Broadband News

How does your area of England compare to other local authorities?

We have had a couple of English local authorities chase for the levels of superfast broadband coverage based around Defra/ONS rural urban definitions, so we thought we'd share the information with the wider audience.

These definitions for each English local authority are obviously fairly wide, since many local authorities comprise a range of population densities but they are still important so that local authorities can compare themselves to others within the same definition and also align superfast broadband coverage data with other metrics surrounding the economic and social wellbeing of the population and business communities. Since the majority of people have no idea what their area is classified as we have added this information to our broadband stats site so in the linked example to Dartford District Council you can see the authority is classed as Major Urban.

thinkbroadband analysis of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage across the English Local Authorities when aligned into Rural and Urban Categories
Data 25th September 2017
In Descending Order of Superfast Coverage

(change since September 2015)

Area% fibre based
VDSL2 or
% Openreach VDSL2/FTTP% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster

% Full Fibre
(Openreach FTTP)

% Under 2 Mbps download% Under 10 Mbps download

Other Urban

3,605,472 premises

97.9% 92.5%






0.2% 1%

Major Urban

7,972,792 premises

96.9% 88.2%






0% 0.5%

Large Urban

3,196,344 premises

96.2% 87.9%






0.1% 1.7%

Signficant Rural

3,214,300 premises

96.6% 93.1%






0.7% 3.2%

Rural 50

3,350,595 premises

95.6% 93.8%






1.3% 4.8%

Rural 80

2,496,353 premises

95.4% 94.4%






1.9% 6.7%

For those wanting a very quick idea of what sort of local authority is in each area some examples for each type are:

  • Major Urban e.g. Barnet London Borough
  • Large Urban e.g. Blackpool
  • Other Urban e.g. Burnley
  • Rural 50 e.g. Calderdale District
  • Rural 80 e.g. Cornwall

The positive change in superfast broadband in the last two years is of course looking good, unless you are one of those that any of the projects no matter whether public or private have not brought improvements too yet. This is why when many outlets use data that is a year or more older to discuss broadband coverage problems the figures will feel more believable to those where nothing has changed and it this area where perhaps Government, local authorities, BDUK contract holders and commercial operators need to do more, especially to communicate specific details to areas.


@thinkbroadband Dreadful

  • @ladyjaney75
  • comment via twitter
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
Just check to see what position your council is showing ( EG Epsom 10 Surrey and Waverley Surrey 435 ) this changes as TBB data is updated as all 650 councils push towards the 24 Meg target. This figure changes up and down as the work is completed and the files are regenerated.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

NOTE: There are not 650 councils, there are 650 constituencies.

I'm not a fan of the ranking, but some want it, and will say this even if every constituency was above 99%, you'd still have a rank 1 and a rank 650.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew Staff,
This has to be driven from the local level upwards thus putting pressure on each Post Code via your local representative it is their responsibility not just drop it blaming it on Openreach. Power to the voter at least ((they local ) should understand the status of each Post Code in their area of responsibility.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrews Staff.
As the results of the 2 Meg has been moved to 10 Meg the post Code must show the correct result especially as the 6-3 DB window may be starting to be applied in the rural areas.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Blackmamba, no idea what you are talking about in your last comment.

Results do not move from 2 Meg to 10 Meg, are you trying to say something about areas being upgraded from ADSL only to VDSL2, or suggesting that a 3dB drop on VDSL2 will take a line from under 2 Mbps to over 10 Mbps?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew staff.
I am saying that all measurements will move out of these set parameters results on 2 ,10,15, 24,30, over the UK this will even effect the clawback payments as you move up the scale from 6 DB--3DBs on Post Codes were it is measured if your are measuring with imperial using 1760 yards= 1 mile or 1610 metres =1 kilometre mile. I use imperial as this is more accurate on locating post codes cable lenghts GPS. Squares 36 x 36 against 39 x 39.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Still confused, yes areas will change as services are rolled out that is the whole point of the roll-outs.

As for imperial being more accurate, I could measure distances in London buses and still be as accurate as someone who measures in nano metres or leagues, this little thing called decimal places.

I do worry for anyone you are advising

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Never heard of a kilometre mile before.

Mamba, please take your time and try and make sense. The above is an incoherent stream of consciousness that reminds of my cryptography module, specifically the codes section.

  • CarlThomas
  • about 1 year ago

I can imagine them being read out in the style of a BBC WW2 announcer as coded messages for the resistance. ;-)

  • New_Londoner
  • about 1 year ago

@NL - or the BBC Shipping Forecast.....

  • Gadget
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew.
There is no need for you to be concerned i am not advising any body at the moment.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew.
I have just received an Email request over a meeting in the Hindhead Area on the provision of fibre access covering a few Post Codes which are on TBB maps showing very low speeds they are Gu266JA and Gu266JB one is in Surrey and the other in Hants.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

  • michael-scott
  • about 1 year ago

can 'thinkbroadband' list the ADSL and VDSL providers who use BTWholesale.
This is very important to me as I want to obtain alernative providers to BT or Plusnet but the option to still retain a BT landline going through BT equipment.
Thank you very much.
Sorry if I have used the wrong section.

  • michael-scott
  • about 1 year ago

@BM - '1610 metres =1 kilometre mile'? Please explain. Do you mean 1610m = 1 mile?

All engineering uses metric measurements. Imperial is NOT more accurate!

  • Somerset
  • about 1 year ago

@Michael-scott The names using BT Wholesale are ones like EE, IDNet, Zen, AAISP and then a tail of getting smaller providers, though some of those do use a mixture of TalkTalk LLU wholesale services.

NOTE: Some TalkTalk wholesale resellers do allow you to retain a WLR phone service, so its a case of checking with them.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Somerset.
I am sorry in a delay answering your request but have be out with the fibre boys in Spain. My data/ Base measures in imperial up to a mile from the FTTC to the set post code GPS.. (So the tail is not wagging the Dog). This isolates the influence from other Cabs that may Service this Post Code Area. I use . 90—.99 of a mile thus giving me green at 15 meg radius.Thus FTTC——Post Code—-Customers and red after this ,next step. Either fibre or bespoke Cab.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

"This isolates the influence from other Cabs that may Service this Post Code Area"

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Don’t understand your last comment at all. Are you sure that you didn’t bring a few unofficial “souvenirs” home from Spain for consumption here? ;-)_

  • New_Londoner
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Londoner.
After input post codes on my system d/ Base at Ewhurst even on the first sort it was apparent over the doubling up of post codes on Cab 20 and CAB 6 even Openreach field engineers are partially blind to it due to them dealing with one customer.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

I’m still unclear what you’re trying to say. It may be my fault but I’m none the wiser based on your two posts above.

  • New_Londoner
  • about 1 year ago

I think it means "There are some postcodes which are served by more than one cabinet"

  • Gadget
  • about 1 year ago

Thanks Gadget, that’s much clearer!

If that’s what you were trying to say, why do you believe it’s a problem? It’s not exactly uncommon given exchange and cabinet areas area totally unrelated to postcodes.

  • New_Londoner
  • about 1 year ago

Figures in our area are right - Central Beds - as Openreach have yet to complete the cabinet work and are currently 3 months behind their published ‘where and when’ website with no explanation. Our MP was told to go away by BT so contacting your local rep for leverage has zero effect. Cabinet 13 in Sandy was installed almost a year ago but is still at ‘Connect’.

  • MercuryRH
  • about 1 year ago

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