Broadband News

November 2018 update on broadband coverage levels across the UK, nations and regions

The clocks may have fallen back but the levels of full fibre and ultrafast broadband coverage across the UK are springing forward, though this good news is not universally welcomed as those who are in rural areas and are waiting on BDUK roll-outs or worse have no visible plans for things to improve beyond the Universal Service Obligation (USO) are becoming increasingly frustrated.

The rural roll-outs are shifting and the volume of VDSL2 delivered is massively lower compared to 12 months ago and we think we are approaching a cross-over point where the BDUK contracts may be delivering more FTTP than VDSL2.

Looking at the ultrafast and full fibre roll-outs the unsung hero is Virgin Media as their Project Lightning expansion is often the largest boost to the FTTP (i.e. RFOG areas) figures and this is because they are a couple of years into their building programme.

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 2018
(change since 7th October 2018)
Area% full and part fibre based
i.e. VDSL2, G.fast or
FTTP or
Cable
% superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster
FTTP, cable, G.fast
%
Full Fibre
and
Openreach FTTP
% Under 2 Mbps download% Below USO
10 Mbps download
1 Mbps upload
ADSL2+ does not count as USO compliant
North East 98.4% 97.4% (=) 97.2% 54.1% (+0.1)

1.21% (+0.11)

0.38% (+0.03)

0.2% 2.0%
948,798 Premises 933,445 924,213 922,395 512,862

11,470

3,637

1,967 18,769
East Midlands 98.9% 97.3% (=) 97.0% 61.1% (+0.1)

2.88% (+0.14)

0.70% (0.05)

0.4% 1.8%
1,127,567 Premises 1,115,465 1,096,917 1,093,351 689,449

32,487

7,911

4,161 20,247
South East 98.9% 97.2% (=) 96.9% 55.2% (+0.3)

4.11% (+0.20)

1.79% (+0.07)

0.3% 1.7%
2,214,844 Premises 2,190,213 2,153,286 2,146,038 1,222,157

91,068

39,542

6,024 38,669
London 97.9% 97.1% (=) 97% 73.5% (+0.4)

8.75% (+0.23)

2.88% (+0.06)

0.1% 2.4%
4,553,694 Premises 4,458,469 4,423,370 4,416,517 3,347,134

398,324

131,108

4,911 107,407
West Midlands 98.4% 96.9% (+0.1) 96.7% 66.2% (+0.2)

2.61% (+0.19)

0.90% (+0.06)

0.3% 2.3%
2,840,094 Premises 2,794,445 2,750,971 2,744,876 1,880,523

74,040

25,625

8,437 64,780
North West 98.5% 96.6% (=) 96.3% 51.4% (+0.3)

3.04% (+0.08)

1.60% (+0.03)

0.5% 2.5%
3,981,376 Premises 3,922,842 3,846,139 3,834,757 2,046,730

121,097

63,608

21,748 97,625
England 98.1% 96.2% (+0.1) 95.9% 58.4% (+0.4)

5.38% (+0.19)

2.74% (+0.07)

0.4% 2.8%
24,560,739 Premises 24,087,579 23,629,400 23,556,030 14,330,191

1,320,892

672,371

104,037 678,433
Great Britain 98.0% 95.9% (+0.1) 95.6% 56% (+0.3)

5.14% (+0.18)

2.66% (+0.06)

0.5% 3.0%
28,630,504 Premises 28,047,767 27,459,715 27,370,533 16,037,754

1,472,693

761,675

148,175 864,748
United Kingdom 98.0% 95.7% (+0.1) 95.4% 55.5% (+0.3)

5.20% (+0.20)

2.70% (+0.06)

0.6% 3.1%
29,417,430 Premises 28,827,668 28,151,938 28,055,999 16,338,202

1,530,874

793,932

184,776 926,283
Yorkshire and Humber 97.1% 95.3% (+0.1) 95.1% 57.7% (+0.5)

9.68% (+0.33)

7.49% (+0.12)(includes KCom Lightstream)

0.5% 3.7%
2,622,820 Premises 2,547,670 2,500,617 2,493,232 1,513,845

254,005

196,427

13,058 97,399
East of England 97.9% 95.2% (+0.1) 94.8% 52.9% (+0.1)

2.66% (+0.14)

1.24% (+0.09)

0.6% 3.3%
2,669,765 Premises 2,613,656 2,541,694 2,529,822 1,413,073

70,992

32,994

16,569 88,786
Wales 97.6% 94.9% (+0.1) 94.5% 34.7% (+0.5)

5.95% (+0.15)

4.89% (+0.04)

0.8% 3.7%
1,409,000 Premises 1,375,334 1,336,806 1,331,117 488,967

83,861

68,933

10,850 52,694
Scotland 97.1% 93.7% (+0.1) 93.3% 45.8% (+0.1)

2.55% (+0.13)

0.77% (+0.03)

1.3% 5.0%
2,660,765 Premises 2,584,854 2,493,509 2,483,386 1,218,596

67,940

20,371

33,288 133,621
South West 97.5% 94.2% (+0.1) 93.7% 47.3% (+0.4)

7.42% (+0.22)

4.76% (+0.06)

0.8% 4.0%
3,601,781 Premises 3,511,374 3,392,193 3,375,042 1,704,318

267,409

171,519

27,162 144,751
Northern Ireland 99.1% 88.0% (+0.1) 87.1% 38.2% (+1.1)

7.39% (+0.92)

4.10% (+0.19)

4.7% 8.1%
786,926 Premises 779,901 692,223 685,466 300,448

58,181

32,257

36,601 64,073

Northern Ireland seems to have almost abandoned rolling out extra VDSL2 cabinets with the vast majority of what we are finding being full fibre, in the form of clusters uplifting long lines from slow ADSL speeds to give them ultrafast options or it is the overlay of FTTP in existing VDSL2 areas. 

For those tracking the Openreach ultrafast roll-outs things we know of 1,040,706 premises with a G.fast option at 100 Mbps and faster and the native FTTP footprint is sitting at 621,446 premises. We expect the existing pattern to continue where after a few weeks of seeing relatively little new G.fast a new exchange with a number of pods will appear jump the figures by tens of thousands, the FTTP figure is climbing daily but we are waiting on large blocks appearing in the Fibre First cities to replicate the big jump in footprint we saw in Northern Ireland earlier in 2018.

Comments

With just over 1 year to go I am still at a loss how the USO is going to work.
With an amazing 1 in 33 residents still unable to get > 10mbs and 1 in 200 still under 2mbs
I can't wait to see what fudge ofcom are going to come with!

  • nobroadband
  • 11 days ago

Don’t forget all the USO is likely to give you is the right to request a quote for service, with a contribution to the cost from the USO fund. Why do you think there is insufficient time to implement this by the end of 2020?

  • New_Londoner
  • 11 days ago

End of 2020? The public I think you will find are expecting it at the start of 2020.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 11 days ago

By the time USO starts, you request it, OR survey it and if they can build it H2 2020 seems more realistic.

  • Croft12
  • 11 days ago

Not much to build though if the USO service is just a 4G antenna on a window sill into a 4G router

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 11 days ago

That's true if thats all USO is... I tended to think that will be for extreme cases.

  • Croft12
  • 11 days ago

I think you'll be suprised at what will be considered an extreme case. As 1.5Mile as the crow fies from the exchange (visiable from front door) and 2.5Miles as the cable travelled, I've been classed as extremely remote.

  • brianhe
  • 11 days ago

I'm waiting for the inevitable 'shock news' and slow to catch on media farce when the less informed finally realise that what the proposed USO actually offers them is not the same as 90% of the country got for free.

@brianhe, totally right, the term 'Hard to reach' is a BS cop out, the fairy tale lie that makes it sound like everyone not covered by BDUK or commercial rollouts must live half way up a mountain in a ruined Bothy. I live on a road connecting the local town to the nearest village there are 30 houses along the 7km, averages out at roughly 250m each we're not hard to reach.

  • Swac3
  • 11 days ago

@Swac3
If you amend it to “hard to reach economically” then I think you and your neighbours do fit the category. Have you investigated 4G as an option?

  • New_Londoner
  • 11 days ago

Why does everybody think 4G is an option. I live in Cornwall were 4G is only something you get if you live in a town or city.

  • nobroadband
  • 10 days ago

@Brian I'm a single dwelling not that far different from the distances you quoted and i've fttp now. Cornwall and to a lesser degree Devon have both managed pretty good fttp infill in rural.

  • Croft12
  • 10 days ago

@nobroadband
The comment was directed towards @Swac3?

In any case, 4G in Cornwall extends beyond urban areas and coverage continues to expand. Have you checked whether an external aerial can get a signal? Just because your handset can’t detect a signal doesn’t mean 4G isn’t available, especially if you’re not using 800MHz (old handset or wrong contract type).

  • New_Londoner
  • 10 days ago

@New_londoner Exactly, I know 'Not worth it' doesn't quite have the same feel as hard/difficult, but why let honesty cloud the issue :)

4G I had written off to be honest due to the patchy phone signal, that said I don't know how much improvement could be had from a decent external antenna up on the chimney might make. Its not an ideal solution given the costs/limits but then neither is what we have now.

I'm negative about the USO i know, but possibly roads like ours might just see the aggregated cost threshold per property improve the feasibility. As for when, that is any ones guess.

  • Swac3
  • 10 days ago

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