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63% of UK households have access to superfast broadband
Tuesday 15 May 2012 19:10:11 by Andrew Ferguson

Ofcom in theory has access to lots of data from providers, and should thus be able to produce statistics easily on what services are available to parts of the UK, and an interesting UK wide figure has emerged. To quote exactly "Customers who are unhappy with their current speed could also consider switching to a faster package or provider, particularly if superfast broadband services are available to them (63% of UK households now have access to superfast broadband )."

Inexplicably the figure was buried in amongst the latest round of mystery shopper research published by the telecoms regulator. On immediate viewing the figure looks far too high, as Openreach superfast coverage has only just reached 38% of the UK, and Virgin Media cable services only cover 48% of UK households. The solution seems to be that there is not a total 1:1 mapping between Openreach and the Virgin Media cable network, which some have accused Openreach of having. The 63% figure is feasible if 15 percentage points of the Openreach FTTC and FTTP coverage are outside Virgin Media areas. The actual figure for Openreach outside Virgin Media areas may be a few percentage points lower due to the presence of alt-nets, e.g. Digital Region has a footprint of around 3% of UK households.

Update 20:30 Added a figure for Digital Region, who provide VDSL2 in South Yorkshire via sub-LLU, though their coverage does overlap some Virgin Media and Openreach FTTC areas too.


Posted by daz1234567 over 5 years ago
well im supposed to be one of those 100 mb line virgin media customer of way too long and too loyal i currently get 0.04 download and 0.68 upload this changes yes daily and sometimes i get what i pay for but 14hours to download 1 gig test file high utilisation is whats blamed but to completely level hundred meg is that possible please be wary of virgin media services and lies
Posted by KarlAustin over 5 years ago
Are they also including Digital Region in with it? As in theory it is up to 1m people covered I believe.
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
It's obvious that there isn't a 1:1 mapping between VM and BT. I have FTTC but no-one in my town has VM. All of Bicester town(*) has FTTC but only about half of that has VM.

It's annoying that BT have some shared coverage (sad that VM's service leaves room for BT, frankly) but no, it's never been 1:1.

(*)Not the outlying villages, sadly. They have neither.
Posted by acahopkins over 5 years ago
VirginMedia service is excellent here, and usually is all the time. The TBB speed test regularly shows over 47Mb/s download, and has since last year. We did briefly use an ADSL service until 2008, but the BT line meant a theoretical limit of 8Mb and in practice often barely 4Mb, so we went back to VM.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@KarlAustin Have added a few words on DR now.
Posted by KarlAustin over 5 years ago
We're one of the oddities in the centre of Sheffield, SLSF has no planned FTTC date, but can get Digital Region (although if they can provision it correctly is a different matter).
Posted by timmay over 5 years ago
What is the definition of "superfast broadband" that ofcom have used?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@timmay Funny should ask that, at worst they should be using the faster than 24 Mbps definition. i.e. excludes ADSL2+
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