Web roll out 'fails to hit full speed', report MPs

People in Ross, Skye & Lochaber were found to have the worst internet speeds of all, with nearly two thirds of internet connections failing to reach the Government's proposed minimum standard of 10 megabits per second (Mbps).

A new report calls on Ofcom, the media and telecoms regulator, to get tough on broadband providers that promise fast speeds but fail to deliver.

The concerns were outlined in the Broadband 2.0 report, which was helmed by a group of MPs working on British infrastructure headed up by former Tory party chairman Grand Shapps.

Led by former Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps, they're now calling on communications regulator Ofcom to compensate families who do not get the internet speeds they pay for.

The MPs want Ofcom to produce better data on the take-up and availability of connections, and consider legal rather than voluntary codes of practice for internet providers.

A spokesman for Ofcom said the code was being reviewed to potentially make it tougher, but there was now no penalty compensation related to speed failures for customers.

However the MPs say data gathered by Ofcom does not distinguish between connections for customers not signed up to superfast broadband, and those customers not getting the speeds they are paying for. The regulator said only about 1.4m households and businesses in the United Kingdom - about 5% of the total - were not able to get a minimum 10Mb service because they were in rural, hard-to-reach locations.

Eight of the 20 Westminster parliamentary constituencies with the lowest broadband speeds in the country are in Scotland, more than any other part of the United Kingdom, according to the analysis by the British Infrastructure Group.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "Almost 95 per cent of the United Kingdom can now get superfast broadband, but we know millions of homes and businesses have not yet chosen to upgrade".

A DCMS spokesman said: "Almost 95% of the United Kingdom can now get superfast broadband, but we know millions of homes and businesses have not yet chosen to upgrade".

The proposal is yet to be made public but rivals such as Vodafone, Sky and TalkTalk, who have to pay Openreach to offer their internet packages to customers, fear that they may be charged more and that consumers will receive higher broadband bills.

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