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Four UK regions have 90% or better superfast broadband coverage
Monday 07 September 2015 13:17:29 by Andrew Ferguson

For anyone to enjoy a superfast broadband service it first has to be made available and with the end of 2015 looming ever closer we will feature a monthly summary of where the 12 UK nations and regions stand.

The UK Government set a target of 90% superfast coverage of UK premises initially by the General Election 2015 but with EU State Aid approval and other delays this was subtly shifted to the end of 2015.

Plot of broadband availability at 30 Mbps superfast speeds across the UK, red line represents 90% target and is moving more to the left each month

The major change in the last month has been that four English regions now have coverage at 24 Mbps or faster. As we are tracking the 90% coverage target we are not including coverage by B4RN, Gigaclear and Hyperoptic in these figures, in the Yorkshire and Humber area we do of course include coverage from KC.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC and Fibre Broadband Coverage across the nations and regions for premises
In descending order of superfast coverage - figures 6th September 2015
Area % fibre based % superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 15 Mbps
London 95% 92.7% (+0.4) 92.3% 66.1% 1.29% 0.3% 4%
South East 94.8% 91.1% (+0.9) 90.2% 47.7% 0.67% 0.4% 6.2%
East Midlands 93.5% 90.6% (+0.5) 89.9% 56.3% 0% 0.6% 5.6%
North East 92.4% 90.1% (+0.7) 88.9% 50.8% 0% 0.3% 5.7%
North West 93% 89.7% (+1.0) 88.9% 44.9% 0.33% 0.7% 7.5%
West Midlands 92.3% 89.2% (+1.1) 88.6% 60.6% 0.03% 0.4% 7%
East of England 88.7% 84.4% (+0.9) 83.5% 47.1% 0.25% 0.8% 10.4%
Yorkshire and Humber 85.5% 81.9% (+1.0) 81% 44.9% 2.02% (KC Lightstream) 0.7% 12.5%
Wales 86.3% 81.4% (+1.8) 80.1% 28.5% 0.19% 0.8% 14.1%
South West 86.1% 80.5% (+1.6) 79.3% 39.7% 2.34% 1% 13.5%
Scotland 81% 77.6% (+1.1) 76.8% 39% <0.01% 1% 14.4%
Northern Ireland 94.5% 76.1% (+1.3) 74.6% 26.7% 0.02% 8.7% 20%

If the level of improvements is sustained during September we may be talking of 90% availability in the North West and the West Midlands in a few weeks time. The English regions are aggregated on our coverage checker which reveals that in England the over coverage at 24 Mbps or faster is 87.6% (86.9% at 30 Mbps or faster). For the UK overall it is 86.2% with coverage at 24 Mbps or faster (85.4% 30 Mbps or faster).

Of course the improvements in coverage are of no benefit to those who have not actually benefited, or those who have seen their cabinet upgraded to offer VDSL2 but are too far from it to benefit.

Even if you ignore business premises with around 27.5 million households in the UK, the 90% target will clearly mean some 2.75 million will have missed out on superfast, hence phase 2 that is aiming for 95% superfast coverage by the end of 2017. For the final 5% everything hinges on the outcome of various pilots to assess the cost of delivering a superfast service to the final 5% and none of the pilots involve BT which will please many campaigners who feel that BT and Openreach have not delivered on previous promises.

It will be interesting to see how things progress beyond 2015, as the pressure to deliver sooner rather than later on the phase 2 projects and for the final 5% is increasing and the pressure to deliver improvements quickly will often mean that projects will focus on technology that can be delivered quickly, the end result being that while we are seeing increasing amounts of FTTH/FTTP we expect any FTTH solutions in the final 5% to be limited in size due more to time to deploy rather than cost per premise passed.


Posted by SLAMDUNC about 1 year ago
Do you have any interim news about the final 5% targets since Feb? It seems Priddy's unhappy about its pilot - what about others?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
Good to see, and so much more to come. The project will be judged by the how well in-fill is conducted.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Nothing official, though doubt there will be problems as BT is not involved.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
If the results above (% gain could be calculated Weekley) it would see if Openreach will hit targets plus proving Andrews Data is correct and not over estermated. My results and thinking it could be under target. OFCOM will be watching the results.
Posted by Somerset about 1 year ago
@BM - how do you produce your results?
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
LOL. All is bound to be sweetness & light!
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Somerset.
I produce my results by observation and knowing the UK infrastruture and been watching the development of broadband from the Dutch CEO for Broadband UK who introduced the system to the UK and was a resident in my area. QED.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Somerset.
The area was Haslemere 01428 see CEO for BT. Later years see other broadband service providers eg France see Internet.
Posted by Somerset about 1 year ago
@BM - living near the BT CEO does not have anything to do with your knowledge of technology. Weird.
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