Tracking the UK choice of broadband technologies
The love of ADSL and ADSL2+ services is waning and while the long term projection from the trend of the last few years suggests the exchange based technology dying off in 2023 or 2024 a lot will hinge on what happens to the that final 4% of the UK which does not currently have superfast broadband access.
The trend over time is pretty clear, Fibre to the cabinet is killing off ADSL/ADSL2+ and full fibre is starting to climb though it is only in the last six months that full fibre has become more widely available in areas where superfast broadband was available and we are not expecting large levels of take-up in those areas until Openreach starts its bulk migration scheme. A lot of the full fibre trend is currently down to take-up in the Hull area (i.e. sole superfast option), along with new build properties and BDUK contract areas along with counties such as Cornwall.
The interesting part is that even though the Virgin Media cable footprint has been growing the long term trend is a slight decrease in numbers seen and once combined with their own financial reporting suggests that in areas where the network has existed for some years they are shedding customers i.e. only expansion is helping them retain market share.
G.fast and fixed wireless are shown but there figures are so close that you cannot differentiate between the two, though in terms of figures fixed wireless at 0.32% was double what we saw for G.fast 0.16%.
Of course the main chart is a UK wide picture and local authorities have varying availabilty of techologies so for example the Orkney Islands did not see FTTC based on speed test observations until Q3 2015 when 17.1% of tests were using VDSL2 and even today ADSL/ADSL2+ is beating FTTC at 58.8% versus 41.2%. This does not mean that people prefer ADSL/ADSL2+ in the Orkney Islands but superfast speeds from VDSL2 is only available to 67.7% of premises (FTTC at any speed from zero upwards is available to 82.5% of premises), the VDSL2 services started arriving at the end of 2014.