rapidly such that even at just 3km the speed with ADSL2+ will be around 6Mbps.
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