Broadband News

New Broadband Information Tool lets you check fibre coverage

We have combined our analysis of broadband coverage across the UK and speed test result analysis into a new easy to use availability and coverage tool that means you can check on your areas progress at any time.

The new tool lets anyone look at the level of fibre and superfast based broadband coverage by local authority, constituency or if you supply a postcode we will lookup which constituency and authority you are in and also provide availability information relevant to your postcode.

With a UK superfast coverage level of 82.1% less than four weeks before the General Election the probability of hitting the mythical 90% level is pretty much zero, but no-one should be surprised as the politicians have been talking of late 2015/early 2016 for when we will cross that boundary. A map of the superfast availability in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales shows England in the lead at 84%. Northern Ireland has fibre availability to 93.7% of premises but our recently updated maps.thinkbroadband.com shows that a lot of premises in Northern Ireland are a long way from their cabinets.

Not all areas of the UK are blessed with high levels of fibre coverage, one of the worst areas if the Carmarthen East & Dinefwr Constituency with just 9.5% availability of superfast fibre (another 1.8% can get FTTC but below the 30 Mbps threshold). This is reflected in the low mean (7.6 Mbps) and median (4.6 Mbps) download speeds.

Previously when we have published coverage and speed data Northern Ireland has been treated as a single block, but by using constituencies we can now sub-divide Northern Ireland into 18 sections. Belfast East is one of the better areas for both speed test results and coverage while Mid Ulster is towards the bottom with superfast coverage of 47% and a median download of 6.8 Mbps (upload 0.8 Mbps).

The coverage data generally updates once a week and speed test information is updated monthly, with local authority and constituencies reflecting the last complete quarter, so currently Q1 2015.

Comments

I take it you get no info or direct feed on any Gigaclear FTTP areas?
I 've just checked a couple of Post codes in such FTTP areas and it says no fibre - only ADSLmax

  • mdar5
  • over 2 years ago

Nice tool!

It says my Exchange has no FTTH/FTTP but it has the latter both oD and normal.

  • fabrettitd
  • over 2 years ago

FoD does not qualify, we only list native Openreach FTTP i.e. where it can be ordered for the £99 install price.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

On Gigaclear - correct no data feed from them. All they need to do is provide a CSV of live postcodes.

We could add postcodes where people have done speed tests, but this would give a very patchy picture.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

There appears to be a few quirks. My parents' exchange - MELBOURNE (Market A) - is down as having ADSL2+ and LLU available, which it doesn't.

  • rich_jtg
  • over 2 years ago

Derbyshire or North Yorkshire?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

@rich_jtg Figured it out believe you mean YO42 4LU and the Sky and TalkTalk checkers fail at this time. So you sure no LLU available?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Really nice tool, i love the constituency information! lets hope that the other providers such as gigaclear and cityfibre provide you with the postcodes.

Surely people who are spending real money on gigabit connections are the sort of people to test their speeds straight away anyway (tho probably on speedtest.net). maybe add an advanced option to see their results

  • MrPromaster
  • over 2 years ago

CityFibre say it will be down to TalkTalk and Sky in York, as they may have different footprints/products. For Bournemouth as was just 250 users in 2012 not panicking over that.

On speed tests we see plenty of Gigabit testing, the testers are man enough, just down to browser, device etc

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Note that once you enter a postcode, it becomes virtually impossible to get the original UK summary page back.

And on the GB map above, the use of 5 different shades of green, with only subtle differences, makes it impossible to look at a constituency on the map and figure whether you are looking at 100%, 90%, 80%, or 70%. You can distinguish when bordering areas differ, but not what values they are.

Shame that, in England, the worst area is covered by KC.

  • WWWombat
  • over 2 years ago

KC is low but high if I plotted the pure FTTH figures :-)

The image is just a static copy of something more dynamic and was included to give a very quick overview, and tease you to check detail via the tool.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
A very good tool as long as the data on the post code is correct.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

Andrew - once again - where on eartn do you get your figures from? To be of use they need to be right! RH20 2PL has a Huawei cabinet right outside. You say "4.7Mb" and FTTC MAY be available. It is, and the BT checker offers 80Mb???

I'm sure hours of double-ended candle burning went into it, but..................?

  • mikejp
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
I hope MR Saffron post code is correct.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

My postcode is correct, thank you for worrying Blackmamba

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/?postcode=RH20%202PL

And we say superfast fibre is available.

The 4.7 Mbps is a median speedtest within 1km and over the 180 days, so there is some lag in terms of it showing FTTC uptake.

Do I need to add a long block of text explaining this, since you appear to be assuming that the speeds are actual estimates for the postcode.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Well, I think some amplification of time lag under
"We have combined our analysis of broadband coverage across the UK and speed test result analysis into a new easy to use availability and coverage tool that means you can check on your areas progress at any time."

would have made it clearer.

  • mikejp
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Andrews staff
Yes my home address of Sxxxxx Gu266XX is also correct also thanks for the 180 days window this will push Surrey further up the graph target for todays results also this will find the 5K that has been lost in the BD/ UK estimate.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

My postcode RH20 2JX illustrates the perils of trying to give an accurate prediction.
There are lines within 1km of me that can get a full 80Mbps on fibre and also lines that only receive up to 1Mbps on ADSL.
The final acknowledgement that Wireless Broadband is not available is very welcome!

  • chilting
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Chil
Play it cool look at the radius of your post code and you will find it is trailing by 180 days or a median of 90 days just let it deswitch.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

The 1km figure is NOT a prediction and no where do we say it is. It is the median of the speed test results within a 1km radius of the postcode supplied.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

@BM Please try keeping your clueless comments to yourself rather than continually polluting TBB's news articles.

  • MCM999
  • over 2 years ago

@WWWombat - Note that once you enter a postcode, it becomes virtually impossible to get the original UK summary page back.

You can use the reset page button at the bottom right side of page.

  • PaulKirby
  • over 2 years ago

@Andrew
Apologies for the misinterpretation but if its not a prediction what is it actually illustrating.

  • chilting
  • over 2 years ago

Analysis.

  • Somerset
  • over 2 years ago

@Andrew Sorry, yes the YO42 exchange (East Yorkshire). No LLU... Market 1 with fibre on the horizon (maybe!), but 20CN is currently the only service available.

  • rich_jtg
  • over 2 years ago

All postcodes with a speed test within 1km in the last 180 days and median download and upload speed

Read foot notes on page itself

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

The reset button is a new addition btw

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Ah, I assumed that the reset button had always been there :P

  • PaulKirby
  • over 2 years ago

TF75AU Exchange isn't Download: 33.3 Mbps should be Download: 74.5 Mbps

  • adslmax
  • over 2 years ago

I had previously discovered that if you hit one of the 4 buttons at the top, to get (say) the English figures, you could then edit the URL to say "?area=uk".

Also, IIRC, clearing the cookie worked too.

A reset button is a little more user friendly ;)

  • WWWombat
  • over 2 years ago

@adslmax - I have that postcode at an average of 35.7Mbps.
Its an average for that postcode its a little off but about right for that post code.

You need to include the following for that postcode, the fibre speeds for cabinets 10, 19 and the ADSLx cabinet 15 and the EO lines and the average speed is 35.7Mbps (Range B +worst adsl) and 41.23Mbps (Range A and best adsl) unless I am missing something.

  • PaulKirby
  • over 2 years ago

This is NOT using bt range figures but speed tests people have done. Hence wording average speed test and note within 180 days and 1km.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Ok, but you have to count the fibre speed as well as the adsl speed and people with no bb at all and get an average speed for that, that's what I was trying to say.
Its the ADSL speed and the no bb that reduced it that low.

  • PaulKirby
  • over 2 years ago

The main thing this tool illustrates is the vast differences that still exist in broadband coverage around the country.
Anyone who lives in a constituency with slow broadband could ask their prospective MP's what they are going to do about improving their service.

  • chilting
  • over 2 years ago

@PaulKirby - I will repeat - the average within 1km is based on speed test results. So the no bb people cannot reduce it

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Andrew staff.
The only true results are the first days results on a clean post code all the rest are 3--6 meg low.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Mr Saffron
I hope your post code does not have a showing on the Thinkbroadband map.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

Sorry to be a pain but I'm having real trouble with the colours on the map (I'm colour blind). I can't differentiate between the 30% and 90% colours for example and as somone else has piinted out the graduations between them all are too similar. Would it be possible to change it to a grey scale (or a scale based on any colour at all in fact) with 0% being black and 100% being white? The point being that the regions are differentiated by intensity rather than colour.

  • csimon
  • over 2 years ago

@AndrewStaff - I was aware of the 1km range, however I wasn't aware of the people without broadband wasn't included in the calculations.
Now I do :)

  • PaulKirby
  • over 2 years ago

Well as it says it is Average Speed Test so those who have not done a speed test cannot figure.

If it was an average of what people might have, then it would be called a predicted speed with x metres.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Andrew Staff.
I think if you changed the radius from 1K to .2 or .3 the results would show better on the typed in post code for the person checking this would highlight the cable run also.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Black
What are you on about?

  • baby_frogmella
  • over 2 years ago

Hi babe
If you type in the post codes from the Cab to the last customer on the cable route you will see the decrease in the results that is if there is an entry on the map this will also indentifiy a problem.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

Any chance if making it more mobile freindly ? On Note 3 there is 2/3 menu and 1/3 map on the screen of which some room is took up by the map controls. Txs

  • ccsnet
  • over 2 years ago

http://maps.thinkbroadband.com an alternative is a work in progress

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Andrew Staff
Hope to see the new upgrade soon and it's results.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

It won't change the results

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

It is not clear on what measure the percentages are determined. Is it the percentage by number of premises? number of lines? something else? maybe it is on the number of constituents seeing politics has somehow being brought into these reports.

Whatever I'm still firmly in the circa 10% in my area that are nowhere nearer a fibre connection than I was years ago despite premises a couple of hundred metres away having fibre a long time ago, those premises being up to a mile or more further from the exchange (we are all connected through cabinet and not direct to the exchange)

  • M100
  • over 2 years ago

Not as accurate as one as one would wish. Using our post code, it suggests we should get FTTC at up to 24 Mbps, but we get 38 Mbps as your speed test shows. We are just 700 metres from the cabinet so better than 24 Mbps would be expected.

  • michaels_perry
  • over 2 years ago

One problem with mapping this way is that it is not granular enough to determine what is likely in a local area. It's impossible to see what the speed is likely to be, based on previous test results, in a particular constituency with differentiation between urban, suburban and rural locations. The North Wiltshire constituency is a mix of all three types of housing but the urban generally get much faster than the rural as many smaller exchanges are 20CN only and distances are bordering on the limits. We used to live 4.7km from one such and got less than 2 Mbps and all lines are EO.

  • michaels_perry
  • over 2 years ago

Michaels perry are you talking about the average speed test result or the availability lookup results? On availability we dont quote an exact speed but do draw a line between superfast and not but still fibre based

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

@m100 it is based around premises when talking of availability data

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Does using a 1km radius mean a mix of results from other cabinet and exchange areas for many?

  • Somerset
  • over 2 years ago

@somerset - Depends on how you define many.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Hi Broadband Watchers
If your are measuring on a post code with the incorrect data that is 90 days ( median) 180 drop off you will get very odd results.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 2 years ago

Unless you have some information that no one else has I believe there is an error in the information provided for my exchange - Attercliffe. Your summary page state that both Fibre and SuperFast Fibre are available. However, as both my personal experience and SamKnows can testify, neither option is active in this exchange. Virgin Media cable is present in the exchange, but not for the whole catchment area, and there is no BT/OpenReach offering at all.

  • essenby
  • over 2 years ago

Virgin Media coverage has to be estimated.

The tick/cross list is for a specific postcode, so if there some where that is showing as VM available and people have confirmed it is not we can blank them out.

VM is fibre and superfast fibre.

The notes provide a longer explanation for each postcode look up.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Have just looked at Attercliffe and the majority of the area is without Virgin Media cable.

Can see two requests for S9 postcodes so will do a manual check and subsequent exclusion.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Am I missing something here, as I cannot see any value to this tool? It tells me that my postcode of E1 4JT cannot get fibre. I already know that, but it gives no indication of when my cabinet is likely to be enabled. There's a blue 'lightbulb' next to Fibre but no explanation of what that's supposed to mean, compared to green lightbulbs above. It informs me that my local constituency has 71.4% Superfast Fibre coverage but so what? That doesn't tell me when, if ever, my cabinet is planned to be enabled.

  • Teefenn1
  • over 2 years ago

@teefenn1 Sorry you feel the tool has no value, but with the coverage targets been a key part of the 44 current superfast contracts we wanted to try and provide some independent guide to how things are progressing in the various areas.

Green is good fibre i.e. superfast and faster, the blue means standard 0 to below superfast, but as you seem to have a CROSS (i.e. none) the hover will tell you that and the notes on the right hand side should explain the quick guide options.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Added a bunch of extra notes to the tooltip text for the icons and what is believed to be the B4RN coverage footprint.

Also availability charts have foot notes on cable and GEA-FTTP availability.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Sorry but this is WRONG for my postcode (BN5 9SB). You say FTTC is available here but it is not for anyone in this post-code, and there is no hope of a date. Even the local authority's scheme (joke) can't tell us. Shame - you got my hopes up (sigh).

  • richlell
  • over 2 years ago

Cabinet 3 on Henfield exchange and if very lucky might provide 2 to 5 Mbps VDSL2, and is barely just about the threshold where we say no FTTC available.

Openreach who have a better idea of the line quality show nothing for the postcode.

Openreach themselves do not always get it right either, have seen some with very high estimates when not at all possible, and others with unavailable when it actually it.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

SW9 6UN & SW9 6UW are both in error. Superfast Fibre - Green tick. Incorrect all lines are EO. Fibre - Green tick. Incorrect, all lines are EO. "Virgin Media cable broadband with speeds up to 152 Mbps may be available to you." Unlikely since VM is not available to any of the 75 properties.

  • MCM999
  • over 2 years ago

@MCM999 someone told me about those two postcodes the other day and they should get excluded in a database update run in the next couple of days.

Once VM exclusion kicks in the fibre and superfast ticks will be removed.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

It promises to be a useful tool, but could you add a key, please?
What is a green triangle with an exclamation mark in it?
The exchange that serves me (Bourton, Dorset) now has fibre, but I'm across the county boundary to being watchful.

  • chris_droflaw
  • over 2 years ago

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