Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is Scotland falling behind on superfast mobile broadband?

A report by Ofcom, the UK’s communications watchdog, has published a report showing that despite nearly 75 per cent of UK homes having access to superfast broadband, this figure is significantly lower in Scotland.

In the report, it is revealed that only 52 per cent of properties in Scotland have access to superfast broadband. There is a small increase compared to the previous year, when this figure stood at 45 per cent, but overall, the country is lagging behind the rest of the UK. Only 9 per cent of homes in rural and remote parts of Scotland can access superfast broadband, which is considerably less than the 25 per cent reported in rural areas in the rest of the UK.

Ofcom’s data also shows that more than a quarter of Scottish homes don’t have access to even 2G coverage, whilst over half can’t access 3G networks. The price comparison website uSwitch said that the rollout of the EE 4G phone network to increasingly more towns and cities could help the situation in Scotland. Broadband expert Marie-Louise Abretti said:

“The Scots are trailing well behind England and Northern Ireland when it comes to superfast availability – frustrating for anyone suffering sluggish speeds,”

“With mobile internet not up to scratch in Scotland either, Ofcom’s report makes for grim reading.

“There is a glimmer of hope as EE has plans to roll out 4G to rural areas, but the network has suggested these plans may be put on hold if Ofcom increases spectrum fees,”

Scotland’s mobile data use was found to have increased by a massive 51 per cent compared to last year, as more people take advantage of 4G contract, PAYG and 4G SIM only plans on EE and other networks. However, despite the growth, mobile data use in Scotland was found to be lower than in the rest of the UK overall.

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