Broadband News

BDUK releases March 2016 premises passed figures

We may have already reported the UK breaking the 90% barrier back in April and now the BDUK team has released its latest figures showing the cumulative number of premises passed by superfast broadband since the first deliveries in December 2012 until March 2016.

Cumulative to end of: Premises with superfast broadband service made available BDUK funding (£) Number of premises covered per £million of broadband delivery programme expenditure
December 2012 254 £434,735 584
March 2013 16,638 £6,767,185 2,459
June 2013 38,343 £6,767,185 5,666
September 2013 111,968 £10,347,568 10,821
December 2013 273,731 £14,182,547 19,301
March 2014 508,801 £58,586,408 8,685
June 2014 888,113 £72,437,233 12,260
September 2014 1,383,777 £99,766,011 13,870
December 2014 1,908,725 £252,084,918 7,572
March 2015 2,411,395 301,444,870 7,999
June 2015 2,905,764 £331,828,330 8,757
September 2015 3,311,843 £372,153,178 8,899
December 2015 3,625,369 £406,918,848 8,909
March 2016 3,840,643 £476,742,422 8,056

IMPORTANT The figures do NOT include premises that may now be on a VDSL2 cabinet but data shows speeds of under 24 Mbps are all that is achievable, also if a cabinet overlaps with commercial coverage (e.g. Virgin Media) then those premises are not included either.

In a period of 3 years and 3 months of delivery the overall scheme has delivered to a volume of premises double the number of households in New Zealand which is midway through its own ten year programme to deliver FTTH to 75% to 80% of premises and even with the pace of roll-out in the UK if the aim was to get to as many people as possible as soon as possible there is a chance the UK model might be working. Of course this does mean that further work will be required in the future once 100 Mbps and Gigabit become the minimum sized connection needed to file a tax return or do your online banking and enjoy some reasonable quality online video.

The level of funding to BT is higher than the figures in this article because individual projects (and in some cases EU money) should be added, a rough estimate is that total funding is edging close to £1 billion.

The levels of clawback which now they have started seem to run at around £20m to £30m per quarter almost suggest that if the Government had waited for a while it might not have needed to fund the roll-out from 90% to 95% as clawback could have achieved the same, the problem would be uncertainty and this would have probably taken longer to hit 95% which is looking achievable for summer 2017. If by 2019/2020 we see take-up rising to the 70 to 80% levels then there will be choices over whether to plough the money back into further roll-outs or put the money back in to the public purse - one wonders if any of the money top sliced from the BBC Licence Fee/Digital Switchover Fund will go back to the Corporation. What we do know is that the cost saving over moving BBC Three online would not have taken place if the BDUK projects had not taken place.


Maybe an entry for the FAQ, but how are the numbers of premises calculated? Are they determined from the subscribers attached to the lines? Or from an assumption of the number of premises in a postcode with the whole block counting once a single property has superfast broadband available?

  • danielmec
  • over 2 years ago

I ask because the superfast-cymru checker has yet again changed its mind on availability, despite fibre sheathing having been hung in coils on the telegraph poles for over a year and fresh roadworks nearer to the cabinet. Probing the checker by address, it seems that 17% of the properties are attached to a different cabinet, which has been enabled.

  • danielmec
  • over 2 years ago

For the DCMS figures as it should be down to the premise level, so if 12 premises in a postcode can order superfast and the other 8 are on a not enabled cabinet then they won't count.

In your case sounds like a FTTP roll-out is underway and availability checkers flux more and if you cannot order you won't be counted, or at least should not be.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

"one wonders if any of the money top sliced from the BBC Licence Fee/Digital Switchover Fund will go back to the Corporation"

That is simply not worth wondering about. It won't happen. Technically the licence fee money is a hypothecated tax for public broadcasting and does not, as of right, belong to the BBC. It has just been historically allocated that way.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 2 years ago


Superfast-cymru publish the principles upon which they test and verify the number of lines that can get 24mbps, and this isn't done until after a cabinet is commissioned.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 2 years ago

@TheEulerID I hate to sound cynical but I don't trust any of the information presented on the Superfast-Cymru site. The claims on the availability for lines of interest to me (home/work/family) have been completely inconsistent as they chop & change.

Looking at the T&V steps 2&3 , spot the oxymoron - 20% of cabinets selected for sample but "the network performance meets *all* the relevant performance levels expected".

  • danielmec
  • over 2 years ago

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