UK fat pipes sluggish from lack of fibre

Poll: What happened to the need for speed?

Poll: What happened to the need for speed?

The majority of UK consumers appear to be making do with home broadband speeds of 8Mbps or less.

According to the latest silicon.com poll that asked readers what speed home broadband they'd signed up for, 50 per cent numbered themselves among the 'up to 8Mbps' crowd.

Broadband from A to Z

Click on the links below to find out more...

A is for ADSL
B is for BT
C is for Cable & Wireless
D is for Dial-up
E is for Education
F is for Fibre
G is for Goonhilly
H is for HSDPA
I is for In-flight
J is for Janet
K is for Kingston
L is for Landlines
M is for Murdoch
N is for Next generation
O is for Ofcom
P is for Power lines
Q is for Quad-play
R is for Remote working
S is for Satellite phones
T is for Trains
U is for Unbundling
V is for VoIP
W is for WiMax
X is for Xbox
Y is for YouTube
Z is for Zombies

Outside the 8Mpbs category, the majority of users found themselves with a slower connection. Slightly more than a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents had broadband with a speed under 8Mbps, with two per cent signing up for speeds of just 1Mbps.

Meanwhile, a significant proportion of readers are clearly feeling the need for speed. Around a fifth (21 per cent) of respondents said they'd signed up for speeds of 16Mbps or more, with another four per cent saying their contract promised broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps.

For some, broadband speed doesn't appear to be a major issue with two per cent saying they didn't know what speed they'd signed up for.

Recent research by price comparison website uSwitch found that 28 per cent of Brits are dissatisfied with the broadband speeds they receive with many providers delivering speeds below those advertised.

Faster broadband speeds could be on the horizon, however, after BT said it will invest £1.5bn in next generation networks as long as comms watchdog Ofcom can change the regulatory environment to ensure the telco can justify the outlay.

The BT plan aims to give 10 million UK homes fibre by 2012 with bandwidth of up to 100Mbps - and potentially up to 1,000Mbps in the future.

In addition, Ofcom recently revealed an action plan to raise awareness and encourage telcos to invest in next generation networks.