Broadband News

Popularity of different broadband services revealed for Q2 2018

By analysing the tests during the three month period of April, May and June 2018 we are able to share what is our understanding of how popular different services are with the various broadband providers.

The product detection is automated and is based on techniques that are part of our speed test and since the speed test is crowd sourced there are obviously going to be differences to reality, but broadband providers are increasingly revealing less in their financial results about how popular different services are.

One change since our last release in April 2018 is that the up to naming conventions have been dropped, so as with our other speed test result tables we include information about the underlying wholesale service e.g. 40/10 or 80/20.

ProviderPackagePopularity within ProviderChange since last quarter
BT Consumer ADSL/ADSL2+ 31.5% -0.8
BT Consumer Superfast 1 VDSL2/FTTC 55/10 40.3% -0.5
BT Consumer Superfast 2 VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 24.2% +0.9
BT Consumer Superfast 1 FTTP 55/10 1.8% +0.1
BT Consumer Superfast 2 FTTP 80/20 1.6% +0.2
BT Consumer Ultrafast 1, 2 FTTP 160 and 330 1.1% +0.2
BT Consumer Ultrafast 1 and 2 152 152 and 314 n/a n/a
EE ADSL/ADSL2+ 43.7% -1.7
EE Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 40/10 43.9% +0.1
EE Fibre Plus VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 12.5% +1.7
KCom ADSL/ADSL2+ 27.5% -6.0
KCom Lightstream FTTP/full fibre 72.5% +6.0
Plusnet ADSL/ADSL2+ 40.4% -1.3
PlusNet Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 40/10 40.9% +1.0
Plusnet Fibre Extra VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 18% +0.5
PlusNet Fibre FTTP/full fibre 0.8% =
Post Office ADSL/ADSL2+ 80.2% +0.7
Post Office Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 40/10 16.9% -0.8
Post Office Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 2.9% +0.2
Sky ADSL2+ 45.7% -2.3
Sky Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 40/10 47.3% +1.8
Sky Fibre Pro VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 6.7% +0.5
Sky Fibre FTTP/full fibre 0.4% +0.1
TalkTalk ADSL2+ 46% -2.0
TalkTalk Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 40/10 43.8% +1.2
TalkTalk Fibre VDSL2/FTTC 80/20 9.8% +0.8
TalkTalk Fibre FTTP/full fibre 0.5% +0.1
Virgin Media 50 Mbps Fibre/Cable/DOCSIS 20.5% n/a
Virgin Media 70 Mbps Fibre/Cable/DOCSIS 21.4% n/a
Virgin Media VIVID 100 Mbps Fibre/Cable/DOCSIS 32.1% n/a
Virgin Media VIVID 150 Mbps Fibre/Cable/DOCSIS 17.9% n/a
Virgin Media VIVID 200 Mbps Fibre/Cable/DOCSIS 7.7% n/a
Virgin Media VIVID 350 Mbps Fibre/Cable/DOCSIS 0.5% n/a
Vodafone ADSL2+ 10.6% -0.9
Vodafone Superfast 1 FTTC/VDSL2 40/10 62.2% +1.8
Vodafone Superfast 2 FTTC/VDSL2 80/20 27.2% -0.9
Zen Internet ADSL/ADSL2+ 28.9% +0.1
Zen Internet Fibre FTTC/VDSL2 40/10 28.1% +2.2
Zen Internet Fibre FTTC/VDSL2 80/20 37.1% -4.3
Zen Internet Fibre FTTP/full fibre 6% +2 is still blank as while we are seeing people speed testing the numbers are still too small to call out as a proportion. The n/a for the change on the Virgin Media products is because a change in the last quarter was to add detection for the 70 and 150 Mbps speed points.

The trend for ADSL/ADSL2+ becoming less popular is an important one, since one hopes that in time providers may move away from offering ADSL/ADSL2+ services at all and then serious discussions can take place about retiring the product and recovering some of the radio spectrum to do things like remove the power masks that limit the crosstalk from VDSL2 to the ADSL/ADSL2+ services in areas where everyone has a cabinet based VDSL2 option.


Whats with
BT Consumer Superfast 1 FTTP 55/10 1.8% +0.1

I thought BT offered everyone renewing a 'free' upgrade to 80/20 a while back.

  • Croft12
  • 8 months ago

Would be good to see a nice simple pie chart of providers market share, and products on a separate chart. Tables are well.... boring ;)

  • doowles
  • 8 months ago

@doowles 10 pie charts would have been nice of course, but that takes time to produce and the days are of limited length.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 8 months ago

@Croft12 They did but the speed tests we see have not massively changed, in part because only those who were hitting the 55/10 sync limits would actually have benefited, i.e. those on very short lines.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 8 months ago

Wow, I never realised how many people were still on ADSL. You have to assume that for many of them this is a choice, because fibre is available to a much higher percentage.

I'm even more surprised by Virgin, 7.7% on 200mbit and only half a percent on 350.

You can see why operators think there is no demand for faster services

  • rtho782
  • 7 months ago

Andrew length can't be the issue as its

BT Consumer Superfast 1 ***FTTP*** 55/10 1.8% +0.1

  • Croft12
  • 7 months ago

@Croft12. When was the free update, I think about a year ago? If so it's quite possible that many of those recently gaining an FFTP connection will have deliberately chosen the 55/10 package.

  • MCM999
  • 7 months ago

It is not clear at all how many actually got the free upgrades, certainly questions from the public were not massive i.e. a PR move that may have been short lived.

Also remember that is the change in the last quarter, so would not show the change from the quarter when the change happened.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

A bit more than a year ago sounds right. No idea of takeup. I rather assumed it was designed to help retension so they would keep offering it when needed. Now perhaps it would help to boost average speeds (after 'up to' goes) against cable etc. I guess we'll see when GFast really hits I rather assumes 55/10 would phase out.

  • Croft12
  • 7 months ago

Switching customers to the 80/20 profile will not help the average for a 55/10 product since the customer is no longer on the original service and clearly now on a different product.

55/10 phase out? Not for a long time

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

Do you know what is a take up of products? For example what % of customers that have accesses to a FTTP product choose that over say a Superfast Product. I assume that for example the 1.1% popularity of the BT Ultrafast 1 product reflects that less than 3% of BT customers have the option to order it, therefore its take up might be as high as 33%!

  • mwoods23
  • 7 months ago

We can estimate those figures, but that is usually done as part of our paid analysis. We did publish some figures for the BDUK project areas a while back though.

In terms of choosing FTTP over superfast, for almost all the Openreach FTTP that is the only superfast option (some though do have Virgin Media or Hyperoptic options).

On your 33% you are in the ballpark.

The question of take-up of FTTP in areas where VDSL2 or cable is previously available is a big question for those planning to roll-out in the next couple of years and overlay those areas.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

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