Broadband News

April 2020 update on broadband availability across the UK, nations and regions

As yet the COVID-19 has not had any material impact on the full fibre roll-out figures, but it may take more time for any slowdowns to become fully apparent.

The full fibre roll-outs continue and we have pushed on to 13.58% availability of FTTP. The good news of the full fibre figures is balanced though by the sharp focus that the lockdown has thrown on those without decent broadband and what is considered decent will vary from home to home, since a lone person may be happy with 8 to 10 Mbps but a households with someone working from home and a couple of children might find themselves struggling even though have 25 Mbps.

There has been lots of noise that the broadband USO was not fit for purpose prior to its launch and while COVID-19 has messed the launch up to some extent it seems clear that improvements for those eligible for USO intervention need to happen very quickly once the lockdown is eventually lifted.

We strongly suggest to Ofcom/DCMS/BT who are collectively responsible that delivering the broadband USO needs to be much more proactive and given the full fibre ambitions while 4G may be acceptable in the short term even if 4G does meet the current USO targets that these properties be given a clear pathway to full fibre. The current £3,400 cost limit on delivering a USO service is why only around 40,000 FTTP connections are expected via the USO and Ofcom and the Government working with BT need to revisit this switftly. The very minimum change needed is that the upload under the USO be updated to a minimum speed of 2 Mbps.

thinkbroadband analysis of Superfast, USC, USO and Full Fibre Broadband Coverage across the UK, its nations and regions for premises
In descending order of Gigabit coverage - figures 7th May 2020
(change since 7th April 2020)
Area% full and partial fibre based
i.e. VDSL2, G.fast or
FTTP or
Cable
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster
FTTP, cable, G.fast
Gigabit%
Full Fibre All Providers
 
Openreach and KCOM FTTP
% Under 2 Mbps download% Below USO
10 Mbps download

West Midlands 98.9% 97.6% (+0.1) 70.8% (+0.4) 45.03% 11.45% (+0.55)
 7.77% (+0.34)
0.2% 0.8% (=)
2,931,281 Premises 2,899,283 2,859,727 2,075,024 1,319,920 335,716
 227,754
6,210 22,865
Northern Ireland 99.3% 89.1% (+0.1) 55.2% (+1.2) 44.03% 42.81% (+1.22)
 36.63% (+0.63)
4.0% 6.9% (-0.1)
836,683 Premises 831,081 745,158 461,539 368,411 368,411
 311,773
33,878 57,998
North West 99% 96.9% (+0.1) 57.4% (+0.2) 22.56% 12.34% (+0.44)
 8.51% (+0.35)
0.4% 1.2% (=)
4,114,808 Premises 4,072,359 3,988,414 2,362,510 928,467 507,666
 350,226
18,359 49,241
South East 99.2% 97.5% (+0.1) 61.2% (+0.4) 20.55% 10.53% (+0.48)
 4.04% (+0.22)
0.2% 0.7% (-0.1)
2,283,753 Premises 2,266,143 2,226,374 1,398,463 469,411 240,413
 92,153
4,289 16,077
England 98.7% 96.9% (+0.2) 63.3% (+0.4) 19.41% 12.94% (+0.5)
 7.30% (+0.29)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.3% 1.1% (=)
25,347,620 Premises 25,030,382 24,557,311 16,040,759 4,920,138 3,280,430
 1,849,752
80,409 268,063
Yorkshire and Humber 98.7% 96.9% (+0.2) 63.5% (+0.5) 19.11% 19.11% (+0.63)
 13.15% (+0.36)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 1.1% (-0.1)
2,702,578 Premises 2,668,116 2,627,990 1,716,479 516,370 516,370
 355,265
10,393 30,371
United Kingdom 98.7% 96.3% (+0.1) 60.9% (+0.4) 18.98% 13.58% (+0.53)
 8.07% (+0.35)
(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.5% 1.5% (=)
30,375,697 Premises 29,967,443 29,264,707 18,497,370 5,764,469 4,124,761
 2,451,587
157,165 450,723
Great Britain 98.6% 96.5% (+0.1) 61.1% (+0.4) 18.27% 12.72% (+0.52)
 7.24% (+0.30)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 1.3% (-0.1)
29,539,014 Premises 29,136,362 28,519,549 18,035,831 5,396,058 3,756,350
 2,139,814
123,287 392,725
London 98.4% 97.5% (=) 77.2% (+0.2) 16.63% 16.63% (+0.46)
 6.50% (+0.20)
0.1% 0.5% (=)
4,692,950 Premises 4,617,385 4,575,662 3,623,921 780,446 780,446
304,897
4,261 23,087
South West 98.4% 95.1% (+0.2) 52.8% (+0.5) 14.50% 14.50% (+0.47)
 9.52% (+0.32)
0.6% 2% (=)
3,725,026 Premises 3,664,055 3,543,626 1,967,941 545,884 540,179
 354,440
22,077 73,337
Wales 98% 95.1% (+0.2) 39.8% (+0.3) 13.32% 13.32% (+0.46)
 10.40% (+0.36)
0.7% 2.5% (=)
1,447,777 Premises 1,419,356 1,383,148 576,762 192,884 192,884
 150,565
10,217 35,648
Scotland 97.9% 94.2% (+0.1) 51.7% (+0.5) 10.32% 10.32% (+0.51)
 5.08% (+0.38)
1.2% 3.2% (-0.1)
2,743,608 Premises 2,686,624 2,585,103 1,418,310 283,036 283,036
 139,497
32,661 89,014
East Midlands 99.3% 97.7% (+0.1) 65.3% (+0.3) 9.48%

9.48% (+0.44)
 4.59% (+0.33)

0.3% 0.8% (=)
1,166,546 Premises 1,158,714 1,139,559 761,837 110,554

110,554
53,543

3,015 9,183
East of England 98.8% 96.2% (+0.2) 56.5% (+0.4) 7.38% 7.38% (+0.55)
3.5% (+0.35)
0.4% 1.3% (-0.1)
2,759,361 Premises 2,725,576 2,655,551 1,560,128 203,573 203,573
 96,694
9,924 36,182
North East 98.7% 97.7% (+0.1) 59.1% (+0.4) 4.69% 4.69% (+0.65)
1.52% (+0.38)
0.2% 0.8% (=)
971,326 Premises 958,751 948,522 574,456 45,513 45,513
 14,780
1,881 7,720

Scotland has broken into the double digits for full fibre coverage, but the East Midlands, East of England and North East are still lagging behind and while there is month on month improvements they are not anywhere near large enough to close the gap to the much better served regions.

While some regions at the 0.1 resolution showed no decrease in the number under 10 Mbps for every region the figures have improved slightly, this combined with a small surge in the number of premises with access to a 30 Mbps or faster service is a good sign. The big question is how long will that surge continue.

Comments

"clear pathway to full fibre."

Someone better have found many billions down the back of the sofa during lockdown for that to be possible. Even if the money was there the capacity to build it isn't (alongside existing work).

Can't see a strong 10/2 -v- 10/1 argument. Its poor either way and going to be solved by the by 4/5g you've just attacked.

  • Croft12
  • 25 days ago

Speccing 2 Mbps upload means those with 11 Mbps ADSL2+ and actual throughput under 1 Mbps on upload will see something better.

The majority of the USO locations will also be those that fall in the £5 billion FTTP/Gigabit funding, so someone has earmarked money and just needs a way to short cut what is usually an 18 month procurement programme to get things moving for people.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 25 days ago

But a fixed pot of money divided by additional USO just means less to go around. You can only do X amount of FTTP work regardless. Unless you're saying the present pot will be underspent with the existing USO definition?

  • Croft12
  • 25 days ago

There is no pot for the USO at this time, there is a cost recovery system that has not been fully explained yet.

There is a £5 billion set aside for Gigabit for the 20% likely to not be covered commercially. What I am saying is those due for USO intervention are also likely to be in that 20% and there is scope for being better at matching the various bits of funding out there now or due in the next year or so to get those spots done earlier rather than in a big rush in 2025.

Remember by end of 2025 there is not meant to be any properties without Gigabit.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 25 days ago

I'm just pleased that Scotland chose to push the limits a bit more with R100 than the UK did with the USO.

Sure R100 still falls way short of the Gigabit for all dream and sadly may even hurt the case for investment in FTTP in rural areas, or at least push them yet again to the back of the Queue.

But if people are facing the likelyhood of nothing better till almost 2030 it's a positive stop gap, Connections at the bottom yet meeting the USO however are not.

  • Swac3
  • 23 days ago

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