Broadband News

April update on state of broadband coverage across UK and regions

It is time again for one of our regular summaries of where the UK stands with respect to broadband coverage, particularly focused on the levels of superfast coverage. This April update marks 12 months since we reported the UK hitting a 90% figure.

Of course for those who have seen no improvements, the figures will seem like pie in the sky, and we fully understand that frustration will be increasing as they see areas apart from their own being helped to go faster and faster. It is this frustration at being left out that is probably driving what seems to be an increasing volume of letters and emails to elected representatives, and some of the press coverage and statements from politicians with poorly chosen language in the past is not helping the current situation.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage across the UK, its nations and regions for premises
In descending order of superfast coverage - figures 6th April 2017
(change since 7th March 2017)
Area % fibre based
VDSL2 or
FTTP or
Cable
% superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster
% Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under proposed 10 Mbps USO
London 96.8% 95.7% (+0.2) 95.4% 69.2% (+0.1) 1.91% 0.1% 0.9%
North East 97.1% 95.7% (+0.3) 95.4% 51.4% (=) 0.08% 0.2% 1.5%
South East 97.9% 95.5% (+0.2) 95% 50.8% (=) 1.19% 0.4% 1.7%
East Midlands 97.8% 95.5% (+0.3) 95% 57.4% (=) 0.12% 0.5% 1.9%
West Midlands 97.2% 94.9% (+0.1) 94.4% 62.7% (=) 0.27% 0.4% 2%
North West 97.3% 94.5% (+0.2) 93.9% 46.9% (=) 0.95% 0.7% 2.7%
England 96.2% 93.5% (+0.2) 92.9% 54.1% (=) 1.67% 0.6% 2.8%
United Kingdom 95.8% 92.7% (+0.2) 92.1% 51.2% (=) 1.52% (+0.09) 0.8% 3.3%
East of England 95% 91.5% (+0.2) 90.9% 50.4% (-0.1) 0.54% 0.7% 3.8%
Rest Of Scotland 93.7% 90.7% (=) 90.1% 44.2% (-0.1) 0.11% 1% 4.3%
Wales 94.8% 90.7% (+0.3) 89.6% 30.8% (+0.1) 2.04% (+0.27) 0.9% 5.4%
Yorkshire and Humber 92.6% 90.1% (+0.3) 89.6% 50.9% (+0.2) 4.68% (+0.28) (includes KCom Lightstream) 0.7% 4.6%
South West 94.9% 89.9% (+0.2) 88.9% 43.4% (=) 3.18% 1.1% 4.7%
Scotland 92.8% 88.9% (=) 88.2% 40.2% (=) 0.10% 1.3% 5.8%
Northern Ireland 97.7% 81.5% (+0.1) 79.8% 28.5% (+0.2) 0.29% 6.4% 12.1%
Highlands and Islands (HIE) 84.3% 70.8% (+0.7) 68.6% 0.07% (=) 0.07% 4.7% 21.5%

There is now just one region of England left below the 90% mark, the South West and if roll-outs continue at the same pace they should cross that barrier for May. Yorkshire and Humber has climbed one place up the table, due to the accelerating pace of the KCom FTTP roll-out, which has now taken the City of Kingston upon Hull to 51.3% superfast coverage which is also 51.3% full fibre coverage (NOTE: East Riding of Yorkshire also has some KCom footprint). The city has held the crown for full fibre coverage for a while at 51.3% versus Cornwall in 2nd place at 31.3%, and KCom puts East Riding of Yorkshire in 3rd place at 29.3%.

Wales has broke a minor milestone as it now has 2.04% FTTP coverage, with Gwynedd as the leading council area with 9.38% FTTP coverage (5,300 premises). Wales still has lots FTTP indicated as in build, enough we believe to meet the original project goal of 96% (VSDL2/FTTP/cable coverage, worded as fibre coverage in press releases), the question is how quick can the full fibre build finished to what amounts to perhaps 15,000 premises.

As it is 12 months since the 90% target was met, we have included maps highlighting the change across the district council areas in Great Britain. Unfortunately no handy council map for Northern Ireland but the change in 12 months has been 2.6% for that part of the UK.

7682-england-change-12-months-thumb.png
Click image for larger version For a version with the change figures overlaid click here
7682-scotland-change-12-months-thumb.png
Click image for larger version
7682-wales-change-12-months-thumb.png
Click image for larger version

The council areas with the biggest change are City and County of the City of London +27.3, Cotswold District +25.7, Na h-Eileanan an Iar +19.4, Shetland Islands +18.7 and Herefordshire +18.2.

If full fibre (Fibre to the Premises) is your preferred measure of improvement, then the top five areas for change are City of Kingston Upon Hull +14.4 (36.88% to 51.32%), East Riding of Yorkshire +12.6, Herefordshire +8.2, Powys +7.7 and Gwynedd +6. This is with respect to Openreach and KCom FTTP/FTTH roll-outs.

Comments

Hi Broadband Watchers.
I feel TBB results have produced a good Product but it seems the elected people have either not looks or checked their options (results) before speaking to their voters this is happening from the top down to the parishes which has put pressure on Openreach.

  • Blackmamba
  • 4 months ago

The shameful situation in respect of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland has prompted me to register in order to remind the frustrated 95.3% of the population

there that they have not been forgotten completely.

North Skye Broadband is a Community Benefit Society that will be delivering FTTP connections to as many people in North Skye as possible,

despite the best efforts of a certain incumbent monolpoly infrastructure provider to prevent us doing so! Back haul is of course a problem as the only exchange on

the island with any likelihood of being unbundled is Port Righ (NSPTR).

  • NorthSkye
  • 4 months ago

Apologies for the typos/formatting in the above but you tend to be impatient to post when you only have access to the Internet via ADSLMax (not ADSL2)- which BT views as an obsolete technology but still charges handsomely for... :-(

  • NorthSkye
  • 4 months ago

blackmamba what is this obsession with TB maps -- your post makes no sense in any shape or form -

  • fastman
  • 4 months ago

Once I again I can't fathom these figures out. % >24Mbs Superfast is same for London as it is for South East. How can that be? How can a saturated conurbation with cabinets everywhere and few long lines have the same penetration as rural Sussex Kent, Surrey, where we have the figures to show many upgraded cabs have only 50% above 24megs? TB say these figures are not Homes Passed but if that is so, why are Private communities spending £100,000's to put in cabs.? They can't all be in that unbelievable remnant of 4.3%?

  • wetherbypond
  • 4 months ago

There actually are not "cabinets everywhere".

Inner London has a large number of EO lines. Westminster is at 62% superfast, while Southwark and Tower Hamlets hover just above 80%. A lot of people live in these areas dragging the regional average down.

  • hvis42
  • 4 months ago

but if that is so, why are Private communities spending £100,000's to put in cabs.? They can't all be in that unbelievable remnant of 4.3. no tusre many communities have had to fund in excess of 100k and most of those where multiple cabs -- so think your information might be a bit awry

  • fastman
  • 4 months ago

@NorthSkye

What, exactly what have OpenReach done to prevent you installing your own fibre? I'm intrigued.

  • TheEulerID
  • 4 months ago

@wetherbybond

The Southeast may have some (semi) rural areas, but by population the great majority live in larger settlements. Surrey, in particularly, has a huge population in towns and has very high coverage levels. Add to that BDUK support (which London doesn't get) and that some parts of London have EO lines, then that goes to explaining why the SE approaches London SF coverage levels.

  • TheEulerID
  • 4 months ago

@wetherbypond So name those cabinets with 50% only superfast coverage?

https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/broadband-map#11/51.1729/-0.2747/uso/openreach/

Shows red/yellow/green for VDSL2 and blue dots are sub 10 Mbps

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Also where has tbb said 'figures are not Homes Passed'?

The map clearly shows the areas with sub superfast and those homes are taken into account.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Still a long way to go to meet the original aim of 90% coverage by each local authority, which should have been met in 2015. 95% coverage by the end of this year is looking possible but a bit tight on the current rate of progress.

Also, it may be rounding differences but the 0.8% sub 2mbps has not altered in the past year.

  • gerarda
  • 4 months ago

@gerarda Actually it was an ambition, with a target of 90% for UK wide. If you had not noticed a number of the LA contracts had lower than 90% targets for the superfast coverage levels built in, and some never discussed them but talked about 'fibre' figures.

If there is a LA that has substantially missed contracted target and we've not featured them always happy to hold it up, as bad news sells.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

@Blackmamba Have grown tired of your dis-information and incoherent posts that will only seek to confuse the general public, so that is why post is missing.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

@Andrew It was, as you say, an ambition but by local authority, as I said, not nationwide. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/90-per-cent-of-homes-and-businesses-should-have-superfast-broadband-by-2015

  • gerarda
  • 4 months ago

Hi Andrew staff.
Thanks for removing the post ( back on the naughty step) as it was correct it will only I hope make people think. If your wish you may even remove this remark.

  • Blackmamba
  • 4 months ago

If you are having difficulty posting, I would recommend you use a text editor (notepad , word, etc..) to create your comment, and then copy and paste, if your 'net is badly unreliable...

If you want a fuller debate, http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/ is a much better place to go!

  • comnut
  • 4 months ago

@gerarda
Whether by LA, region, country, or postcode, it was still only an general ambition.

Not every LA got with the programme. Some not at all, while some were just not in time. Central government can't force them.

On an article like this, monitoring build progress, it feels more appropriate to me to compare back to the contracts that got signed off. That those fell short of the ambition shouldn't be a reason to complain that the build is similarly short of the ambition.

  • WWWombat
  • 4 months ago

Must be good to have even FTTC. Here in Guildford I'm immediately adjacent to surrounding streets with FTTC but not where I am. Openreach claim for spurious reasons that it's not possible with current technology and have no plans to provide FTTC. So I'm following it up with my MP.

  • RAConnell
  • 4 months ago

@RAConnell Are the streets covered by Virgin Media?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Thanks Andrew - Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Bedforshirse - where are these counted?
Is Wiltshire counted in the South West?

  • ValueforMoney
  • 4 months ago

Warwickshire West Midlands
Oxfordshire South East
Bedfordshire East of England
Wiltshire South West England

Any more then Google is your friend.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

@andrew Cabs: Wormley6 and Wormley9
So is TB data Homes Passed or not?
Does the remaining 4.3% in the TB data include ALL those long lines homes sub 25megs even though they are included in the County Councils' definition of Homes Passed (95% or thereabouts in Surrey that are connected to a fibre cab, but not necessarily able to get >20mgs)

  • wetherbypond
  • 4 months ago

@RAConnell so is your Guildford ostcode included in Surrey CC's next phase of deployment? http://superfastsurrey.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Superfast-Surrey-Gainshare-Deployment-Postcodes.pdf

  • wetherbypond
  • 4 months ago

The coverage when we say % available, is premises passed, not sure what else it could be?

Lines that are sub 24 Mbps in our model are not flagged as superfast, hence you get a difference between fibre availability and superfast availability. Welcome succinct wording that would make this clear to the general public, if column headings are not conveying this.

If those long lines are then sub 10 Mbps for both ADSL2+ and FTTC and nothing else faster available over a fixed line then flagged as USO. Same for 2 Mbps, and 15 Mbps.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Wormley 9 only 4 postcodes flag as sub superfast (est 15 to 19 Mbps) which is worse than what Openreach and is the preferred pattern, i.e. pessimistic estimates so people are happy if better.

Wormley 6 very different and is a half and half cabinet, but SF Surrey will have only gap funded the superfast ones.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Any particular reason why the Welsh map is so small, even when clicked on, that it's unreadable?

  • welshwarrior
  • 4 months ago

Homes Passed is meaningless to consumers. Take Wormley 6: 100% of that cab is Homes passed but 50% can't get superfast... so the homes passed stat is no help to anyone other than politicians to blindly brag about it. We need the stats. of what % can actually buy Superfast >24Megs

  • wetherbypond
  • 4 months ago

The post you are responding to, Mr wetherbypond, actually states that Wormley 6 is half and half, IE not 100% premises passed at superfast.

It'll show as 100% premises passed by 'fibre' but 50% passed with superfast.

The stats produced are actually broken down into passed by fibre and at either >=24Mb or >=30Mb depending on the local authority criteria.

You're demanding something that is already the case.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

@welshwarrior
It's because it's using a reduced resolution version (presumably for a thumbnail)
try http://www.thinkbroadband.com/images/news/7682-wales-change-12-months.png

  • cymru123
  • 4 months ago

Sorry about the Welsh image, wrong filename as someone spotted, have fixed it in the article now.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

As I said on the 'homes passed' if the column headings:

% fibre based VDSL2 or FTTP or Cable
% superfast 24 Mbps or faster
% superfast 30 Mbps or faster

Are considered confusing, then if a succinct version is possible happy to change.

I'd like to drop the initial fibre column, but given how some projects have set targets based on that definition it would not help anyone.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Hi Andrews Staff.
I feel the Post Codes (GPS) should be Green 24 meg Government wishes.
Under 24 meg should be yellow down to 10 meg.
Under 10 meg should be Red on the post code. This takes in all the low results.
I say this because with the introduction of long line FTTC and the dropping 6DB-3DB this shifts the speeds on the Post Codes. With many Post Codes to monitor thie system must be simple. I feel the Post Code is the shop window.

  • Blackmamba
  • 4 months ago

@Blackmamba I was talking about the table in the article, not a map.

Map wise already red/yellow/green

0 to 3.9 red
4 to 23.9 yellow
24+ green

On the VDSL2 layer

NOTE: 6dB to 3dB will only affect our coverage figures if we see it has had a significant impact on the speeds of those at 1km or further from a cabinet and adjust the model. Waiting for ACTUAL evidence on a large scale.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

@andrew

Thanks for sorting the Welsh image out :)

  • welshwarrior
  • 4 months ago

I think the point is no-one cares a jot for Homes passed. It means nothing if the real factor is can you get Superfast or not? Homes passed does not answer that question. It is no consolation to 50% of Wormley 6 that they are part of the 100% homes passed if they can only get 5Megs. My second point is when rural cabs. have a high proportion of long lines then the negligible difference between % homes passed and % >24 meg in TB data is inexplicable. If it is only a couple of % then I must know most of them personally!

  • wetherbypond
  • 4 months ago

Hi Weatherbypond.
As I know both of these Cabs well ( Exchange Mtce) you will find that SCC paid for a 100 pair access on both of these Cabs 6 and 9 this would give 24 meg in a range of 1 K. The SCC target was 15 meg at Post Code so this is approx 1 mile ( imperial) from Cab so the option was open to all. The customers that could not receive these value were asked to register with SCC. I did measage all councillors when both Cabs were open.

  • Blackmamba
  • 4 months ago

@wetherby

So imagine a cabinet that has some 200 premises connected to it by copper phone lines.

If 100 lines due to distance limits cannot get over 24 Mbps it will only be 50% premises passed for superfast

Does that explain that those on long lines are not in the superfast figures?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

On rural versus urban, many rural cabinets are in villages where the premises are often within superfast range.

Also you have to remember that ~80% of UK premises are urban and 20% rural

http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/broadband-map#13/51.0991/-0.8599/openreach/ makes the different distinctions easy to see

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Hi Weatherbypond.
The location of the Cab Wormley 6 is in the triangle so all the post codes in a radius of a 1k (1000 mtrs) should be registering Green in all directions this will give a good margin for X talk if it is applicable on the cable runs.

  • Blackmamba
  • 4 months ago

Cabinet 6 location https:[email protected],-0.6331238,3a,75y,156.05h,68.18t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUvMWA52iiokSs_w-O5mf_g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

And as I stated earlier it is around 50/50 in terms of superfast for the postcodes on this cabinet.and some at over 2km from the cabinet.

Blackmamba does not talk for thinkbroadband - or for BT or the council in any official capacity (absolutely sure on him not talking for think broadband, and they have stated not representing official bodies in the past)

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Andrew gets it. The sense of injustice when politicians give even more to those who have a great service anyway, and have twice already been deemed 'worthy' in the postcode lottery - because they are clearly 'important people'.

Time the government takes complete control of the utter chaos and stops pretending that it is not their job to govern.

  • CecilWard
  • 4 months ago

When have politicians given more to those with a great service?

It's not a postcode lottery, there are clear commercial considerations behind superfast availability.

BDUK cannot wittingly fund upgrades for those already passed by superfast fixed-line networks.

There is more FTTP per head in rural areas than urban ones, on the taxpayer's tab. I don't see many complaining about that.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

@wetherbypond

"We need the stats. of what % can actually buy Superfast >24Megs"

My local PCP apparently has 287 phone connections, whilst the associated FTTC is a Huawei 288, an almost perfect match.

The 287 phone subscribers could apparently all buy "superfast".

"No, they can't"

At last check, only 96 ports were immediately available, with a take-up of about 65.

So meaningful stats would be difficult to produce.

  • alexdow
  • 4 months ago

If people want to insist on 100% port availability from the day the cabinet is dumped on a pavement, then more money would need to be paid by someone.

Stats on where cabinets mean people cannot order are periodically published by us http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/7619-how-big-a-problem-are-capacity-delays-on-openreach-vdsl2-cabinets.html

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

@alexdow - and if more people want superfast then the cabinet would be fitted with more cards, cables etc.

Your local supermarket sells bread to everyone in the area. Does it stock enough each day for everyone to buy?

  • Somerset
  • 4 months ago

well, cabs are a LOT heaver and larger than a loaf of bread... :) :)

Now if were a larger item, like a fridge, you cannot 'just turn up at the warehouse'!! :)

It is ordered, it takes a few weeks to get there, and needs to be properly fitted - My new fridge stipulated it was left powered off in situ for a few hours to 'settle' other wise the guarantee would be invalid!

  • comnut
  • 4 months ago

BTW, how fast is 'openreach FTTP'??

The nearest I can see is BT Infinity (FTTH) at 'only 99.8' , where Vivid 300 get upto 217...

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/7680-uk-broadband-speed-test-results-for-march-2017.html

  • comnut
  • 4 months ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
If the two Wormley Cabs 6 and 9 were full total Capacity I am sure that Fibre to the Home would have been provided to selected post codes this could still be in the program. This will be the most cost effective way on many Cabs or even an interim Cab this I feel will become more evirrelant as time passes in the U.K.

  • Blackmamba
  • 4 months ago

@Blackmamba
If fibre cabinets (DSLAMs) become full, additional ones are installed. It is not the case that further demand is fulfilled via FTTP, why do you believe otherwise?

@Comnut
The average speed is skewed by the majority taking 40 or 80Mbps download options. IIRC the current fastest speeds are gigabit for businesses and 330Mbps for consumers.

  • New_Londoner
  • 4 months ago

@comnut Once numbers of Openreach GEA-FTTP increase, and take-up in the form of the BT Retail Infinity range increases we will split out into the various speed tiers.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

@Blackmamba If Huawei cabinets fill they can be expanded. If the expansion is filled new ones will be put in place.

Postcodes that are too far from the cabinet to receive superfast speeds may be covered by FTTP but this is nothing whatsoever to do with how full the cabinet is.

FTTP to a few postcodes is most certainly not more cost effective than a second DSLAM when power has been located and fibre is present, not least because postcodes aren't eligible for state aid based on DSLAM status.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

@comnut Openreach FTTP, in common with most FTTP, is superior to VM's HFC network.

The only FTTP networks that aren't superior to HFC ones are those that are unsuitable for broadband, TPON, and those running outdated hardware either side, BPON.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

Picture of BM:
https://twitter.com/IETLibArch/status/855423434700062722/photo/1

  • Somerset
  • 4 months ago

Nice ;)

  • WWWombat
  • 4 months ago

AH I see, yours is much more superior, like the politicians say...

  • comnut
  • 4 months ago

If a 'superior network' was a car, surely it would be Rolls-Royce.. high quality, hand crafted, smooth running, BUT expensive, high maintenance.. "speed?? why would I need that?? I have class... }:/ "

Your ford metro is much faster and reliable...

  • comnut
  • 4 months ago

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