Broadband News

DCMS BDUK take-up figures for March 2017 available

Hindsight is a wonderful tool so its easy to say the BDUK process should have anticipated the current levels of superfast broadband take-up and thus ensured a better split between FTTP and VDSL2 in the phase one roll-outs, but the gainshare (clawback) clause as a mechanism is working well and is allowing projects to deliver new batches of roll-out. What happens to this deferred money is not solely down to the commercial contractor (usually BT) but the local authority who signed the original contract will have a major input, hence the variations from county to county on what the extra investment is planning to deliver.

BDUK working from Westminster collect all the regional projects data together and have updated their spreadsheet columns to show the take-up as of March 2017, as in the past when covering the BDUK update we have added our take-up estimate for the various project areas. The time periods don't match, since we are reporting our Q2 2017 estimate and the BDUK figures should have much more data available to them, but our data does provide a useful checks and balances facility. The full Google Doc that the BDUK team updates also includes figures on the funding for the various areas and premises covered so for those that want to do more maths feel free to have a go.

Council/BDUK project areaBDUK reported take-up March 2017thinkbroadband take-up measured at end of June 2017
BDUK Phase 1 Projects
Berkshire Councils 46% 39.1%
Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire 45.8% 42.7%
Cambridgeshire, Peterborough 43.3% 40%
Central Beds, Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes 43.8% 41.4%
Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington, Halton 42.9% 37.2%
Devon & Somerset (including, Plymouth, Torbay, North Somerset, Bath & NE Somerset) 35.4% 34.7%
Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire 43.6% 39.6%
Cumbria 38.1% 38.5%
Derbyshire 34.5% 39.9%
Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole 35.8% 40.2%
Durham, Gateshead, Tees Valley and Sunderland 34.8% 37.5%
East Riding of Yorkshire 39.5% 34.5%
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove 41.9% 37.4%
Essex, Southend-On-Sea, Thurrock 40.8% 39.6%
Greater Manchester 30.1% 34.7%
Hampshire 40.2% 37.5%
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire 35.8% 36.4%
Isle of Wight 33.4% 34.7%
Kent and Medway 40.3% 36.3%
Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen 34.8% 37.7%
Leicestershire 40.9% 41.8%
Lincolnshire 41% 36.5%
Merseyside 28.6% 32.5%
Newcastle upon Tyne 30.8% 36.8%
Norfolk 40.2% 36%
North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire 39.8% 40.1%
North Yorkshire 43.9% 36.3%
Northamptonshire 45.3% 42%
Northumberland 42% 38.5%
Nottinghamshire 40.6% 38.3%
Oxfordshire 44.4% 43.9%
Rutland 54.5% 47.5%
Shropshire 37.1% 39.3%
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 37.1% 40.2%
Suffolk 42.3% 35.2%
Surrey 47.4% 39.4%
West Sussex 43.6% 36.3%
West Yorkshire 34.5% 35.9%
Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire 43.5% 34.3%
Worcestershire 40.6% 37%
Highlands and Islands 33.5% 34.5%
Northern Ireland 37.3% 29.6%
Rest of Scotland 31.3% 34.8%
Wales 34.3% 37.7%
BDUK Phase 2 Projects
Black Country 12.3% 32.9% (*)
Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire 16.1% 21.8%
Central Beds, Bedford Borough, Luton, Milton Keynes 9.4% N/A
Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington, Halton 27.7% 25.6%
Cornwall 16.7% 28.7%
Cumbria 12.3% 11.5%
Derbyshire 12.7% 33.3%
Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole 5.1% N/A
Durham (including North and South Tyneside) 13.9% 29.6%
East Riding of Yorkshire 21.2% 25%
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove 7.4% 39% (*)
Essex, Southend-On-Sea, Thurrock 20.4% 23.7%
Hampshire 23.4% 24.5%
Kent and Medway 22% 20.4%
Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen 19.4% 24%
Leicestershire 21.3% 33.2%
Lincolnshire 17.1% 17%
Norfolk 26.9% 28%
North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire 17.1% 34.4%
North Yorkshire 31.6% N/A
Northamptonshire 17.9% 35.1%
Northumberland 18.5% 37% (*)
Nottinghamshire 23.8% 32%
South Gloucestershire 17.8% 34.3% (*)
South Yorkshire 18.8% N/A
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 12% 34.7 (*)
Suffolk 27.2% 27.1%
Telford & Wrekin 27% 31.8%
Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry 30.1% 29.4%
West Sussex 12.5% 20.5% (*)
West Yorkshire 14.2% 27.4%
Wiltshire 16.3% 35.5%
Worcestershire 23.5% 21.5%
Northern Ireland 24.4% 27.9%

(*) indicates that the footprint is very small and thus differences due to how we are calculating take-up can be much larger, as projects deliver to a wider area in this phase we should track closer to the official figures. In some cases the phase two projects still have footprints under 1,000 premises.

N/A entries are where we have not tracked the premises delivered through that project phase at this time, the cabinets will feature in our overall coverage analysis but allocating them to the project phases is not an additional layer of work and thus given less priority than our primary coverage and speed test analysis work.

It could be said that our analysis is a waste of time, since we have official figures, but by comparing the results from our methodology it allows people to compare the variance we see and thus if we start to do similar tracking for projects that are not covered by the BDUK e.g. a new full fibre entrant who may not be releasing take-up figures of their own or massaging things to present a rosier than reality picture. Additionally in the political world things change quickly and we may not have the official figures in the future.

In some areas where BDUK projects have previously funded a VDSL2 cabinet, the revitalised commercial roll-outs are sometimes rolling out, so for example if the Virgin Media Project Lightning delivers on its promises we might see take-up in some BDUK areas shrink and similar for any full fibre roll-outs. The appeal of full fibre services versus VDSL2/FTTC based services amongst the general population is something that will very much determine how much full fibre investment goes on in the UK.


@ThinkBroadband If a user clicks post button multiple times it double posts comments and users can post blank comments, needs fixy!

  • DrMikeHuntHurtz
  • about 1 year ago

"Hindsight is a wonderful tool so its easy to say the BDUK process should have anticipated the current levels of superfast broadband take-up and thus ensured a better split between FTTP and VDSL2 in the phase one roll-outs"

I've no idea what a "better split" might be. Fewer premises would have been enabled and at a much slower rate if there had been more FTTP and less FTTC.

What is, perhaps, a more likely conclusion, is that the higher take-up would have meant more areas could have been commercially viable if they could have been identified via a more sophisticated OMR analysis.

  • TheEulerID
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
I feel the take up on the Cabs was the responsibility of all the council staff in advertising the availability on the Cabs that they helped to pay for unless the FTTC is full there is no pressure on the cable runs to provide fibre further outwards even to add GFast to the Cab location.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

I live in the London Borough of Barnet; North Edgware Exchange LWNEDG.
My BT Infinity FTTC Fibre connection is really poor. During quiet times of the day, I achieve 20/4Mhz or just under. When it's busy, it drops somewhat below that.
I have looked at all the National roll out plans for SuperFast etc and London doesn't get a mention AT ALL whereas a decent percentage of the rest of the country is getting much faster internet. Why is London so badly served?

  • Rahosi
  • about 1 year ago

London is far from badly served, as a region it is doing very well, but there are islands with slow speeds. Or put another way, when the goal was 90% superfast London was above that, and similar with the 95% target.

NOTE: If you are getting 20/4 Mbps, then the drop at peak time is something that funding will not help with. If you are in a flat and using Wi-Fi the suggestion would be its Wi-Fi congestion, as generally the FTTC services do not have a massive drop in throughput speeds at peak times.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Mamba the BT response to a full DSLAM is not to deploy FTTP or I have no idea what you are talking about with regards to cable runs, though I'm doubtful you do either.

Trust you have taken the opportunity to work out that DSLAMs don't use postcodes for routing and switching off traffic.

  • CarlThomas
  • about 1 year ago

20/4 is not satisfactory? We were upgraded by FTTC a couple of years ago and I'm doing well if I get 9/1.5.

  • tpyper
  • about 1 year ago

FTTC speed all depends on the distance to the cabinet, so a speed of 9 Mbps suggests its likely to be some 2km away, if it is massively closer and those are the best speeds you are getting then time to do the usual home wiring checks.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Carl.
This last two weeks I have been observing 5 bespoke Cabs that are being inserted in long cable runs approx 1 mile from the main FTTC this will remove many post codes that are showing under 10 meg (Amber TBB ). G/ Fast could be fitted if required plus FTTH could be used also thus bypassing the Bespoke Cab. I think TBB will pick up these Post Code locations in due course I am only watching Super Surrey % result at 15 Meg as this is the figure that was stated at the Dorking Meeting 99.7%.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Right, Openreach having intercepted the copper and installed FTTRN will be falling over themselves to make it redundant by installing FTTP. If FTTP were an option they would not have done FTTRN.

Regarding the pods are installed on the side of PCPs, they are not compatible with the all in one FTTRN nodes.

FTTRN has been done in a number of areas. It is nothing to do with or FTTP so I still have no idea what you are talking about. You seem to have attended a couple of meetings, watch roadworks in progress and use your imagination for the rest.

  • CarlThomas
  • about 1 year ago

If anything I would imagine high FTTC uptake would harm the FTTP business case. This asset they've already paid for is making some serious £££ so why spend a bunch of cash stranding it?

The areas that are most viable are those where Virgin or A N Other are handing Openreach's backside to them, the FTTC uptake is low, altnet / cable uptake is high, and there's far less of a downside to obsoleting the NGA DSLAM.

If FTTP is relatively cheap to deploy all the better. Unsurprisingly this isn't many BDUK areas, even those in Surrey, regardless of Dorking meetings.

  • CarlThomas
  • about 1 year ago

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