Broadband News

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.

Observed trends for take-up of different broadband technologies in the UK
Splits for different broadband technologies based on speed tests each quarter since 2012

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.

Comments

@thinkbroadband Nice but what’s the Y axis?

  • @neitherspanish
  • comment via twitter
  • 4 months ago

^^^
Y axis is percentage.

  • baby_frogmella
  • 4 months ago

Apologies forgot to add the label, will redo image

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

It looks to me as if the fall in ADSL is pretty much the inverse of the rise in FTTC, with the other technologies not contributing much. I assume that as FTTC rollout is now (pretty much) complete, the rate of drop in ADSL will level out. As FTTP rollout is largely concentrated in commercial areas that already have FTTC or cable available, I can't see ADSL going away for decades unless the strategy is changed to concentrate more on non-commercial areas that have no superfast options.

  • sheephouse
  • 4 months ago

It takes years to get the takeup even after its an option so plenty of fttc takeup or ADSL crash to go.

  • Croft12
  • 4 months ago

There are many on fibre enabled cabinets, where distance/aluminium, make it not practical to change to vdsl. My adsl2+ is faster than vdsl..

  • flippery
  • 4 months ago

And the coverage data takes this into account, though quirks around certain streets being blessed with Al need people to tell us to tweak the attenuation factors we are using.

Of course what is many for one cabinet area of 200 premises will not be many when you look at the UK wide picture.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

Not surprised VM shedding customers, they seem to increase their prices yearly, including existing customers; thats one easy way to put people off. If it continues, in a few years their prices for broadband only will be in the £60-£70 bracket. It was the main reason I left VM, I couldn't stomach paying over £40/m just for BB, the cheapest they can offer is 50Mb for £29.99/m. I went over to FTTC with Zen where I'm getting almost 70Mb for £28.99/m (minus line rental which I don't pay). I know 50Mb VM is guaranteed, and you take a chance with FTTC wrt line length/speed/cab etc but still.

  • flilot
  • 4 months ago

I think the death blow for Adsl is really going to be 4G under USO rather than FTTC/FTTP don't you ?

If there's an available FTTC service then there's no real physical reason to keep those customers on ADSL/2. The same cant be said for people who are out of range.

Maybe a mercenary attitude but OR could always just cease to provide ADSL based services couldn't they, and migrate people to FTTC. I realise that's simpler in theory, but are they actually under any real binding obligation to continue to provide a legacy service ?

Gary

  • Swac3
  • 4 months ago

Cough - Openreach don't control ADSL/ADSL2+ DSLAM, stop sell is a BT Wholesale and LLU provider decision to make.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 4 months ago

The interesting question is what percentage of people with an broadband connection who can only get a sub 10Mbps ADSL connection but could get a greater than say 20Mbps VDSL take the VDSL.

There is going to be a whole bunch of people stuck on ADSL because VDSL is not worth it or even available. There will also be a whole bunch of people getting 15-20MBps ADSL that for now upgrading to VDSL is not worth the money too.

I would also suspect over time ADSL connections are going to be squeezed as they become increasingly inadequate for peoples needs.

  • jabuzzard
  • 4 months ago

Post a comment

Login Register