Broadband News

November update on state of broadband coverage across the UK and regions

The narrative that full fibre is the future is starting to be shown as a reality as the UK has seen a 0.18% increase in the full fibre footprint to some 868,000 premises now and it means we can stop talking about almost 3% full fibre coverage in the UK but start saying over 3%.

What is behind the surge? Have policy changes and investment funds from the Government kick started a massive roll-out? Alas much more boring, in chasing down all the new build premises across the UK we are finding a lot of these estates and clusters are using either Openreach GEA-FTTP or IFNL. In the case of urban areas Hyperoptic is also playing a part as new apartment complexes spring up, with a notable cluster being on the south bank of the Thames around Battersea power station. The figure would be higher but a good number of areas do overlap i.e. choice of two FTTP operators is what some have, thus satisfying the competition drive. These increase is really a result of decisions operators and developers made in 2015/2016 as any recent policy shifts and funding will take longer to deliver. Also don't forget the influence of the KCom Lightstream roll-out which is continuing at a good pace.

The North East region deserves a mention as the full fibre figure is slightly down but Openreach figure is up and this seems to have been down to a couple of corrections to the premise count for some IFNL and Hyperoptic postcodes where they have coverage.

For the other areas the premise counts are increasing as we race to get the model updated to reflect the very latest postcodes one interesting anamoly in this process is that the amount of sub 2 Mbps premises in Wales increased by 0.1% suggesting the developers have not fully got the message in Wales, of course its possible that in the next few months those new homes and apartments and flats will gain service via the commercial roll-outs.

thinkbroadband analysis of Superfast, USC, USO and Full Fibre Broadband Coverage across the UK, its nations and regions for premises
In descending order of superfast coverage - figures 6th November 2017
(change since 7th October 2017)
Area% fibre based
VDSL2 or
FTTP or
Cable
% superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster
%
Full Fibre
and
Openreach FTTP
% Under 2 Mbps download% Under 10 Mbps download
North East 98% 96.8% (+0.2) 96.6% 52.8% (-0.1)

0.43% (-0.01)

0.08% (+0.02)

0.2% 1.1%
921,231 Premises 902,495 891,655 889,779 486,331

3,994

749

1,958 10,270
London 97.5% 96.5% (+0.1) 96.4% 71.4% (+0.1)

5.62% (+0.38)

2.13% (+0.2)

0.1% 0.7%
4,443,955 Premises 4,331,151 4,289,364 4,282,267 3,172,222

249,595

94,666

6,078 30,917
East Midlands 98.5% 96.4% (+0.1) 96.1% 58.7% (=)

0.96% (+0.06)

0.19% (+0.04)

0.5% 1.7%
1,105,865 Premises 1,088,845 1,066,345 1,063,117 649,107

10,625

2,155

5,234 18,315
South East 98.2% 96.2% (+0.1) 95.9% 52.5% (=)

2.43% (+0.15)

1.31% (+0.09)

0.3% 1.4%
2,162,257 Premises 2,123,115 2,080,856 2,073,155 1,135,876

55,766

28,384

6,722 30,363
West Midlands 97.9% 95.9% (+0.1) 95.6% 64.6% (=)

1.01% (+0.11)

0.36% (+0.06)

0.4% 1.7%
2,779,261 Premises 2,720,671 2,666,410 2,657,966 1,794,596

28,135

9,964

10,829 46,696
North West 97.8% 95.3% (+0.1) 95% 48.6% (=)

1.87% (+0.09)

1.10% (+0.06)

0.7% 2.3%
3,914,733 Premises 3,828,639 3,732,553 3,718,890 1,902,537

73,107

43,024

26,578 90,186
England 97.1% 94.8% (+0.2) 94.4% 56.0% (+0.1)

3.33% (+0.19)

1.94% (+0.12)

0.5% 2.2%
24,013,193 Premises 23,323,953 22,758,920 22,675,000 13,444,907

799,758

466,648

125,354 522,152
Great Britain 97% 94.5% (+0.3) 94.1% 53.7% (+0.1)

3.08% (+0.18)

1.84% (+0.12)

0.6% 2.5%
27,957,131 Premises 27,110,361 26,406,811 26,302,433 15,009,906

862,406

515,280

171,552 706,892
United Kingdom 97% 94.2% (+0.3) 93.8% 53.1% (+0.1)

3.02% (+0.18)

1.81% (+0.12)

0.7% 2.7%
28,703,962 Premises 27,845,715 27,038,184 26,925,887 15,242,724

868,008

520,882

214,476 782,925
Rest Of Scotland 96.3% 93.6% (+0.5) 93.2% 47.5% (=)

0.57% (+0.05)

0.17% (+0.03)

1% 3.6%
2,354,554 Premises 2,267,274 2,203,290 2,194,961 1,117,240

13,486

4,117

22,849 85,266
East of England 96.3% 93.2% (+0.3) 92.7% 51.7% (=)

1.27% (+0.12)

0.66% (+0.07)

0.7% 3.2%
2,613,070 Premises 2,516,230 2,434,196 2,422,238 1,349,674

33,261

17,260

19,004 82,902
Wales 96.2% 92.8% (+0.2) 92.1% 32.9% (+0.2)

3.57% (+0.36)

3.31% (+0.35)

1% 4.3%
1,337,492 Premises 1,286,689 1,240,930 1,232,332 439,998

47,691

44,211

12,817 57,455
Yorkshire and Humber 94.8% 92.6% (+0.4) 92.3% 53.9% (+0.2)

6.57% (+0.23)

5.64% (+0.23)(includes KCom Lightstream)

0.6% 3.3%
2,563,261 Premises 2,429,188 2,374,190 2,366,477 1,382,365

168,425

144,602

15,747 85,592
Scotland 95.9% 92.3% (+0.6) 91.9% 43.2% (+0.3)

0.57% (+0.06)

0.17% (+0.04)

1.3% 4.9%
2,606,446 Premises 2,499,719 2,406,961 2,395,101 1,125,001

14,957

4,421

33,381 127,285
South West 96.4% 91.8% (+0.3) 91.2% 44.8% (+0.1)

5.04% (+0.25)

3.59% (+0.18)

0.9% 3.6%
3,509,560 Premises 3,383,619 3,223,351 3,201,111 1,572,199

176,849

125,844

33,204 126,911
Northern Ireland 98.5% 84.5% (+0.5) 83.5% 31.2% (-0.1)

0.75% (+0.18)

0.75% (+0.18)

5.7% 10.2%
746,831 Premises 735,354 631,373 623,454 232,818

5,602

5,602

42,924 76,033
Highlands and Islands (HIE) 88.8% 77% (+0.7) 75.5% 0.2% (+0.1)

0.19% (+0.07)

0.19% (+0.07)

4.4% 17.4%
240,270 Premises 213,470 184,986 181,484 468

468

468

10,503 41,737

The G.fast roll-outs are hidden away in the ultrafast figures and we can see some 49,989 premises covered by the technology across the UK, a rise of over 4,000 in just 5 days since we last reported on this figure suggesting that after many months of stagnation but people seeing cabinets appear that they are coming online and hopefully soon the major providers will shift into another gear and market the new products. Though with the uncertaintity over what exactly the ASA/CAP rules mean we may find providers waiting for that to be in the public domain to ensure that their new wonder product does not have to suddenly change its advertised speeds - one thought if new advert rules see FTTC speeds reducing is that launching a new G.fast tier will attract the top end of the market easier.

The public sentiment may be that any problems with broadband is down to BT and Openreach hence the recent van effigy burnt on bonfire night in Devon, but as the figures are increasingly showing the picture is a lot more complex and there are many more choices with commercial, public funding and community schemes. The technology exists and is well established that can cover any not-spot in the UK, the problems generally come down to the cost of the labour needed to deliver it or in the case where wayleaves are an issue the cost of negotiation where the cost of lawyers will count as labour. On Devon specifically we don't know yet what the CDS project is going to do with any gainshare or savings from the phase I project, but the end of phase one has seen Openreach FTTP featuring so fingers crossed that will continue with any extensions. The phase two project areas covered by AirBand are featured in our coverage figures now and the Gigaclear footprint will appear once the details are released. Feeling abandoned and left out by BT will increasingly feature we suspect as the superfast footprint increases rather than diminish, and even if superfast coverage reaches 100% the push for ever faster services will keep the anger of the digital divide alive. 

Comments

Interesting that NE premises dropped by 5k or is this a typo. Everywhere else increased by a sizable amount.

If only real housing stock had gone up by the same total we would have a housing shortage in 12 months time!

170k additional over 24Mb premises in a month is a fair old run rate as well ( 473k since August so consistent as well) or a 2.9% increase since last Nov.

Back on Feb 7th you asked if Scotland would hit 95% by the end of 2017, I think we can clearly say Yes now.

  • jumpmum
  • 17 days ago

Sorry para 2 should have read "If only real housing stock had gone up by the same total we would not have a housing shortage in 12 months time!"
"

  • jumpmum
  • 17 days ago

I did spot the drop in NE premises, and its a 48 vs 57 area code in the latest wave of OS postcode data after some investigation this morning, so some premises missing (in addition to the smaller drop in FTTH that was still present).

Should get fixed on next data run, and will update with a note once done and have total confirmation.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 17 days ago

We can also stop talking, for the first time in a couple of years, about 0.8% with sub 2mb lines as this is now showing as 0.7%.

  • gerarda
  • 17 days ago

It is a smidge under 0.75% now at the 2 Mbps level, lets hope as we continue to trawl the new build postcodes that no-one has built anything massive on very long lines.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 17 days ago

Okay the data run has completed and no change to the figures, it looks like the previous higher figure for the North East was due to some OS data issues, which was one of the things recently changed.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 17 days ago

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