UK cable now outguns fibre networks
| 04 October 2014
In the six months to May 2014, the average speed delivered by cable broadband in the UK overtook the average speed for fibre connections for the first time says broadcast and telecoms regulator Ofcom.

The respective speeds measured in Ofcom's eleventh of actual residential broadband speeds in the UK were 43.3 mbps and 42.0 mbps. The report also showed that the overall average actual UK broadband speed increased by 5% (0.9 mbps) to 18.7 mbps while the take-up of services with a headline speed of 30 mbps and above increased from 24% to 28% of connections, while average superfast speeds remained stable at 47 mbps.

Ofcom concluded that the cable speed increases were mainly due to customers upgrading to faster services while the six months to May 2014, the mix of fibre packages available changed, with the proportion of the lower speed 'up to' 38 mbps fibre connections increasing slightly. This, coupled with a small decrease in the average speed recorded for 'up to' 76 mbps connections, resulted in an overall reduction in the average speed for fibre services.

Commenting on the findings, Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards, who has just announced that he is to step down at the end of 2014 , said: "More and more consumers are benefitting from improvements to the UK's broadband infrastructure. While good progress is being made, there is still work to do in ensuring more widespread distribution of high-speed, reliable broadband services across the UK. It's important for us to provide consumers with the best possible information to help them understand the options available to them when choosing broadband, how different packages perform, and what they can do to get the most from their services."