ITV has a clip from the House of Commons where their spokesperson on media issues had the following to say on the current state of broadband roll-out.
"Ofcom published figures which show that 10%, that's 5 million people, have no access to broadband what so ever."Bishop Auckland MP, Helen Goodman
The 90% having access to broadband was announced by Ofcom recently, but it should be made totally clear that the Ofcom 90% figure refers to broadband connecting at 2 Mbps or faster. The number having any form of broadband what so ever will be higher, and while this may be so slow that even low quality video streaming is not possible, basic email/banking should be possible on any broadband service that is running above dial-up speeds.
"1.3 Current generation broadband is available in close to 100% of premises in the UK. Overall take-up of fixed broadband services is now around 71% of UK premises.
1.4 The Government is committed to ensuring that, by 2015, almost all premises in the UK will be able to access a basic broadband service of at least 2Mbit/s, through the Universal Service Commitment (USC). We have seen significant progress to this target over the last year, and expect this to continue:
- We found that 10% of all UK connections had fixed broadband speeds of less than 2Mbit/s this year, a significant improvement on the 14% recorded last year.
- Many consumers now have the option to switch to superfast services to improve their speeds, and others could improve their speeds by addressing in-home wiring issues. Together, these actions could go a long way to delivering the Government's ambition. For those still unable to receive 2Mbit/s via a fixed network, other technologies are becoming available, such as satellite broadband and 4G mobile broadband.
Coverage of broadband at 2Mbit/s or more - 89.9% of existing connections
Coverage of superfast broadband - 65% of premises"
This exchange is interesting, because of the recent poll results we published, that reveal the public has little confidence in either party actually delivering on their broadband promises, and exchanges like this where facts take second place to attempts to be seen as the better party are not helping matters.
In theory it could be said that 8 Mbps broadband is available to around 99.9% of the population if one were to include satellite services like toowayDirect, and their £29.99 per month service offers 8 Meg down and 2 Meg up, so beats ADSL services. With self install options available the cost of installation has dropped and the dish can also be used to receive Sky/FreeSat with an extra LNB module. Of course there are the usage limits, and inability to do some latency sensitive tasks such as first person shooters, but it is an option.