Average UK broadband speeds largely held up during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown despite rising demand from home working, online lessons and TV streaming.
This is according to our Home Broadband Performance Report, which shows how broadband speeds changed before and after the lockdown.
Demands on the broadband network have been driven in part by home working and by school closures, leading to a rise in use of streaming and learning services. Some broadband providers have reported an increase up between 35% and 60% in weekday daytime traffic since the lockdown began.
Our report also shows that broadband speeds in rural areas are catching up to those in towns and cities. The proportion of rural lines receiving at least superfast broadband during peak times continues to increase – from 44% in 2018 to 56% in 2019 – while the proportion not receiving a decent connection at peak times fell from 33% to 22%.
However, broadband speeds in rural areas still lag behind those in urban areas. Urban peak-time speeds reached almost double those reached in rural areas during 2019.
Broadband in the UK has really been put to the test by the pandemic, so it’s encouraging that speeds have largely held up. This has helped people to keep working, learning and staying connected with friends and family.Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director for Strategy and Research
Ofcom’s Stay Connected campaign includes a range of tips to help ensure people get the best out of their internet connection during the coronavirus period:
Today, we’ve also published our Connected Nations spring update, which looks at broadband availability and mobile coverage in the UK in January 2020, before the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK. It shows: