How gigabit speed home broadband will transform the digital experience of UK families
By Neil Blagden, Chief Operating Officer, Vodafone UK
At home, most of us rely on a fixed broadband connection to go online. And when we’re online, we’re using more and more data.[i] A typical UK family with home broadband uses about 190GB of data a month, which is roughly the equivalent of binge-watching High Definition (HD) videos for 2.6 straight days. But streaming your favourite TV show, movie or game can be tricky when everyone in the family is online at the same time.
Today the average UK download speed is about 46.2MB, according to Ofcom. But with multiple devices connecting to the internet at once, download speeds can slow down significantly. The result is a frustrating digital experience – onscreen images appear in low definition, or the video you’re watching may be interrupted in mid-stream while data is downloading. All you’ll see onscreen is a circle that just spins and spins.
UK families already own an average of 7.4 devices that can access the internet, mainly smartphones, tablets and laptops. As the number of devices we use at home continues to rise, data congestion is likely to climb even more. But there’s no need to settle for slow, unreliable broadband.
Gigabit speed powered by full fibre broadband
Today, Vodafone has started offering our new full fibre home broadband service to families in Milton Keynes. 50 customer homes will be the first to trial home broadband speeds of nearly 1 gigabit per second (1,000Mbps) – about 20 times the current UK average – before our service is made widely available across Milton Keynes.[ii]
Vodafone Gigafast Broadband transmits data over fibre optic cables at every stage of the connection from the customer’s home to the internet instead of relying on old copper-based wires. Thanks to full fibre, our customers will enjoy a faster and more reliable broadband service than ever before.
Gigabit speed will transform the digital experience of UK families
Take a busy of family of four. With Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, mum and dad can stream a live event on an Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) television while the kids are playing an online virtual reality game on a separate device at the same time. Everyone in the family enjoys a great digital experience, all without the frustration of slow speeds and poor quality onscreen images.
Gigabit-capable full fibre broadband also makes smart living possible for more families. In the scenario above, a whole host of smart devices can be deployed to keep the home safe and secure while everyone in the family is streaming and gaming to their heart’s content.
At gigabit speeds, everyday tasks that rely on transferring data can be completed faster than ever before. Need to save a memory card with16GB of holiday snaps and videos to the Cloud? That will take just two minutes, instead of about five hours and 44 minutes at the average UK upload speed.[iii] Or maybe you’re looking to back up a 200GB hard drive to the Cloud. On Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, you’ll get the job done in less than half an hour – instead of nearly three days.
Over a million UK homes could benefit from close to gigabit speed
The benefits of full fibre broadband are clear. Indeed, full fibre is vital to driving growth and productivity in our digital economy. But today, just 3% of UK premises have access to full fibre.
At Vodafone, we want to play our part to help the UK advance as a digital leader. Following a trial this summer in Milton Keynes, we will be making Vodafone Gigafast Broadband available in more UK cities, reaching a million homes by 2021. Construction has already begun in Peterborough, with work due to start soon in Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield and Stirling. City by city, one neighbourhood at a time, we’re working to make Gigabit UK a reality.
[i] The total amount of data UK fixed access networks carry in a month has risen by 52% over the last year to 4.17 exabytes, and the jump in data used by the average UK household is 44%. Source: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/108843/summary-report-connected-nations-2017.pdf
[ii] Vodafone Gigafast Broadband service is supported by our partnership with CityFibre, the communications infrastructure company that is building the full fibre network in Milton Keynes and other UK cities.
[iii] The average UK upload speed according to Ofcom is 6.2MB: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/most-broadband-mobile-services