Broadband News

New build premises superfast coverage still behind UK average

The situation for new new build homes has improved but for those new buildings seen in 2019 the 94.5% superfast coverage figure still lags behind the 96% superfast coverage for the UK overall.

The good news though is that the promises of more full fibre in new build developments continues to bear fruit, in July 2019 we were seeing 3 out of 4 new homes with full fibre as standard and this has improved to 4 out of 5 with the addition of new premises. We expect that as each quarter passes that the proportion of full fibre will continue to increase, the real area where extra work and legislation is needed is that 5 to 6% that seem to escape the basic superfast speed.

Trends in UK new build broadband coverage since 2012
Levels of superfast and full fibre coverage in UK new builds since 2012
thinkbroadband analysis of Superfast, USC, USO and Full Fibre Broadband Coverage across the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and English regions for new build premises - figures 4th November 2019
Area% fibre based
VDSL2 or
FTTP or
Cable
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster
FTTP,cable,G.fast
%
Full Fibre
and
Openreach FTTP
% Overlap between Openreach and another FTTP operator% Under 2 Mbps download% Below USO
10 Mbps download
1 Mbps upload
Includes ADSL2+
UK 2019
95,022 premises
96.3% 94.5% 82.7% 81.4%
70.8%
8.8% 0.4% 4.6%
UK 2018
190,815 premises
95.4% 94.3% 74.8% 72.1%
61.0%
7.9% 0.2% 5.0%
UK 2017
160,710 premises
92.9% 91.8% 52.3% 45.4%
 32.9%
6.5% 0.2% 7.4%
UK 2016 180,790 premises 91.9% 90.6% 44.0% 34.6%
 20.9%
3.9% 0.2% 8.4%
East of England 2019
9,137 premises
97.2% 95.1% 80.4% 79.5%
 60.3%
6.7% 0.4% 3.4%
East of England 2018
17,992 premises
98% 97.2% 76.0% 73.8%
 54.4%
1.9% 0.4% 2.4%
East Midlands 2019
4,636 premises
93.7% 92.5% 81.8% 79.7%
 76.6%
0% 0.9% 7.2%
East Midlands 2018
4,416 premises
96.8% 95.1% 73.4% 68.7%
 56.6%
6.2% 0% 3.3%
London 2019
16,513 premises
96.4% 93.2% 84.4% 82.9%
 65.3%
31.5% 0.1% 5.6%
London 2018
35,203 premises
95.3% 94.6% 83% 78.6%
 63.2%
30.8% 0.1% 4.8%
North East 2019
3,603 premises
94.5% 92% 75.7% 73.3%
71.2%
0% 0% 5.5%
North East 2018
7,577 premises
90.6% 89.2% 63.1%

61.5%
58.2%

0.2% 0% 9.5%
North West 2019
10,574 premises
96.2% 95% 81.5% 80.2%
78.0%
9.3% 0.1% 4.1%
North West 2018
20,131 premises
95.7% 94.7% 69.3% 67.8%
60.2%
3.3% 0.2% 4.6%
Northern Ireland 2019
1,917 premises
96.5% 94.4% 85.6% 82.1%
 82.1%
0% 0.9% 5.5%
Northern Ireland 2018
3,981 premises
99.7% 96.1% 78.2% 78.1%
 77.8%
0.7% 0.6% 1.2%
Scotland 2019
8,848 premises
94% 92.3% 81.4% 80.6%
 77.8%
3.8% 0.7% 6.9%
Scotland 2018
15,954 premises
93.4% 92.1% 76.2% 73.7%
 70.3%
2.7% 0.3% 7.5%
South East 2019
11,821 premises
97.7% 96.9% 86.8% 84.7%
67.9%
6.8% 0.4% 2.8%
South East 2018
19,958 premises
97.6% 96.9% 79.1% 77.2%
58.8%
5.4% 0.1% 2.6%
South West 2019
11,030 premises
97% 94.4% 83.9% 83.6%
74.2%
0.8% 0.8% 4.1%
South West 2018
22,808 premises
93.5% 92.2% 70.6% 69.3%
59.9%
1.8% 0.4% 7.2%
Wales 2019
2,390 premises
97.8% 97.9% 79.5% 79.0%
 72.6%
0% 0.3% 2.6%
Wales 2018
6,312 premises
96.3% 95.7% 80.3% 73.4%
 66.5%
0.7% 0.2% 3.9%
West Midlands 2019
6,543 premises
95.8% 94.7% 82.4% 81.2%
66.6%
3.7% 0.3% 4.9%
West Midlands 2018
20,076 premises
94.6% 94% 72.0% 69.0%
60.2%
2.7% 0.2% 5.7%
Yorkshire and Humber 2019
8,010 premises
97% 95.9% 80.8% 80.2%
73.7%
1.1% 0.3% 3.4%
Yorkshire and Humber 2018
16,407 premises
95.2% 93.6% 68.2% 65.9%
58.2%
2.4% 0.3% 5.3%

Our 2019 figures include postcodes released up to the end of July 2019 (i.e. was published in September 2019), the next set of basic postcode locations is due from ONS at end of November/early December. In the meantime by the virtue of our daily alerts around speed test results well above what we would would otherwise expect during November certainly find more new build premises and one interesting pattern is that some older new build e.g. postcode released in 2016 are seeing FTTP appear from Openreach. While in the past the volume was such that it was probably community interventions or developers paying, the scale suggests that Openreach is re-visiting some new build estates over building the existing ducted copper with fibre.

Broadband and in particular our tracking of what is happening in new build homes does not exist in a vacuum and so we need to mention a few words about our data and the NAO report that a 200,000 new homes for first-time buyers target from the Government has not seen any of these starter homes built.

We were aware of there being a big push for lots more new homes in the last couple of years and while 2018 did see more new homes built it was only marginally more rather than a paradigm shift. The volume we have seen in 2019 is on track to be similar to 2018. One of the problems in tracking new build homes is precisely determining the number that have actually built, we rely on the number of addresses/UPRN in each new postcode, which sometimes does include premises not ready to move into and conversely sometimes we under count, since additional addresses get added to a postcode over time. Add to this differences in when how data is collated, i.e. our years are calendar based where as some reports may be financial year based. Our checking of previous years postcodes when working through each quarter of postcode updates is why the 2016/2017 total premises figures are not static. 

2020/2021 look likely to be the year when the amount of VDSL2 being used in new builds will approach zero and we might see full fibre coverage in new build properties in the 90% and higher region. Exactly how high the full fibre coverage will go depends on the amount of overlap between the various providers and while muscle memory means many still see Openreach/BT Group as the default the figures show that there is a growing amount of full fibre competition.

Comments

Needs to be mandated that all new homes have to have FTTP or no planning permission. Otherwise the public purse is subsidizing the profits of the house builders who are frankly making excess profits (partly by deliberately constricting supply).

  • jabuzzard
  • 16 days ago

Andrew, Last Dec figures showed 84k new builds for 2018 against Nov 2019 95k( can't find the Nov 2018 news article) so it does look as if the 2019 figures will exceed 200k for the first time in several decades when finally totalled up next Aug/Sep.

  • jumpmum
  • 16 days ago

@jabuzzard, agree 100%.
In this day and age there is no reason whatsoever for any builder not to install the infrastucture for FTTP. New houses are sold with massive profit margins, much bigger margins than any other type of business. Any and all of the major house builders in the Uk should absolutely be forced by legislation to install FTTP infrastructure as part of the planning process. Until is is forced by legislation, these builders will never do it because they are constantly looking to milk the market for every 1/2p they can make so that the current CEO can retire when they want with a bigger pension than most of us earn in a lifetime.

  • kitfit1
  • 15 days ago

@kitfit1 - definitely with you on this. I live in a new build Countryside developer house from 2016 and during the build we were told that Virgin Media would be installed as per the previous phase only to move in and no VM and no plans to do it ever!
We have FTTC which us a measly 24Mbps
Tried getting a FFToD and was quoted £15k then once the survey was done it doubled to £29k so no luck there. Openreach appear to be leaving us out on their FTTP plans, last ditch is Hyperoptic who 'may' do an install but waiting for them to confirm after an initial promising conversation.

  • Damohtc
  • 14 days ago

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