Re: Gigabit Broadband?
Maybe I am missing something but for most users having something at the 50Mb to 70Mb that FTTC delivers is surely enough.
As others have said, for remote working on an asymmetrical connection, it's upload speed that is the limiting factor, but like you I survived last year quite well with what many would regard as inadequate speeds. It's not a popular thing to point out though, and I get downvotes every time I mention it on El Reg.
Our ADSL2 connects at around 7½/1 and at times last year I had three schoolchildren at home - two on Google, one on Teams - and a wife, remote-desktopping into her machine at work. Yes, I also have a 4G modem plugged into the router (did have before lockdowns), but it is set to come up only in "emergencies", and rarely did so for more than a few minutes every couple of days.
Upload speed was potentially a bottleneck, but in practice the schools did most teaching with children's cameras off so data leaving the house was mostly text chat, connections to Google Docs and whatever is required for remote desktop - hardly anything in other words. Piano lessons, ballet, church, family chats and so on worked perfectly well.
Look, it wasn't ideal, and frankly a 35/10 connection would have been easier but we didn't upgrade then, and haven't now. For a start, it wasn't even possible to book an installation until well into the pandemic - a point many of those moaning about the delays getting internet connections to schoolchildren without last year ignore* - by which time schools were finishing for the summer, and it looked as if teaching would be at least partly in-person by the autumn. For another thing, as someone else has pointed out, it doesn't come for free. Oh, and until the autumn, our phoneline terminated in a "shed" in the front garden - a temporary arrangement I had put in place myself (don't tell BT) when our house was being rebuilt. Until I had repositioned the line to look as if it had never been touched, I didn't really want a BT engineer on site :-)
I suppose what I'm saying is that many people find ADSL2 "good enough"**. So long as you get something in excess of 6Mb/1Mb it's good for an HD video stream (BBC recommends 3.2 - 5Mb/s, it often seems to be less than that in reality), and a couple of two-way video calls.
While ADSL is still available, good enough for most uses and faster options are more expensive, there will be a lot of people who don't see the need to upgrade. The UK's place in the rankings won't improve until ADSL is withdrawn and people are forced to upgrade.
Us? Well, I do have a use for faster upload speeds - and not just video calls - so now that our master socket looks as if it has never been touched by non-BT hands again, maybe it's time to upgrade.
*in many cases this was solved in reality by handing out 4G modems and Chromebooks, but mobile is not a panacea - coverage, contention and reliability can all be issues
**worth noting here that more and more "normal" people (that is, not us!) - certainly up until last year, but I reckon that is a blip - were ditching, or simply not replacing, desktop and laptop computers, even tablets, and "doing internet" purely via their phones, partly driven by also ditching landlines