More than 1 in 3 UK premises now have a Gigabit broadband option
34.1% of UK premises now have the ability to order a Gigabit download broadband service either from a FTTP operator or using the Virgin Media Gig1 (DOCSIS 3.1 service).
It may seem we are late to the party on this announcement but the last two days have been spent tracking down exactly which bits of London and Northern Ireland can actually get the Gig1 product. The checking is not complete as the screenshot of the Gig1 (light blue) and Virgin Media DOCSIS 3.0 (brown) postcodes shows some parts of London left to check. Some of the areas in London without DOCSIS 3.1 do appear to not be enabled yet. We expect the Gigabit coverage to increase some more beyond the regular FTTP roll-outs but it might only add another 400,000 premises to the total.
The Gigabit total for London would be higher but the FTTP roll-outs from various providers mean even without the DOCSIS 3.1 switch-on London would have had 20.23% Gigabit coverage.
The overlapping of Gigabit and FTTP networks is extremely annoying for those waiting for just one of the services to arrive, but if there was some magical system to avoid overbuilding it could leave millions with a notional Gigabit service but potentially poor performance at peak times or a network that sees lots of outages.
Counting DOCSIS 3.1 with its current 1,108 Mbps download service as Gigabit capable when the upload speed is only 52 Mbps is another source of complaints. Some say you cannot work from home with just 52 Mbps upload, but the reality is that once your upload rises above 20 Mbps so that you can have a couple of people in different rooms on Zoom video calls with work colleagues and still do other interactive things such as white boards then the use cases for masses more bandwidth vanish quickly. The upload on the Gig1 service is actually over the DOCSIS 3.0 network still, a future upgrade between now and 2025 is expected to move the upload side to DOCSIS 3.1 too, which will allow for less asymmetric uploads.
The DOCSIS 3.1 switch-on in different areas are a one time event, so while they do jump the Gigabit totals quickly as we are close to half the Virgin Media network supporting DOCSIS 3.1 in a year or so these easy wins will end.