Broadband News

Superfast broadband available to 60% of UK households

If you have turned on your TV or radio this morning, then you cannot have escaped the stories about the UK texting more than we are talking. This avalanche of snippets of communications data arise from the 2012 Ofcom Communications Market Report, and at over 400 pages long, it is not a quick read.

The report reports on a wide range of metrics each year, allowing various industries to try and project the direction things are in moving. The clearest sign from this years report is that postal services are being used less for day to day communications, with people adopting text messaging and the plethora of internet based communications systems, though twitter still is only used by 8% of the population daily. Some of the more pertinent to broadband statistics are reproduced below:

Service      UK England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
Fixed broadband availability 99.98% 100% 99.87% 100% 100%
LLU availability 92% 93% 84% 88% 79%
Cable broadband availability 44% 47% 35% 23% 29%
FTTC broadband availability 31% 33% 10% 17% 87%
Superfast broadband availability 60% 62% 42% 34% 94%
Broadband take-up 76% 78% 68% 68% 69%
Households taking bundles 57% 58% 47% 47% 51%

Superfast broadband (defined as a service offering a headline speed of up to 30 Mbps or faster) has some 1.4 million connections, accounting for 6.6% of all UK fixed broadband connections. This figure is rising, and will rise even faster as Virgin Media continues its upgrades for existing cable broadband customers, and the GEA fibre services from Openreach become more widely available.

Some of the figures look slightly optimistic, since we are certain that there are properties in England that cannot get fixed broadband, even if rounding is the case, to provide a fair representation a figure of 99.99% would be better to reflect the small number unable to get any fixed broadband service. There is a discrepancy of 4% between the availability of cable broadband reported in December 2011 (48%) and this report. There is no indication that there has been a drop in take-up, delving into the appendices reveals that the 44% refers to superfast cable broadband, suggesting that as of March 2012, 4% of the UK cable network was not offering an up to 30 Mbps or faster service..

The availability of superfast broadband was highlighted a while ago, but Ofcom has now made available the figures to reveal that superfast cable broadband is available to 28% of homes, FTTC and cable is available to 16% of homes and 15% of homes just have the option of FTTC. No figures appear in the report for FTTB or FTTP that we can find.


"FTTC and cable is available to 16% of homes and 15% of homes just have the option of FTTC" so there's nearly as many non-VM area households with FTTC available as there are households with FTTC available in VM areas. Not the usual perception.

  • herdwick
  • over 8 years ago

Re: Fixed Broadband - its comforting (not) to be in the 0.01%.

  • PhilCoates
  • over 8 years ago

I have an FTTC cabinet 4 tenths of a mile away on the same road that I live on. Yet unable to get Superfast Broadband. FTTC? More like FTTN (Fibre to the neighbourhood). BT you have done a lousy job of deploying fibre on housing estates. And if VM hadn't rolled out cable broadband the UK still would have been in the Broadband Backwaters compared to other countries.

  • spinneybel
  • over 8 years ago

How they the say that Superfast broadband (defined as a service offering a headline speed of up to 30 Mbps or faster) If they said anything OVER 30Mbps then that would warrant the term supefast more that their definition of superfast is

  • tommy45
  • over 8 years ago

Just wondering. Is the 99.87% in Scotland due to the Western Isles 'Connected Communities' wireless solution, or does it too get classified as 'fixed'?

  • camieabz
  • over 8 years ago

I'm completely confused. There is nowhere with cable broadband that can't receive >30Mb, what are Ofcom talking about?

  • Dixinormous
  • over 8 years ago

Where can I find some evidence to prove the Northern Ireland figures? It looks cooked...

  • vicdupreez
  • over 8 years ago


You mean the won't let you purchase it or you can but the speed isn't great?

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

Openreach confirm my area exchange is now enabled for super fast broadband as of 6 weeks ago, we have a recently upgraded cabinet just 200yds away and yet every ISP I have contacted including BT tell me that FTTC isn't available. I am thinking of exchanging my router for a messenger pigeon.

  • whitehawk625
  • over 8 years ago


You may be on the border of two cabinets.

Similar situation in my area up the road, must really suck for those connected to my one (~5km lines) and the other one (~1-2km to other exchange), makes the difference between 10Mbps and 1Mbps.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

I hate the term 'superfast broadband' it could mean anything.

  • Oddball
  • over 8 years ago

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