Ofcom has published a scorecard showing how the UK is performing in comparison to its European neighbours and most importantly how close the UK is to meeting the ambition stated by Jeremy Hunt in August 2012 of 'I am today announcing an ambition to be not just the best, but specifically the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015'.
|Coverage||EU5||Take-up and usage||EU5||Speed||EU5||Choice||EU5|
|Standard broadband coverage||=1/5||Standard broadband take-up||3/5 and 1/5 (*)||Fixed download speed||N/A||Market concentration in fixed broadband market||1/5|
|Superfast broadband coverage||3/5||Superfast broadband take-up||3/5||Fixed upload speed||N/A||Market concentration in mobile broadband market||=1/5|
|Mobile broadband coverage||=1/5||Mobile broadband take-up||2/5||Mobile download speed||N/A|
|% accessing internet regularly||1/5|
|% never used internet||1/5|
|%buying goods or services||1/5|
|% interacted with public authorities||3/5|
The other major European countries apart from the UK are France, Germany, Italy and Spain. There is no scorecard scoring on speeds because Ofcom was unable to find comparable data across Europe, though the situation is under review.
The story is very much of the UK being sat in the middle with regards to superfast services, but as the data used to generate the scorecard is from 2011 the acceleration in speeds from the Openreach FTTC/FTTP roll-out and Virgin Media speed doubling programme are missing. Though of course other countries in Europe are also improving too, so we may find it hard to catch up and pass them.
The question that needs to be asked and the scorecard does not address this, is with the UK already embracing the digital economy, will better access to superfast broadband make as big a difference as some reports suggest?