Report reveals more collaboration required for UK gigabit broadband

A recent report issued by the industry think tank Digital Connectivity Forum (DCF) has uncovered weaknesses in the UK’s attempts to roll out 5G mobile connectivity and gigabit-capable broadband.

DCF found that the initiative designed to empower businesses and individual users with enhanced connectivity could benefit from higher levels of collaboration, consistency and communication between the UK telecoms sector and local authorities across the country.

Currently, more than 76 percent of UK companies and homes have access to a fixed gigabit-capable broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) network. This statistic drops to 53% when looking at just Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband (FTTP). Furthermore, UK communications regulator the Office of Communications (Ofcom) recently stated that 5G coverage from at least one UK operator had hit between 73 to 82 per cent of premises in the nation. However, this figure falls to between 12 and 22 per cent when examining outdoor coverage by all UK operators combined.

Now, the most recent DCF report has interviewed 31 different organisations that are involved in providing digital connectivity including local councils, regulators, network operators, and government departments. It studied the role of local governments as enablers of adding infrastructure and found that there are issues in three critical areas of consistency, communication, and collaboration.

The report made 27 recommendations and claimed that if they were implemented fully, they would potentially address many of the obstacles remaining that local authorities are currently experiencing during the deployment of improved digital connectivity. For instance, it noted that local authorities with a published digital strategy are proactive in reducing barriers to mobile and fixed deployments.