BRITISH COMMUNICATIONS REGULATOR Ofcom has revealed that 35 percent of the UK's major roads don't have a 3G signal for at least one of the mobile phone networks, with a staggering 10 percent having no 3G signal on any mobile network.
The news is part of the regulator's Infrastructure Update report, which reports on all communications methods and their progress.
Other items include a doubling in the number of WiFi hotspots in the UK, which have doubled year on year to 34,000, carrying over two terabytes of data per month, up from 0.75 terabytes last year.
Meanwhile fixed broadband continues to accelerate, with three out of four buildings now able to receive superfast broadband, defined as speeds of 20Mbps and above, though only 22 percent are taking the opportunity.
Fixed broadband accounts for 650 terabytes of data per month, which Ofcom said is the equivalent of a billion Encyclopedia Britannicas. However, the figures for 3G are causing the most concern, and while 4G is expected to alleviate the problem, at least in part, Ofcom has not ruled out government intervention to force operators to step up their games.
The next stage for Ofcom will be to conduct a similar study on the rail networks, where often, on suburban routes, network congestion can be as bad as it is on the rail lines themselves.
Meanwhile, as more and more rail operators offer WiFi to customers, this is likely to be included too, with Ofcom set to give advice to National Rail and the Department of Transport on how to get their communications houses in order. µ
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