10Mb is the minimum broadband speed you need, says Ofcom

You need a broadband speed of at least 10Mb to cope with today’s downloading and streaming demands, with British homes now using more data than ever before, according to a new report by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.

The average British home now downloads up to 53GB of data every month using broadband, says Ofcom's latest annual Infrastructure Report - that's an increase of 77% over the last year.

This explosion in data consumption - or 'using the internet', as normal people would say - is being driven by the popularity of video on-demand services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube, which all use a lot of data.

In many homes, several devices - phones, laptops, set-top boxes - are commonly used to stream at the same time, with streaming video in HD alone requires a download speed of at least 4Mb, which is why Ofcom reckons 10Mb is now the minimum requirement for the modern household.

Unfortunately, the government is aiming to deliver a minimum download speed of only 2Mb to the whole country by the end of 2016, which means many still won't be able to stream films and TV programmes, and do many of the other more advanced things online that many of us now take for granted.

Ofcom has published a new interactive map that shows you the quality of broadband, mobile, radio and TV coverage where you live. Enter your postcode or the name of your local authority to see average broadband download and upload speeds, 2G, 3G and 4G coverage, Freeview coverage, digital radio coverage and more in your area. The map will be updated annually.

If you want a minimum broadband download speed of 10Mb, the easiest way to get it is with fibre optic broadband. It's much faster and more reliable than regular broadband, and it's now available to over three-quarters of the country. To find out if you can get it, bang your postcode into a broadband price comparison site like this one innit.

Source: Expert Reviews

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