Broadband News

Prediction that UK will have 10.5 million superfast connections running by 2016

The UK has arrived late at the superfast broadband table, but is playing catch-up, alas there is a lag in terms of people buying the products. Even with this delay Tim Johnson of Point Topic has published a forecast that superfast broadband take up will be over 10.5 million lines across the UK by 2016.

"It's still a risky and controversial forecast. It is always difficult to predict something which is expected to grow so fast. If the forecast is correct, the number of superfast lines will grow 50 times over between mid-2011 and the end of 2016."

Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic

Tim also highlights the reality that people are not forming crowds to get superfast broadband. With that said we are seeing people changing providers after years of loyalty simply because superfast is available now in their area. It look as if we are repeating the situation of 2001 and 2002 when the geeks (who tend to be early adopters in this case) and people working from home four out of five days of the week really could see the benefit of broadband. The key to the forecast, will be once the other large providers beyond BT Retail, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are offering superfast services.

The forecast does identify that growing demand for bandwidth will most likely be the key, as it has in the last 15 years. Point Topic suggest that in all likelihood 30 Mbps will be regarded as a good standard connection speed, rising to 100 Mbps by 2021. One of the biggest drivers is the increasing quality of video available from broadcasters. Ten years ago people struggled to find any online video at 300 Kbps, now movie trailers are commonly available at rates well over 5Mbps, and catch-up TV services offer HD content needing 3 to 5 Mbps of constant speed.

We are expecting that Christmas 2011 will be the year when Internet connected TV's will become a lot more common, adding another online video device to home networks. Christmas day usually sees a flurry of online activity as people get the myriad of updates for new games, tablets, fill ebook readers and so on, so it may be when people realise how crowded their current connection can be.


"It look as if we are repeating the situation of 2001 and 2002 when the geeks (who tend to be early adopters in this case) and people working from home four out of five days of the week really could see the benefit of broadband."

One other point. It doesn't mention that like those days, geeks or homeworkers are at the mercy of the exchange rollout strategy.

What percentage of the UK's lines is 10.5 million please Andrew?

  • camieabz
  • over 9 years ago

what it boils down to is that those who have fairly good broadband now will get 'superfast' and those who don't will not get anything. much. The 'rollout' is simply putting new cabs next to the old ones and putting the phone lines on to them. Only those close to cabinets will get anything like the advertised speed. Its the biggest con this century. Watch your bills for data transfer go through the roof when you try to use it. Watch the people on the end of lines fall off altogether.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 9 years ago

Is there any evidence from industry professionals that bills for data transfer will increase ?

  • Somerset
  • over 9 years ago

16 Days of Olympic games - 37 Billion. FFTC - 5 Billion. FTTP 28 Billion. What should the money have been spent on?

  • TavistockSFB01822
  • over 9 years ago

@cyberdoyle, as I've said before 90% of lines are within 1km of the cabinet, i.e. so will benefit from VDSL.

BT's 2.5bn investment would offer a much lower coverage if they stuck to FTTP.

Having ideals is good, but reality can mean compromise is needed.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 9 years ago

I think your 37 billion (pounds?) for the Olympics is way off the mark, the reality is under £10bn even if you include the regeneration costs which apply whether or not the Olympics take place.

Still a valid point of discussion but important to have the right numbers to debate.

  • New_Londoner
  • over 9 years ago

And the revised FTTH figures are ~£15bn for ~97%.

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

Post a comment

Login Register