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Ofcom report suggests 2Mb is too slow for even basic broadband

Ofcom's Infrastructure report claims that the government may wish to review what it defines as a threshold for broadband connections. A 2Mb connection may be too slow for an internet that is constantly growing in sophistication, and Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive, thinks that an 8Mb connection is more usable for consumers.

By on November 04, 2013 at 11:39 AM
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Broadband
Ofcom report suggests 2Mb is too slow for even basic broadband

As more and more content is taken online, a speedy and reliable internet connection has become even more necessary. Whether you are playing games on a social network or sorting out your banking online, web applications are becoming bigger and better all the time.

Broadband Delivery UK, the government led project bringing a broadband connection to every household in the UK, has been working to get at least a 2Mbps download speed to British homes and businesses. However, the latest infrastructure report from Ofcom suggests that a 2Mb connection may already be too slow to use properly with the internet as it is today, let alone in the future.

Let's say you wanted to watch a video online for instance, at 2Mb even the smallest YouTube video would take a while to load and, if someone else decided to use your internet connection at the same time, you could find yourself watching a loading wheel as the video buffers.

In Ofcom's infrastructure report the independent regulator found that people with a 2-3Mb connection will use almost a third less data than those using a 7-8Mbps connection.

Speaking at an event in Westminster Ed Richards, the Chief Executive of Ofcom, said to make the most of the web an 8Mb connection is the basic speed required:

In our Infrastructure Report, what you see very clearly is a big gap between those people with 8Mbps or more and those with less. It seems to be the case if you have less than 8Mbps you just use networks less, so there is a really interesting question about what, in the longer term, we mean by universal connectivity.

Right now the average connection speed in the UK is 14.7Mbps, and is slowly growing everyday as a result of the fibre optic roll out. People in more rural and difficult to reach areas however, are still going to be stuck with a slower 2Mbps connection. For them other options such as a 4G mobile broadband connection or satellite broadband could end up being a better solution.

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