Skip Navigation

Point Topic project only 81% of UK to have super fast access in 2015
Tuesday 14 May 2013 15:55:56 by Andrew Ferguson

Point Topic has been busy analysing the various datasets for UK broadband coverage and have mapped each postcode in the UK to its telephone exchange and modelled the downstream speeds, thus is able to give scorecards for the local authorities across the UK. Which is very useful information for local government, providers and altnet projects who are researching which areas of the UK need the most help.

For the UK Government the data is not encouraging, as the overall UK picture suggests that by the end of 2014, 71% of premises will have access to a NGA solution, this rises to 81% by the end of 2015 and does not break the 90% barrier until sometime in 2017 with the end of 2017 carrying a projection of 91% coverage for NGA broadband (i.e. a super fast service). The only UK region set to break the 90% target by the end of 2015 is London.

For the individual as the postcode level information is still behind the paywall, it will not tell you how fast a specific property will be, but the projections of the availability of Next Generation Access (super fast broadband) are informative for which parts of the UK to consider setting up home or locating your business in.

Portsmouth, Kingston upon Hull, Watford, Manchester, Norwich, Ipswich, Southampton, City of London, Leicester, Eastbourne, Oxford, Bournemouth, Worthing, Northampton, Gosport, Worcester, Derby, Tameside, Trafford, Plymouth, Oldham, Rushmoor, Poole, Brighton and Hove, Oadby and Wigston, Crawley, Belfast, Rochdale, Epsom and Ewell, Southend, Castle Point, Adur, Cambridge, Bury, Cardiff, Lincoln, Medway, Torbay, Salford, Spelthorne, Havant, Cannock Chase, Hertsmere, Redditch, Fareham, Kensington and Chelsea, Exeter, Reading, Islington, Stoke on Trent, North Down, Stockport, Swindon, Lewisham, Thanet, Hackney, Lambeth, Chesterfield, Westminster, Camden, York, Christchurch

Local authority areas that should have 95% or better NGA coverage by end of 2015

This list of the best covered areas adds up to some 4.6 million households and 417,565 business premises.

So if your idea of picking a place is to throw a dart at a map, we would recommend sticking to the areas mentioned above when throwing your dart. The ten local authorities that Point Topic estimate will have the worst NGA coverage by the end of 2015 follow: Copeland (28%), South Lakeland (28%), North Warwickshire (27%), East Lindsey (24%), Tewkesbury (22%), Cotswold (20%), Redcar and Cleveland (18%), North East Lincolnshire (14%), Darlington (7%) and Forest of Dean (4%). These areas at the bottom of the table comprise 453,400 households and 41,000 business premises.

With some local authority projects already talking of continuing beyond 2015, Point Topic do extend their projection to the end of 2017, which radically changes the worst performing areas, Eilean Star (43%), Shetland Islands (50%) and the Orkney Islands (51%) are at the bottom of the table for super fast coverage if you look at the 2017 figures.


Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
There's something screwy with these figures.

For example, you list Hull above as 95% covered by 2015. Point Topic lists it as being 86% covered at the end of 2012, and a total of 122,000 properties.

Yet KC have announced deployment of Lightstream to 15,000 properties this year (2013), with it being available to 17,000 already (from press release 2 weeks ago)

The numbers aren't close!
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
And how does it define what the "Top Speed Available" value is. Their definition is "Average of the maximum download speed provided by the highest bandwidth services available in this area"

Yet for the place I live, this is supposedly 40.8Mbps, while I already get 80Mbps.

What does "Average of the maximum" mean?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Am pretty sure that the Kingston Upon Hull does not totally match the Karoo footprint, but always scope for some oddities.

Do they list any alt operators in the area?

Average of maximum - as its pretty wide areas then yes may not represent the absolute maximum
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Finally, there is a useful column hidden away in that data

It is "Percentage BT NGA Target", and it differs from the NGA probability columns...

For my location, the percentage BT NGA Target value is 98%. Being in N Yorks, we already know the BDUK plans for all the exchanges in the area to be included, so this sounds good. And NY, being first in the BDUK, has targets to be complete by 2015 too.

Yet the probabilities are:
2012: 23%
2013: 77%
2014: 83%
2015: 85%
2016: 87%
2017: 88%

How do those values tie in with a target of 98%? And with a timescale of 2 years earlier?
Posted by laura_kell over 3 years ago
Hi Andrew, WWWombat - Laura from Point Topic here:

'Top speed available' is the average of the top speed available in all postcodes in the area, rather than the absolute maximum.

We're investigating Kingston now with KC.

Day 1 with the launch of this dataset so please bear with us :)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
WWWWombat, thats the joy of a projection, you cannot be sure, just like BT cannot be sure of hitting 98% (unless they have a bottomless pit of cash and lots of people) and we don't have very wet summers and frozen winters.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
For Hull, it says there are zero LLU operators, and 2 Altnets. It names KC as the first altnet supplier, and because the cell is locked I can't see the second one.

You'll be right on the Karoo vs Hull boundaries, but it'll be an adjustment in the wrong direction (ie Lighstream is available in some E Yorks areas outside the city itself).

Either way, there's a long way between KC's figure of 17,000 last year and PT's figure of 105,000.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Laura - Thanks. I think I understand why there's such a low figure for "Average of maximum" now (a low percentage of postcodes covered by NGA-type speeds in 2012)

Andrew - certainly. It'd be interesting to know just how much the various probability figures are adjusted because PT think BT won't be capable of hitting their targets.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
On Hull again - I unlocked the sheet, and can see the second altnet is MS3 Communications. I don't think they're the ones to get coverage up to 86%!
Posted by baby_frogmella over 3 years ago
"Eilean Star" LOL
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
"mapped each postcode in the UK to its telephone exchange" - cabinet, shirley ??
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@herdwick - no, the mapping appears to be exchange-based, and any references to line-length seem to match. There is no "D-side length" information.

There is NGA availability prediction, but not NGA speed prediction.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
My local authority is missing!
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Seems a bit weak, if Superfast has a speed definition >24M and only comes from Openreach cabs or VM cable then "exchanges" is insufficient granularity ?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
The full dataset (that costs £££) has granularity of each postcode, but the data it holds is about broadband in general, not just NGA or SFBB, and so describes availability of all sorts of things - LLU, cable, DSL, speeds, line length, NGA availability.

The *free* portion tells you the summary data, where the granularity is the local authority, and the data is an average of all the postcodes in that LA.

Why not take a look for yourself? Spreadsheet is on ISPreview.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Or if really interested register for free and get notified of the updates to it.
Posted by ian72 over 3 years ago
How have they definied "local authority areas". Worthing is not a local authority on it's own as it is part of a larger area including Adur. So, is this Worthing Town or Worthing and Adur district?
Also, of course the BDUK project is run as a county level project not at a district/town level in the area so has little to do with Worthing District itself anyway.
Posted by laura_kell over 3 years ago
Point Topic has just published an update to our dataset based on the feedback we’ve got from users (which has been great, thank you guys).

Overall very small changes but they explain some of the anomalies that you have reported - I'll post some specifics but you can see a full list in the dataset.

New data here – any more questions, happy to help:
Posted by laura_kell over 3 years ago
@WWWombat – of course, Kingston-upon-Hull FTTx coverage too high. We’re kicking ourselves on this one.

We also under-stated Digital Region coverage in South Yorkshire. Big impact in these areas, but negligible impact on UK overall.
Posted by laura_kell over 3 years ago
@Somerset – North Somerset in there now 
Posted by laura_kell over 3 years ago
@andrew – no real change to the overall article (and thank you for posting this), except:

Kingston-upon-Hull is removed from the list of authorities over 95%

408,565 business premises covered by over 95% end 2015.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Thanks for the update. Looking better for Hull, unless you live there!
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.