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UK leading Europe in superfast broadband rollout

The UK is outperforming the top economies of Europe in terms of superfast broadband availability. 

An international benchmarking study carried out by research firm Analysys Mason found that the UK is ahead of its European peers in terms of coverage, take-up, average speeds and prices – boasting the most-competitive broadband market out of all countries featured in the report. 

The study, commissioned by BT, found that more than 70 per cent of premises in the UK were able to access superfast broadband at the end of 2012, which puts the country ahead of France, Germany, Italy and Spain in terms of availability – and the report predicts it will be among the best performing countries worldwide by 2018. 

UK leading Europe in superfast broadband rollout
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Adoption was higher in the UK at the end of 2012 than elsewhere in the big five, at 18 per cent of premises. By 2018, Analysys Mason predicts that half of UK premises will subscribe to superfast broadband, compared with the Western European average of 42 per cent. 

The report found that only lesser populated such as the Netherlands and Sweden – that have extensive fibre optic coverage or where superfast connections have been available for longer have better or comparable average speeds, coverage and take-up of superfast than the UK. 

“There is an ongoing debate about the UK’s performance relative to other countries for superfast broadband,” says Analysys Mason Partner Matt Yardley. 

“This report shows that the UK does very well on most superfast broadband benchmarks today and that by 2018 it will continue to outpace its major European competitors and even outperform Japan and the USA on some measures.” 

The latest figures from Ofcom show that show that 4.8 million UK customers have signed up to superfast broadband, which is available to 73 per cent of homes and businesses. By 2017, 97 per cent of the country should be able to get superfast broadband, so its likley that half of the UK will be enjoying superfast speeds a year after that. 

For those in the margins not able to get superfast broadband in the forseeable, it’s been suggested that satellite broadband remains the only viable option. The EU’s Broadband for All map shows that satellite broadband coverage in the UK is 100 per cent, so anyone looking to get superfast speeds beamed from space should have little trouble getting connected. 

Image: BT

Additional reporting by Thomas Newton.

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