Just over 10% of residential and business premises still lack quality, high-speed broadband provision, according to a new survey.
Moreover, the survey, from specialist communications research organisation Point Topic, claims that the 13% of private homes and enterprises across the UK which currently have access to a broadband capacity of only 2 MB or less are unlikely to see any improvement in the near future.
According to the survey, this lack of access to fast broadband speeds is more acutely experienced towards the northern areas of the country than in the south. Point Topic claims that, although there are several local schemes currently being planned to increase the availability of high speed broadband, any progress is still unlikely to help the government reach its goal of ensuring provision in the UK surpasses that of all other European countries by 2015:
Point Topic’s chief executive, Oliver Johnson, said:
“There are currently 3.7 million premises – residential and business – outside the 2Mb fixed footprint and we are projecting more than two and a half million still outside the reach of super-fast broadband in 2016.”
Concern over the lack of high quality broadband provision in some parts of the UK, particularly in more rural areas, has been raised by several other commentators. Many of these commentators have pointed to the potentially adverse effect this broadband deficit could have on commercial performance and competitiveness among UK businesses.
Quality broadband provision is generally considered essential not only for ensuring adequate standard web communications, but also for the provision of internet-enabled facilities such as internet protocol (IP) telephony and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol).
Given the advantages that business VoIP in particular affords in terms of greater flexibility for business phone systems and reduced phone costs, many expect there to be continuing lobbying for the extension of high speed broadband in the UK.