Broadband News

April update on state of broadband coverage across the UK, nations and regions

It is the 7th of the month so that means it is time to publish our latest round-up of the UK broadband coverage situation and highlight any trends we are seeing.

After what felt like a really long time stuck at 95% the UK superfast figures have started climbing to 95.1% and if the current pace continues we may be on course to resume a 0.1% increase each month. This change is a mixture of a small increase in activity from Openreach, along with KCom and Gigaclear and that the big annual sweep for new premises is pretty much over. The next batch of new postcodes is expected in May, covering the Feb/Mar/Apr period which may have a small dampening effect.

Northern Ireland was the big change for the last month, but this is a mixture of two things, shifts in postcode locations the previous month led to a rise in passed by VDSL2 but not superfast locations and those premises have now been checked and in addition we are seeing more infill cabinets going live, plus FTTP plus Virgin Media roll-out in the urban areas.

Wales is now within 630 premises of the SuperfastCymru goal of 96% coverage of high speed broadband (defined as 15 Mbps and faster) so the extra cabinets and FTTP delivered since the hard stop at the end of December 2017 seem to have done their job. Now the waiting game to see what happens with the next set of contracts means we are not expecting coverage in Wales to change significantly for the rest of 2018.

The full fibre (FTTP) picture is interesting and a number of the gainshare deployments in BDUK contracts are delivering clusters of Openreach FTTP, we are also seeing chunks of FTTP from Openreach in areas such as Pimlico, Westminster and Holborn which along with the other operators announcements of full fibre in parts of London may resolve a good number of the slow areas of the capital.

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 7th April 2018
(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
%
Full Fibre
and
Openreach FTTP
% Under 2 Mbps download

% Below USO

10 Mbps download

1 Mbps upload

North East 98.1% 97.1% (=) 96.9% 52.9% (=)

0.58% (+0.05)

0.20% (+0.04)

0.2% 2.3%
932,421 Premises 914,844 905,240 903,369 493,193

5,410

1,845

1,958 20,997
London 97.8% 97% (+0.1) 96.8% 71.6% (+0.1)

6.83% (+0.27)

2.59% (+0.01)

0.1% 2.5%
4,497,133 Premises 4,397,309 4,361,821 4,355,277 3,221,407

307,181

116,694

5,408 112,874
East Midlands 98.7% 96.9% (=) 96.7% 58.6% (=)

1.20% (+0.07)

0.40% (+0.03)

0.4% 2.1%
1,114,478 Premises 1,099,863 1,080,461 1,077,223 653,159

13,391

4,424

4,631 23,217
South East 98.6% 96.9% (+0.1) 96.6% 52.6% (=)

2.95% (+0.06)

1.52% (+0.01)

0.3% 2.1%
2,181,321 Premises 2,150,876 2,113,879 2,107,096 1,147,586

64,346

33,179

6,169 44,863
West Midlands 98.1% 96.4% (+0.1) 96.2% 64.4% (+0.1)

1.40% (+0.04)

0.62% (+0.02)

0.3% 2.7%
2,810,785 Premises 2,756,172 2,709,554 2,702,943 1,811,585

39,287

17,313

9,180 75,841
North West 98.2% 96.1% (=) 95.8% 49.2% (+0.1)

2.22% (+0.06)

1.33% (+0.03)

0.6% 2.9%
3,938,709 Premises 3,869,242 3,785,898 3,774,497 1,937,363

87,436

52,261

24,542 113,399
England 97.6% 95.6% (+0.1) 95.3% 56.3% (+0.1)

3.95% (+0.13)

2.30% (+0.05)

0.5% 3.3%
24,246,606 Premises 23,676,016 23,181,137 23,108,340 13,651,780

957,940

556,841

113,274 789,912
Great Britain 97.6% 95.4% (+0.1) 95.1% 53.9% (=)

3.70% (+0.12)

2.23% (+0.06)

0.6% 3.5%
28,271,395 Premises 27,580,721 26,960,285 26,872,811 15,247,865

1,046,928

629,654

156,559 993,201
United Kingdom 97.6% 95.1% (+0.1) 94.8% 53.3% (+0.1)

3.64% (+0.12)

2.20% (+0.05)

0.7% 3.6%
29,048,046 Premises 28,348,201 27,637,014 27,542,540 15,489,429

1,057,738

640,464

194,727 1,058,847

Rest Of Scotland
(i.e. not HIE area)

97.2% 94.7% (+0.1) 94.4% 47.2% (=)

0.98% (+0.07)

0.47% (+0.05)

0.9% 4.4%
2,395,715 Premises 2,328,753 2,268,031 2,262,083 1,131,689

23,432

11,161

22,223 105,362
Wales 97.3% 94.5% (+0.1) 94.1% 32.8% (=)

4.61% (+0.08)

4.35% (+0.08)

0.8% 4.1%
1,393,435 Premises 1,355,805 1,316,590 1,310,833 457,580

64,288

60,562

11,173 56,769
East of England 97% 94.3% (+0.2) 93.9% 51.6% (=)

1.61% (+0.12)

0.89% (+0.07)

0.7% 4.3%
2,639,814 Premises 2,561,162 2,488,693 2,477,776 1,363,502

42,430

23,561

17,870 113,046
Yorkshire and Humber 96.2% 94.3% (+0.2) 94% 54.7% (+0.2)

7.39% (+0.21)

6.42% (+0.21)(includes KCom Lightstream)

0.6% 4.8%
2,584,726 Premises 2,485,491 2,437,183 2,430,625 1,413,814

191,117

165,863

14,643 123,461
Scotland 96.9% 93.6% (+0.1) 93.2% 43.3% (+0.1)

0.94% (+0.08)

0.47% (+0.06)

1.2% 5.6%
2,631,354 Premises 2,548,900 2,462,558 2,453,638 1,138,505

24,700

12,251

32,112 146,520
South West 97% 93% (+0.1) 92.5% 45.4% (+0.2)

5.85% (+0.13)

3.99% (+0.05)

0.8% 4.6%
3,547,219 Premises 3,441,057 3,298,408 3,279,534 1,610,171

207,342

141,701

28,873 162,214
Northern Ireland 98.8% 87.1% (+0.7) 86.2% 31.1% (+0.3)

1.39% (+0.07)

1.39% (+0.07)

4.9% 8.7%
776,651 Premises 767,480 676,729 669,729 241,564

10,810

10,810

38,168 67,860
Highlands and Islands (HIE) 90% 79.3% (+0.2) 78.1% 0.3% (=)

0.33% (+0.04)

0.33% (+0.04)

4.2% 16.5%
241,552 Premises 217,493 191,456 188,634 790

790

790

10,213 39,833

Looking into the future if you are a company who offers micro-trenching services the next few years looks very rosy, but the politicians from all parties and Ofcom need to be very careful because the seeds have been sown that are going to see the cities racing away from their surrounding rural areas where many of those with slow broadband today only have the prospect of the Universal Service Obligation to save them from slow broadband services.

For all the talk of Gigabit cities and millions of premises of full fibre being rolled out, the pace while it is picking up is nothing like the hundreds of thousand a month needed if the grand plans are to be met and from what we are seeing a good number of deployments overlap with things like the Virgin Media footprint or two FTTP operators are overbuilding each other (which is already happening in some new builds) additonally many of the have a dense population of VDSL2 cabinets where everyone is getting superfast speeds already if they upgrade.

In a climate of social media soundbites and peacocking getting more full fibre deployed is of course paramount, but almost none of the deployments are explicitly saying they will cover those areas of a city or town where no-one else goes. One possible exception was the recent announcements for coverage in Southwark from Community Fibre and Hyperoptic for council owned property, but there are still questions about private buildings who refuse upgrade offers for their tennants.

Comments

Post a comment

Login Register