The performance delivered by broadband providers is holding up well during the COVID-19 lockdown period and speeds have withstood the increase in demand from home working, online learning and streaming. While being impacted by reduced staffing levels, providers have prioritised keeping the nation connected. Fixed, broadband and mobile providers have put additional measures in place to help vulnerable customers and pledged additional support to NHS workers.
The latest report is based on performance in November 2019 but Ofcom has also included measurements taken in the first and last week of March 2020 to assess the impact of COVID-19.
Ofcom has published a report on the media use, access, attitudes and understanding amongst children aged 3 – 15, and how parents manage this usage. The report revealed that whilst TV sets and tablets were used the most, TV viewing on a TV set is steadily declining, with consuming content becoming a more solitary activity and mobile viewing becoming increasingly popular. The reduction in TV viewing has been replaced for 3-4 year olds by spending an additional hour online, or gaming for 12-15s. (more…)
Ernst and Young has published findings into consumer and household attitudes into broadband – including both connectivity and content. The research – Segmenting the Digital Household – follows on from the Bundle Jungle study published towards the end of last year. It details how differences in attitudes might affect customer preferences and behaviours, highlighting where communications providers can engage with and provide for consumer needs more effectively.
The Government announced an additional public fund of a total of £645 million which will further extend superfast broadband coverage to 98% of UK premises by 2020. This is an update to figures released towards the end of December 2016, indicating that a total of £440 million would help reach premises beyond the 95% target (by end of 2017) under the BDUK scheme.
Ofcom has today published its consultation on automatic compensation for consumers and smaller businesses who experience disruption to daily activities caused by problems with their communications services. Before publishing a detailed consultation on the system, Ofcom is gathering initial views on the scope, form, process, level of compensation and also possible risks of introducing new measures. (more…)
The Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday released a study exploring how rail users value and use mobile connectivity on trains. It also shows evidence that passengers are willing to pay up to 17% more on rail fares above existing ticket price for improved connectivity on mobile and internet network access.
This study follows the 2015 Government consultation on improving mobile communications for UK rail passengers, as well as the Coalition Government’s pledge to roll out free Wifi on trains across England and Wales from 2017. The report finds that some groups of passengers would be willing to accept the costs of improvements to connectivity on trains, saving costs for the government and industry. (more…)
Ofcom last week published their annual report into adult use, attitudes and understanding of TV, radio, mobile, games, and the internet, with a particular focus on those groups that tend not to participate digitally. The report is based around research conducted in autumn 2015, and any key changes compared to Ofcom’s statistics from 2014.
Analysys Mason today published a report comparing the UK’s fixed telecoms market to the five major European countries and several other leading digital countries. It found that the UK is currently ahead of its European competitors on measures such as average speed*, superfast broadband coverage and take-up and will soon be outperforming countries such as Japan and the USA.
BSG calls for continued focus on reducing costs to allow superfast connectivity to be made available to all business premises as quickly as possible
2nd September 2015. The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the Government’s leading advisory group on broadband, today published a report on the current and future connectivity requirements of small businesses. The research found that whilst median downstream demand for small business premises will rise from 5Mbit/s in 2015 to 8.1Mbit/s in 2025 demand for the 95th percentile will rise from 12.9 Mbit/s to 41.1 Mbit/s.
The UK is one of the five Global Broadband Internet Ecosystem Leaders, according to the Net Vitality Index. The report was produced by the Media Institute, a US not-for-profit research organisation focused on communications policy. It is based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the global broadband internet system and identifies the US, South Korea, Japan, and the UK as the top-tier global broadband leaders.
Ahead of the roll-out of the EU Digital Single Market strategy in May, the European Commission published last week the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The UK is amongst the top digital performers ranking 6 out of the EU28 behind Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Belgium. Lowest digital performers include Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.
BSG Comment – Reaping the benefits of the digital revolution – HoL Digital Committee’s recommendations to the next Government
The House of Lords Digital Skills Committee published today a report entitled “Make or Break: the UK’s Digital Future???. It outlines the digital revolution that is taking place and states that the UK is at risk of being left behind. The Committee calls on the next Government to take a more ambitious approach in the development and delivery of digital policies.
Recent weeks have seen a lot of debate in Whitehall and Westminster around what should be the minimum download/upload speeds that premises and households can access. This raises a number of important questions as to what exactly we mean when we say that broadband is ‘essential’, ‘the fourth utility’ or even ‘a fundamental right’.