Which UK cities have the biggest superfast broadband take-up gap?

Written by Jenni Davidson and Sam Trendall on 17 July 2018 in News
News

New report shows low adoption of next-generation connectivity in some major cities

Aberdeen has the greatest take-up gap of superfast broadband out of any city or town in the UK, 60% of residents failing to take advantage of available connections, according to a new report.

According to the Delivering Change report from the Centre for Cities, 90% of homes in Aberdeen have access to superfast broadband, but only 30% of households have chosen to take advantage of it – a chart-topping 60 percentage point difference. At the other end of the scale, Crawley’s take-up gap of less than 40% is the narrowest of any conurbation included in the report.

The average availability level across the UK stands at 94%, with take-up of 43% - a gap of 51%. 

Among the areas where take-up of superfast broadband is lowest are Merseyside (36%) and Greater Manchester (39%).

“Take up will grow as older contracts expire and new speeds are available,” the report said.


Related content


It added that many UK cities are not taking advantage of their digital connections and suggested they need to get ready for the rollout of 5G to avoid falling behind international counterparts. It then set out a series of recommendations for cities, regions and national government to promote both improvements to digital infrastructure and uptake once it’s available.

To increase uptake of broadband, the centre suggested that a focus on skills and on digital exclusion are essential.

It suggested that cities can take action to speed up the rollout of digital infrastructure by making access easier to get pipes, masts and cells in place, by being a testbed or innovator, and by improving market conditions and mitigating risk for companies.

The latter might include city development plans that give investors a clearer idea of the business case and location for investment, using their own procurement power to aggregate demand from businesses, leveraging existing assets that could be used for fibre and taking advantage of the convergence of broadband and mobile.

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “The UK has invested significantly in becoming a global leader for digital infrastructure, but action is needed to ensure more people and businesses in cities across the country can benefit from this technology. Part of the problem is that cities need more powers and resources to address digital skills gaps in their communities. However, the onus is also on cities to learn from the innovations that some places are already pioneering, in using existing technology to transform public services.”

He added: “We also need a concerted effort from national and local leaders to ensure cities can provide the best possible built environment to deliver new digital infrastructure in the coming years, such as the rollout of full fibre and 5G. Other cities and countries across the world have ambitious plans to capitalise on digital technology – UK cities must do the same to compete with global counterparts as we leave the EU.”

 

About the author

Jenni Davidson is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @HolyroodJenni.

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

PM says UK ‘not short of options’ despite EU satellite shutout
4 December 2018

Theresa May says government will press ahead with development of sat nav system in light of continued impasse over UK’s involvement in Galileo programme

DVLA seeks digital accessibility endorsement
22 October 2018

Agency aims to comply with  international accessibility standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Related Sponsored Articles

How the Internet of Things is revolutionising business
26 November 2018

BT thinks The Internet of Things is about to undergo a revolution. Over the past two decades, we've seen IoT tech evolve from a possibility, to a novelty, to an established tool that plays a vital...

Quantum cryptography and the future of security
19 November 2018

Quantum computers will soon make some of our strongest encryption useless. And that's where quantum cryptography comes in

Make security integral to your business
5 November 2018

BT knows that digital security isn't just about technology. It's about the partnerships, intelligence and expertise you need to stay one step ahead in the security race.