Broadband News

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

The UK is continuing down the path of deploying more FTTP than FTTC which will be welcomed by many but this does carry a penalty in that the pace of the changing superfast coverage levels has slowed down dramatically. Some of this is also down to the remaining gap funded projects that are in a delivery phase only working with much smaller contracts. If Gigaclear can clear the blockages that are slowing down its BDUK contract delivery we may see some areas such as Devon and Somerset with more happy people.

The slowdowns mean it is likely the UK will hit 97% superfast coverage around August 2020 and 98% another 16 months later. For all the bluster and vague promises of 100% full fibre coverage by 2025 by Boris Johnson or funding in place for 2027 by Jeremy Hunt the current situation is that the UK is on course to hit 50% FTTP coverage in 2031 and 100% way off in 2043. So even with the existing Government ambition of 100% full fibre by 2033 it is clear there is more work to do, the projections are based on the pace of delivery seen in the last six months, if we look at the pace in the last year the 100% target is further away at 2055. The question is will the increase in pace of the last six months continue to accelerate or has the UK reached peak delivery rate for FTTP?

We are also in a very odd situation where Ofcom is asking Openreach for more certainty on its full fibre ambitions post 2021 and Openreach is doing the same of Ofcom. Certainty of regulation and political push and pull are also what many of the other FTTP operators want too, so that they can obtain the long term finance to go ahead with all their ambitions too.

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 July 2019
(change since 7th June 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
We do not count ADSL2+ as USO compliant
East Midlands 99.1% 97.6% (+0.1) 97.2% 62.3% (+0.1) 4.61% (+0.42)
 2.18% (0.42)
0.3% 1.5% (=)
1,155,289 Premises 1,145,275 1,127,114 1,123,116 719,582

53,226
25,153

3,688 17,262
North East 98.5% 97.5% (=) 97.3% 55.5% (+0.3) 1.65% (+0.21)
0.73% (+0.20)
0.2% 1.9% (=)
965,569 Premises 951,012 941,810 939,690 535,591 15,968
 7,046
2,009 18,180
South East 99% 97.4% (=) 97% 57.6% (=) 6.18% (+0.32)
 2.63% (+0.14)
0.2% 1.5% (-0.1)
2,261,053 Premises 2,238,883 2,203,022 2,194,372 1,301,175 139,815
 59,499
5,334 34,617
London 98% 97.3% (=) 97.1% 74.7% (+0.1) 11.31% (+0.47)
 4.33% (+0.20)
0.1% 2.2% (=)
4,650,325 Premises 4,559,297 4,523,499 4,515,191 3,474,648 525,959
201,326
4,484 102,837
West Midlands 98.6% 97.3% (=) 97.1% 68% (+0.1) 6.14% (+0.64)
 3.94% (+0.61)
0.2% 1.9% (-0.1)
2,905,878 Premises 2,866,114 2,828,024 2,821,482 1,975,458 178,412
 114,562
7,209 56,209
North West 98.7% 96.9% (=) 96.6% 53.7% (=) 6.34% (+0.37)
 4.69% (+0.35)
0.5% 2.2% (=)
4,072,173 Premises 4,020,577 3,947,389 3,934,397 2,185,570 258,106
 191,030
19,624 87,599
England 98.4% 96.6% (=) 96.3% 60.2% (+0.1) 7.95% (+0.40)
 4.66% (+0.29)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 2.4% (=)
25,101,399 Premises 24,695,577 24,255,780 24,172,207 15,098,888 1,994,761
 1,170,233
92,108 592,889
Great Britain 98.2% 96.3% (=) 96% 57.9% (+0.1) 7.71% (+0.39)
 4.58% (+0.29)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.5% 2.6% (-0.1)
29,262,241 Premises 28,755,192 28,185,204 28,083,854 16,928,242 2,255,884
 1,338,943
136,057 771,200
Yorkshire and Humber 98% 96.3% (=) 96% 59.6% (=) 12.86% (+0.31)
 9.95% (+0.29)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 2.8% (=)
2,678,603 Premises 2,624,096 2,579,023 2,570,472 1,595,158 344,384
 266,471
11,777 75,092
United Kingdom 98.3% 96.1% (=) 95.8% 57.5% (+0.1) 8.13% (+0.42)
 5% (+0.23)
(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.6% 2.7% (-0.1)
30,084,622 Premises 29,571,705 28,920,818 28,812,819 17,302,127 2,446,328
 1,503,300
170,090 827,027
East of England 98.4% 95.9% (+0.1) 95.3% 54.2% (=) 4.04% (+0.23)
1.78% (+0.26)
0.5% 2.6% (=)
2,730,008 Premises 2,885,985 2,616,715 2,602,437 1,478,652 110,281
 48,729
12,737 71,371
Wales 97.8% 95.2% (=) 94.8% 37% (-0.2) 8.59% (+0.28)
 7.23% (+0.27)
0.7% 3.5% (=)
1,439,427 Premises 1,407,493 1,370,109 1,363,991 532,473 123,700
 104,083
10,545 50,558
South West 97.9% 94.8% (+0.1) 94.3% 49.8% (+0.2) 10.01% (+0.45)
 6.96% (+0.25)
0.7% 3.5% (-0.1)
3,682,501 Premises 3,604,338 3,489,184 3,471,050 1,833,054 368,610
 256,417
25,246 129,722
Scotland 97.5% 94% (=) 93.6% 47.7% (+0.3) 5.05% (+0.32)
 2.37% (+0.26)
1.2% 4.7% (=)
2,721,415 Premises 2,652,122 2,559,315 2,547,656 1,296,881 137,423
 64,627
33,404 127,753
Northern Ireland 99.3% 89.5% (0.1) 88.6% 45.5% (+0.4) 23.16% (+1.73)
 19.99% (+1.91)
4.1% 7.1% (=)
822,381 Premises 816,513 735,614 728,965 373,885 190,444
 164,357
34,033 58,431

Wales pops out with a 0.2 percentage point drop in ultrafast coverage and this is due to the impact of the shrinking G.fast footprint, i.e. moving from 100 Mbps minimum sale to 120 Mbps minimum. The other regions will have been impacted hence the slightly muted changes in the ultrafast figures across the board.

Northern Ireland stands out as the region with the biggest change in FTTP coverage again. The ultrafast figure for Northern Ireland did not jump to the same extent as most of the FTTP roll-out from Openreach is in areas where Virgin Media has its cable network already, e.g. places like Belfast.

Scotland continues to build and while the FTTP coverage is low at 0.92% in the Highlands and Islands project region as the existing BT contract continues hopefully this will climb further. Later in 2019 we should know who has won the R100 contract and might have some idea of the technology mix and delivery timescale.

The last four weeks since our last round-up has seen us integrate the new build premises from February, March and April 2019 hence the jump in the total premises counts in the regions, we are almost finished and are planning another new build round-up in July.

The pace of Openreach FTTP delivery means in four weeks our tracking has jumped from 1,211,113 to 1,313,029 premises and given June was a four week month this gives a pace of 25,000 premises a week. Some of this increase in rate though is down to all the new build FTTP we have found but there are also new Fibre First exchanges such as Springfield in the Midlands.

Comments

"If Gigaclear can clear the blockages that are slowing down its BDUK contract delivery we may see some areas such as Devon and Somerset with more happy people."

Virtually nothing seems to be happening in most of the GC lots. Its appears they are doing bits that are commercial on their own but beyond that only small amounts are happening and nothing to suggests that will change any time soon.

  • Croft12
  • 11 days ago

One new chunk in our checker on Friday, just waiting on some mapping updates so will say where Monday.

Compared to earlier in 2019 things are improving on that front when was not seeing anything

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 11 days ago

Andrew,

Looking at https://www.gigaclear.net/connecting-devon-and-somerset-rollout-schedule

Then into the lots: take lot 5 for example: 6/62 have progress/forcast activity everything else is 'TBC'.

Thats pretty depressing for those in those areas...

  • Croft12
  • 11 days ago

Despite fibre going in at build being a good thing for purchasers, Is it helping push the network out deeper ?

Are we seeing OR building AG nodes further out to these developments where they're on the edge of towns and villages and actually bringing the potential for fibre closer to existing properties or are they just running what's required for that development back to the existing point in that case new build deployment is simply treading water.

In the fibre first areas I assume that's all in the plan, but the more ad hoc installs on newbuild developments I wonder.

  • Swac3
  • 11 days ago

For new builds obviously when an exchange had the aggregation nodes planned out and laid so that the point to point fibres for the VDSL2 cabinets were available there would have been no visibility of new build that was some years away.

So some new build may fit into an existing aggregation node and some may need new ones building, a lot depends on the size of the development, e.g. a 1,440 development that may be phased over six years will probably have its own aggregation node when the first FTTP goes live.

A new build of 30 homes though generally does nothing to help others.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 days ago

Hi Andrews staff.
You may find that the % of pure fibre does not show correct in J Hunts MP area giving the ratio ADSL to high I did advise you of this about two years ago there are many other post Code not giving the correct colours in Surrey.

  • Blackmamba
  • 10 days ago

And where you've supplied some info those postcodes have been updated, in the past many turns out to 5 to 10 postcodes.

Also the colours are often a number of weeks behind the postcode level checker due to the time taken to pre-render all the times for the many different layers.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 days ago

The map layer blackmamba was most likely using has just been updated, the render having taken place over the weekend as part of the usual update cycle.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 days ago

Andrew: Can confirm that developments of a certain size do nothing to promote others - moving to one that's 93 units - that'll be 3 PON splits of 32 each and nothing interesting was done, uses same AN as the nearby FTTC DSLAM.

  • CarlThomas
  • 10 days ago

Confirm no - but given that it would be normal in the planning to allow for a percentage of new build, it is possible that some new builds are built off from existing aggregation nodes.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 days ago

Thanks Andrew and Carl,

That's what I thought, so using the PR blurb bringing Fibre closer to you, and penetrating deeper into rural areas, is technically true it is also of little to no benefit whatsoever in many cases to existing properties on the fringes of these towns and FTTP new developments, as the AG is still just as far away and as expensive to get to unless new ducting etc went in potentially.

  • Swac3
  • 9 days ago

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