Half of rural areas still have slow broadband speeds header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Around 1.5 million consumers and businesses in remote areas are still finding themselves with sub-par broadband connectivity, according to a new report published by communications watchdog Ofcom. 

This equates to 48 per cent of rural consumers and businesses whose broadband is less than 10Mbps, with one in five receiving less than 5Mbps. This problem is much more prominent in Scotland, with the report stating that 57 per cent of the premises with poor broadband are located there. 

The British consumers' average monthly data usage has seen an increase of 41 per cent within the last year, now standing at around 82GB each month.

Ofcom calls speedy internet one of the "essential enablers of our working and social lives", and says that "a download speed of at least 10Mbps is necessary to deliver an acceptable user experience". 

The government is aiming to address these concerns, and has a target to connect 95 per cent of the UK to superfast broadband by 2017. Industry experts have, however, questioned the affordability of this scheme for consumers. Concerns have been raised about the possibility of a sharp divide between areas that do and do not receive adequate broadband speeds. 

This will not only affect consumers in an increasingly digital world, but will affect the potential success of businesses in these more rural areas. Furthermore, this could have an effect on the economy if companies find themselves having to relocate to areas where the broadband is more sufficient for their business needs.