Broadband ‘notspots’ for three million


Three million homes in the UK receive less than 2MB broadband, according to a report released today.

The research, conducted by broadband website SamKnows and commissioned by the BBC highlights the task ahead for the Government's Digital Britain project which plans to have all homes in the UK receiving a minimum of 2MB broadband by 2012.

The results show that regions with insufficient broadband, or so-called "notspots", are not confined to rural areas, with built up urban environments suffering as well.

Alex Salter, co-founder of SamKnows, told the BBC: "We had assumed that these notspots were in remote parts of the countryside. That may be where the most vocal campaigners are but there is a high incident of them in commuter belts."

A map of the UK was created by the website through a comparison of postcodes to services provided by 5,500 telephone exchanges. This highlighted which areas received less than 2MB and even areas that received less than 0.5MB.

Salter said: "In some cases people aren't able to shop online, aren't able to view certain websites or use social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter."

"It prevents flexible working. If the problem is fixed it means a lot more people could work from home which offers a very real way to improve society."

A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, responsible for the Digital Britain project, told IT PRO: "Broadband access is now a measure of fairness and equality - it's important we ensure that no communities are left behind as the UK benefits from the broad expanse of online information and services."

"That's why Budget 2009 confirmed the Government's plans to deliver a Universal Service in broadband at 2megabits per second, by 2012."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.