Rural properties are much less likely to have good broadband connections

5 October 2016
What was claimed

Half of people in rural areas and many small businesses can’t get a decent broadband connection.

Our verdict

That’s fair according to Ofcom’s definition of a good broadband connection. It says just under half of rural properties (around 1.5 million) and many smaller businesses can’t access a good speed.

It’s just not right, for example, that half of people living in rural areas, and so many small businesses, can’t get a decent broadband connection.”

Theresa May, 5 October 2016

Regulator Ofcom says that the typical household needs a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbit/sthe tipping point beyond which most consumers rate their broadband experience as good.

Just under half of rural properties (around 1.5 million) can’t access that speed, according to its report. Only 4% of urban properties have speeds less than 10Mbit/s.

Ofcom says that’s because of the longer lengths of copper wire between rural properties and the source of their internet connection.

It also says that slow broadband is a significant problem for many smaller businesses across the UK.

A separate study last year found that just under half of people living in remote rural areas said their internet connection was fast enough, and more than half had an average speed less than 6.3Mbit/s. At that speed the report said it would take about a minute to download 10 songs, or four minutes to save 200 photos.

Ofcom’s maps show broadband availability by area in 2013.


Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee

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