Ofcom has published its 2014 Infrastructure Report and a new interactive map. As always with large datasets presentation is always a problem, but there is lots of scope for confusion we believe in the new maps, since the map site is only mapping based on a postcode sector, which is can be an area covering several square miles and we all know how broadband speeds can vary from house to house.
The statistics since they are from Ofcom will be widely used, but the publication is already 6 months out of date and the headline that 75% of UK households can get superfast broadband (78% when you combine FTTC and Cable without the speed qualifier) has been surpassed by the 80% figure released by the DCMS. Of course we don't rely on just the figures from Ofcom or the DCMS and many will dispute that its just 3% that fail to get superfast speeds from FTTC, but running our own numbers we believe 4.4% of those able to get FTTC get speeds below 30 Mbps. The UK broadband landscape is also rapidly changing at a rate of 45,000 extra households getting access to FTTC per week, which fits in with the 40,000 rate from BDUK and a smaller number of commercial cabinets being enabled.
The report does mention Gigabit suppliers like CityFibre, Gigaclear and Hyperoptic but seems to neglect them when talking about the national broadband speeds, since they only list 350 Mbps as the maximum speed when it should be 1 Gbps.
We need to highlight that the speed information is calculated from line data supplied by multiple operators, which in theory should give a much better idea of the situation in rural areas than the SamKnows testing system, though there is still the disjoint between what is delivered to the modem and then the quality of the wireless connection which for millions is their many connection method in the home. The 2014 report has taken a much deeper look into how FTTC performs over distance, something thinkbroadband has been clear about for some years now.