Broadband

UK Broadband Networks withstood surge during Pandemic

Ofcom analysis shows UK broadband speeds have withstood a surge in demand during the Covid-19 lockdown

Ofcom’s Home Broadband Performance Report has revealed how broadband speeds changed before and after the COVID-19 lockdown measures came in – when there was a surge in broadband use. Download and upload speeds fell only by 2% and 1% respectively. 

Demands on the broadband network have been driven in part by home working and by school closures, leading to a rise in people using streaming and educational services. Some providers have reported an increase in weekday daytime traffic of between 35 and 60% since the coronavirus restrictions came in. 

As children and adults look for ways to entertain themselves indoors, Netflix download speeds fell by 3% in the lockdown period compared to pre-lockdown – indicating that people rushed to catch-up with their favourite shows in their free time. But data use from increased screen time was offset by Netflix reducing the streaming quality of its content.

The responsiveness (latency) of broadband networks – the delay between a connection requesting an action and that action taking place – also remained stable. The 2% increase in delay measured would have had little effect on performance for most people.

The report also reveals 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 (30 Mbit/s and above) during peak times continues to increase – from 44% in 2018 to 56% in 2019 – while the proportion not  receiving a decent connection (10 Mbit/s and above) at peak times fell from 33% to 22%.

But broadband speeds in rural areas still lag behind those in urban areas. Urban peak-time speeds reached 75 Mbit/s, almost double the rural average of 39 Mbit/s in 2019.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director for Strategy and Research, said:

“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.”

Home Broadband Performance Report

Loader Loading…
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Rapid Mobile

Rapid Mobile uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognise visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and - depending on your settings and privacy choices - enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.

 

By continuing to use our site or clicking I Accept, you agree that Rapid Mobile and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalised ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy.

 

You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings or by visiting our Privacy Centre for more detailed information.

 

Privacy Settings saved!
Cookie Services

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

We track anonymized user information to improve our website.
  • _ga
  • _gid
  • _gat

Decline all Services
Accept all Services