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The State of Broadband in the UK: Trends and Statistics

Home broadband has become a necessity that supports society-wide modern-living, with internet access required almost every hour of the day. 

However, UK broadband has charged a premium to the planet to provide this service, but with sustainable broadband, you can be better connected. 

Here you can see the landscape of broadband across the UK with a deep dive into trends, statistics and efforts towards making the digital world inclusive and sustainable. 

young couple searching the internet on their laptop

Strong Internet growth, Uneven Distribution

The UK has witnessed significant progress in internet access over recent decades. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that 97% of households had internet access in 2022.
However, there's a crucial caveat countering this bold figure of digital inclusivity. ONS data reveals regional disparities, with lower coverage in rural areas. This digital divide creates a significant barrier, limiting access to essential online services like education, healthcare, and remote work opportunities. Not to mention the lack of energy-efficient fibre technology and sustainable broadband options for all. 

The roll-out of fibre broadband technology in rural areas will improve home, health and business connectivity, while increasing the UK's energy efficiency.

Government initiatives:

The UK government's Levelling Up agenda directly addresses this challenge. This program allocates funds to improve broadband infrastructure in underserved areas.

Community-led solutions:

Local authorities and social enterprises are playing a vital role in bringing connectivity to rural communities. These efforts often involve innovative solutions like utilizing micro-providers and exploring fixed-wireless access technologies.

Superfast Speeds Gaining Traction

The UK is experiencing a surge in superfast broadband adoption. According to Ofcom, nearly 72% of UK premises have access to speeds exceeding 30 Mbps. This significant improvement empowers users with activities like:
  • High-definition video streaming without buffering.
  • Online gaming with minimal to no lag.
  • Seamless video conferencing for remote work and education.
  • Multiple devices connected at once accessing the internet. 

business woman searching on her laptop

Fibre on the Rise

A key driver of this progress is fibre optic technology. Fibre offers superior speed, reliability, and lower latency compared to traditional copper cables. Fibre broadband is more energy efficient, resulting in almost half of the carbon emissions from the fibre infrastructure, compared to traditional copper.

man working on his laptop in the office

Future-proofing the network 

We are also nearing the Big Switch Off in December 2025 which will retire the traditional copper network which has supported the UK's communication infrastructure since 1876. Adopting a Fibre optic broadband network is crucial for supporting the ever-growing demand for data and bandwidth-intensive applications for modern living and working.

Fibre is future-proof and is set to last for many decades ahead, the perfect choice for better connecting your home or business.

two workers installing broadband lines

Balancing Progress with Sustainability

Fibre optic broadband reigns supreme in energy efficiency compared to traditional copper-based technologies. Fibre networks consume significantly less power. At 50 Mbps, fibre uses roughly 56 kWh per capita annually, whereas similar speeds with DOCSIS (traditionally copper-wired internet) require 88 kWh. This means there is a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, with fibre emitting roughly 1.7 tons of CO2 compared to 2.7 tons for DOCSIS.

Fibre is more efficient than copper cables as it transmits light pulses with less energy loss. Copper cables have resistance, which causes signal degradation and needs repeaters. This eliminates the need for power-hungry amplifiers, significantly lowering the overall energy consumption of the network. Additionally, fibre optic cables are built with glass, a naturally abundant material, reducing reliance on extensive mining practices often associated with copper extraction.

young woman using her laptop at home

Green Initiatives Taking Root - Your Co-op's Sustainable Broadband

Your Co-op offers climate-positive Broadband, striving for sustainability through a two-pronged approach to better connect. Firstly, energy efficiency has been a long-term priority by being an early adopter of fibre optic cables. Fibre transmits data with minimal energy loss compared to traditional copper wires, reducing the overall environmental impact.

Secondly, Your Co-op with climate impact partners Ecologi directly address the remaining carbon footprint. Ecologi utilises funds from Your Co-op to action carbon reduction projects worldwide. This includes renewable energy generation and reforestation for future decarbonisation. Your Co-op broadband customers can reduce their carbon footprint by 10kg each month, that's almost 4x the minimal emissions associated with their service.

The Road Ahead: Building a Sustainable Digital Future

While Your Co-op Broadband are helping lead a light in better connecting homes and businesses. A truly sustainable broadband future for the entire UK requires a multi-pronged approach:
  • Continued investment: Upgrading infrastructure, particularly in underserved areas is crucial for nationwide high-speed coverage.
  • Focus on innovation: Encouraging research and development in energy-efficient technologies and alternative power sources is essential.
  • Collaboration: Open communication and collaboration between government, industry, and communities are key to addressing challenges and implementing effective solutions.
Together, these efforts can ensure that everyone in the UK has equal digital access to the tools and resources they need while minimising the environmental impact of a connected world.


Are broadband speeds increasing in the UK?

Yes, the average download speeds reached 69.4Mbps in 2023, increasing steadily year-on-year with more homes switching to fibre broadband. 

Is fibre optic broadband becoming more popular?

Yes, over 73% of UK households can access superfast fibre broadband (at least 30 Mbps), with around 25% actively using it. This number is steadily growing ahead of the Big Switch Off in December 2025.

Does everyone in the UK have access to good broadband?

While 97% of households have access to superfast connections, a small percentage (around 2%) still lack access to speeds exceeding 10 Mbps. Efforts are underway to bridge this digital divide, ensuring the UK's rural and urban areas have equal internet access.