Broadband News

February 2019 update on broadband availability across the UK, nations and regions

The big news is that the amount of full fibre we are finding across the UK is increasing rapidly, which given the number of press releases about FTTP roll outs in 2018 is good news.

A lot of the full fibre appearing is in locations where people already have a decent VDSL2 or cable broadband speed and while for some readers it will feel they are not delivering to exchange only lines, or cabinets originally deemed not commercially viable for VDSL2 but Openreach in its Fibre First programme is covering a decent number of those locations in its roll-out. Of course roll-outs like the Gigafast programme from CityFibre/Vodafone care little for the layout of the old Openreach network but what they will share is problems around wayleave permission that can impact flats and the small number of unadopted roads where code powers do not apply.

The downside to the shift towards a lot more FTTP is that the rate at which the level of superfast coverage is increasing remains low, we do see infill FTTP i.e. areas with below superfast VDSL2 now getting FTTP but the volume is fairly small and in line with the volumes expected from previous contract announcements.

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 March 2019
(change since 7th March 2019)
Area% full and partial 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 All Providers
 
Openreach and KCOM FTTP
% Under 2 Mbps download% Below USO
10 Mbps download
1 Mbps upload
ADSL2+ does not count as USO compliant
North East 98.5% 97.5% (=) 97.3% 55.1% (+0.5) 1.35% (+0.04)
0.46% (+0.03)
0.2% 1.9%
958,795 Premises 944,136 934,956 932,932 527,789 12,902
 4,416
1,997 18,152
East Midlands 99% 97.5% (+0.1) 97.2% 61.8% (=) 3.28% (+0.06)
0.95% (0.05)
0.3% 1.6%
1,144,958 Premises 1,133,919 1,116,036 1,112,319 707,620 37,528 10,912 3,852 18,643
South East 99% 97.3% (=) 96.9% 57% (+0.4) 5.18% (+0.4)
 2.15% (+0.28)
0.2% 1.6%
2,241,837 Premises 2,218,317 2,181,408 2,173,241 1,278,550 116,198
 48,213
5,577 36,670
London 98% 97.2% (+0.1) 97% 74.3% (+0.2) 9.68% (+0.54)
 3.2% (+0.22)
0.1% 2.3%
4,612,858 Premises 4,518,857 4,483,732 4,476,043 3,428,208 446,439
147,397
4,409 105,694
West Midlands 98.5% 97.1% (+0.1) 96.9% 67.1% (+0.3) 3.48% (+0.68)
 1.64% (+0.59)
0.3% 2.1%
2,881,083 Premises 2,838,280 2,797,065 2,790,974 1,934,412 100,207
 47,254
7,767 60,727
North West 98.6% 96.7% (=) 96.4% 52.9% (+0.7) 4.23% (+0.65)
 2.69% (+0.63)
0.5% 2.3%
4,035,613 Premises 3,979,859 3,902,963 3,890,731 2,134,307 170,725
 108,392
20,893 94,201
England 98.2% 96.4% (+0.1) 96.1% 59.5% (+0.4) 6.29% (+0.48)
 3.32% (+0.37)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 2.6%
24,883,033 Premises 24,443,137 23,991,439 23,912,877 14,796,230 1,564,955
 825,978
96,388 635,565
Great Britain 98.1% 96.1% (+0.1) 95.8% 57.1% (+0.3) 6.07% (+0.46)
 3.27% (+0.37)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.5% 2.8%
29,007,700 Premises 28,461,282 27,878,415 27,783,590 16,569,584 1,761,259
 947,625
139,954 819,131
United Kingdom 98.1% 95.9% (=) 95.6% 56.7% (+0.3) 6.3% (+0.46)
 3.48% (+0.35)
(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.6% 2.9%
29,818,122 Premises 29,265,382 28,600,976 28,499,567 16,919,892 1,877,095
 1,038,018
174,302 875,616
Yorkshire and Humber 97.6% 95.8% (+0.1) 95.5% 58.8% (+0.4) 11.22% (+0.81)
 8.44% (+0.73)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.5% 3.2%
2,656,121 Premises 2,591,723 2,545,444 2,537,720 1,561,612 297,950
 224,258
12,394 86,097
East of England 98.2% 95.6% (+0.1) 95.1% 53.6% (+0.2) 3.25% (+0.17)
1.45% (+0.05)
0.5% 2.9%
2,705,106 Premises 2,656,264 2,585,410 2,571,933 1,450,950 87,942
 39,109
13,474 77,296
Wales 97.7% 95% (=) 94.6% 36.5% (+0.2) 7.14% (+0.51)
 5.97% (+0.44)
0.8% 3.6%
1,428,653 Premises 1,395,986 1,357,238 1,351,518 521,843 102,072
 85,225
10,743 51,707
Scotland 97.3% 93.8% (=) 93.4% 46.4% (+0.1) 3.5% (+0.32)
 1.35% (+0.29)
1.2% 4.9%
2,696,014 Premises 2,622,159 2,529,738 2,519,195 1,251,511 94,232
 36,422
32,823 131,859
South West 97.7% 94.5% (+0.1) 94% 48.6% (+0.5) 8.09% (+0.34)
 5.38% (+0.33)
0.7% 3.8%
3,646,662 Premises 3,561,782 3,444,425 3,426,984 1,772,782 295,064
196,027
26,025 138,085
Northern Ireland 99.2% 89.2% (+0.1) 88.4% 43.2% (-0.1) 14.29% (-0.03)
 11.15% (-0.03)
4.2% 7.2%
810,422 Premises 804,100 722,561 715,977 350,308 115,836
 90,393
34,348 58,667

A quick word on Northern Ireland and why the ultrafast figures have gone down: in terms of absolute numbers there is now more premises with ultrafast and FTTP broadband options but due to rolling in of the results for new build premises the percentages have shifted slightly in the downwards direction. This impact is not usually seen in the monthly summary because we invariably find enough new cable and FTTP services to compensate but with the focus on cities like Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Coventry, Edinburgh there has been little checking of Northern Ireland beyond keeping an eye out for unusual speed test results.

The overall UK percentage for premises needing help to meet the forthcoming broadband universal broadband obligation (USO) has dropped from 3.0% to 2.9% and importantly the number of actual premises has also dropped. The number of premises that will qualify if the residents ask for USO help if you presume that ADSL2+ cannot deliver the USO standard due to the low upload speed is 875,616, but if you ignore the upload requirement this drops to a much smaller 534,385 premises that cannot a 10 Mbps download speed, there is a middle ground figure with our tracking recording 782,293 premises who cannot get a 15 Mbps speed.

The Openreach Fibre First roll-out is being found at a pace significantly higher than the pace they have declared for the roll-out, i.e. their declared roll-out is 13,000 premises per week, but in the last month we have added 104,833 premises. So if the 13,000 per week pace is correct we are catching up to the live roll-out. The overall figures are 856,436 premises with GEA-FTTP available and 1,624,481 in range for G.fast giving a combined Openreach ultrafast footprint of 2,480,917 premises.

The 97% superfast coverage target is slipping a bit, the current projection suggests May,June or July of 2020 and 98% is roughly the same period in 2021.

Comments

If not overly complicated to implement, would it be possible to add the % change to "below USO" column? This would tell us how much building new networks target those who need it most. For example in my own area full fibre is making astonishing gains month by month but under USO seems to remain the same from month to month.

  • hvis42
  • 18 days ago

When that % change is usually 0 to 1 decimal place its not much use.

Where its a big change will try to call it out.

The table is already very figure heavy so reluctant to add more.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 18 days ago

Is there anyway to get the USO history from the information section?

  • brianhe
  • 13 days ago

Nope

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 13 days ago

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