Broadband and Digital TV
Broadband and Digital TV are now two essential parts of most people’s homes, and make up a large proportion of activities during time spent at home.
Broadband is now the standard way to get internet access in the UK, having replaced the slower and inferior dial-up connection, and is available in 99% of UK homes.
With internet speeds of up to 100mb per second, broadband enables users to stream high definition movies and games in real-time, something we could only have dreamed of five years ago.
Most people’s broadband connection speed is actually around 2mbs, with BT’s old copper phone network struggling to offer the speeds the internet is capable of. Despite plans to replace the entire network with fibre-optic, super fast cables, the internet will never exceed these speeds for people in rural areas – at least not in the next 5 years, with BT rolling out their new cables in busy towns and cities first.
Broadband is offered by a variety of providers, most of whom use BT’s wholesale service and phone lines to deliver you broadband, with the exception of cable providers Virgin Media who have their own fibre-optic cables already laid out in some towns and cities.
You don’t have to buy your broadband from BT, however, as many other providers can give you broadband utilising your BT line.
Digital TV has now replaced analogue TV, with the last analogue transmitters being turned off this year, and offers the user many more channels than the analogue network’s standard BBC1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
With nearly 80 TV channels and several more radio stations offered through a digital receiver, most modern TVs have a digital receiver built in, and those with older models who do not can buy a digital set-top box for under £20 from most electrical retailers.
Whilst freeview digital channels cost nothing, Sky through their satellite services, and Virgin Media through their cable network, also offer digital TV on a paid-for basis.