Broadband News

UK hits 16% full fibre mark

The roll-out of full fibre in the UK is gaining pace with the latest 1 percentage point jump being five days faster at 43 days than the previous 1%. The exact figure as of the morning of 28th August is 16.000439% and by the end of the day will probably have climbed to 16.01% or 16.02% depending on how successful the search for FTTP is today.

The roll-out is far from uniform and this is to be expected as one of the reasons the roll-outs are getting faster is by concentrating on specific areas. The list of local authorties where full fibre coverage is above 50% has grown from the 12 councils it was back on 16th July 2020.

The local authorities with full fibre availability above 50% are listed below, if you want to see the full list visit which is sortable and links to each individual council. 

  1. City of Kingston upon Hull 99.03%
  2. Milton Keynes 77.77%
  3. Belfast 74.75%
  4. York 62.08%
  5. Salford District 59.74%
  6. Exeter District 59.53%
  7. Lisburn and Castlereagh 58.67%
  8. Tameside District 58.51%
  9. Ards and North Down 55.84%
  10. Derry and Strabane 55.23%
  11. Antrim and Newtownabbey 52.76%
  12. Mid and East Antrim 52.43%
  13. City of Bristol 51.51%
  14. Barking and Dagenham 51.22%
  15. City of Westminster 50.86%
  16. Thanet District 50.28%
  17. Armargh, Banbridge and Craigavon 50.21%

There is a strong showing from councils in Northern Ireland which means the overall figure for Northern Ireland is at 50.12%.

If the pace of an extra point every 43 days is maintained then by the end of 2025 the coverage levels of full fibre might be 62% of UK premises. Projecting using the pace from the past few months though suggests 50% coverage would not be reached until early 2027. The difference in these two projections gives you some idea of the increasing pace of the roll-outs and is even more apparent if we use the overall pace from the last 12 months which suggests hitting 50% FTTP coverage in 2029. 

One of the big concerns for the 2025 Gigabit target is the amount of overlap between the competing networks and in terms of FTTP at present the UK only has 0.98% of premises with a choice of two or more full fibre networks. We expect that figure to climb for example Coventry which is a CityFibre Gigabit city under construction currently has 5.14% of properties where two or more FTTP networks are available.


The overlap figures are interesting, There's a perception that there's massive overbuild and for those that aren't seeing any improvements somewhat naturally a lot of frustration.

When the % overbuild is then given at less than 1% of premises it doesn't sound so bad but you have to remember that that's 1% of the total and only 16
% of that same total have fibre at all, at which point it doesn't look so great again.

Still, as much as progress is welcomed, Hard to feel positive when projections and targets have dates close to a decade away for maybe half of us.


  • Swac3
  • 28 days ago

The real "overbuild" is where FTTP is available in an area that is also severed by Virgin Media. Once the local Virgin network is upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1 you will have two Gigabit capable suppliers!

All the commercial pressures on BT Openreach is to maintain market share by building FTTP connections where there is, or going to be, another Gigabit supplier offering a service. There is no commercial pressure to build FTTP where they are going to be the only supplier.

  • mwoods23
  • 28 days ago

Having virgin as only FTTP (or FTTC for that matter) is far from ideal from a competition point of view, at least with openreach there is a wholesale option and supplier competition.

  • mwarby2
  • 24 days ago

Yeah but get to a close as 100% of coverage using either methods (Virgin or BT) and then once you've covered the whole country, then start adding in multiple networks.

There seems to a be a lot of focus from BT on covering Virgin areas with FTTP that are already receiving 100+ Mbps from Virgin.

If the 2025 target is going to met, it needs them to start connecting up smaller exchanges that have no access to FTTP of any kind.

  • Bryer
  • 24 days ago

We have had virgin media cabled in our street back in 2017 but as of this year openreach have put native fttp on all the poles in our location.

I have never had virgin media installed though always been happy with my 70+mb connection but with BT higher upload speeds on FTTP its to good to pass up.

  • jamie001
  • 24 days ago

Jamie001, please be assured i'm not having a go at you personally, but your situation is what so many people find frustrating.

I'm assuming your 70M is FTTC do you know how long ago that was made available ?

So you had Solid FTTC and Virgin available, both very good connections really, then Openreach provide native FTTP, while many are still on adsl or Poor FTTC.

Commercial choices by both OR and Virgin and they're more than entitled to build where they want but also shouldn't be surprised when their self aggrandising 'look what we've achieved posts' are met with anger and distain.

  • Swac3
  • 23 days ago

Swac, I totally agree. Many that are already on 50Mbit+ FTTC connections will not likely upgrade to the FTTP connection until such time that there is a need to (I don't believe there will be a 'need' for at least another 5-10 years), whereas areas where connections are ADSL or FTTC below superfast (and can be regularly unstable due to long line length) will be more inclined to upgrade to a FTTP solution.

I would love to know the take up rate of FTTP where the customer has a connection that is either ADSL, FTTC sub-superfast, and FTTC above 50Mbit! Think it would make interesting readin.g :)

  • SlimJ
  • 23 days ago

My apologies if I did come across as this and your right I feel my post should have been more worded better.

Honesty that was not my intention and I am very sorry if I have annoyed anyone for my post on that matter.

  • jamie001
  • 23 days ago

We have had FTTC back in 2012 the only reason was that bt were going to price match us for higher upload on fttp that was the reason I thought it was to good to pass up... but I am very happy with fttc it has never been problem for me.

I feel really bad for my original post now and your right their are many still that can’t achieve these speeds but really hope this changes for many people sooner rather than later

  • jamie001
  • 23 days ago

Hey Jamie, please dont feel bad about your post, I really mean that. Its all dependant on peoples location plus the luck of the deployments and the choices made both by private companies and Government departments. No reflection on individuals and If i was in your position I'd be happy for FTTP too, nothing wrong in that.

  • Swac3
  • 17 days ago

Where I am my only option is virgin media as near fiber will only gives me around 30/5-8

Virgin with docsis 3.0 only available the moment but I still get 410/40 with virgin 350mb package

When actual FTTP comes I probably switch to it (lower ping almost no jitter)

  • leexgx
  • 8 days ago

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