Broadband News

February 2021 update on broadband availability across the UK, nations and regions

Another month with a good amount of FTTP found and added to our systems and broadband stats with the UK full fibre coverage rising from 20.04% to 20.77%. Hopefully at some point in 2021 we will start to see a full percentage point added in a single month as more of the roll-outs shift from press releases to roadworks and actual completion so the public can order.

One side effect of the numerous roll-outs is that there has been in a rise in the percentage of properties that have two or more full fibre network options from 1.433% to 1.545%. The percentage may look small but this amounts to 473,511 premises. We know there is a strong case to say that this is a waste when so relatively few have access to FTTP anyway, but in the longer term giving the public choice is important, since if any single infrastructure operator dominates an area for FTTP in 20 years people will be at the risk of both unfair pricing and potential neglect leading to higher latency and poor speeds at peak time.

The superfast coverage did not increase as much in the last month, mainly because we have finished one of our periodic big sweeps across the not spots looking for improved service availability. We will continue to look for superfast improvements but unlike the previous couple of months this is not the top priority - of course if people contact us to let us know that they can suddenly get a superfast service and we've not recorded it already in our systems we will get it added usually within 24 hours.

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 March 2021
(change since 7th February 2021)
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

Northern Ireland 99.4% 89.6% (=) 70.5% (+0.6) 70.28% 62.01% (+1.51)
 56.42% (+2.01)
3.9% 6.7% (=)
850,504 Premises 845,027 761,991 599,838 597,748 527,397
 479,892
33,436 56,898
London 98.4% 97.6% (=) 79.6% (+0.2) 64.74% 22.98% (+0.59)
 9.74% (+0.36)
0.1% 0.5% (=)
4,730,286 Premises 4,656,840 4,617,114 3,766,254 3,062,584 1,087,109
460,820
4,109 21,635
West Midlands 99.1% 97.9% (+0.1) 74.4% (+0.2) 50.25% 18.52% (+1.02)
 13.51% (+1.04)
0.2% 0.7% (=)
2,951,238 Premises 2,924,208 2,888,176 2,195,395 1,483,144 546,533
 398,569
5,447 19,954
Scotland 98.1% 94.6% (=) 57.8% (+0.4) 46.38% 19% (+0.62)
 10.98% (+0.29)
1.1% 3.0% (=)
2,761,783 Premises 2,710,174 2,612,805 1,596,952 1,280,819 524,620
 303,249
31,303 83,536
Yorkshire and Humber 98.9% 97.3% (=) 68.5% (+0.2) 38.46% 27.04% (+0.96)
 17.76% (+0.84) (includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 1% (=)
2,721,124 Premises 2,691,872 2,647,181 1,863,350
1,046,623 735,816
 483,176
9,586 27,123
United Kingdom 98.8% 96.7% (=) 65.2% (+0.2) 38.78% 20.79% (+0.75)
 13.09% (+0.62)
(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.5% 1.4% (=)
30,647,999 Premises 30,279,833 29,626,611 19,988,764 11,884,015 6,371,551
 4,011,223
147,086 413,789
Great Britain 98.8% 96.9% (=) 65.1% (+0.3) 37.88% 19.61% (+0.73)
 11.85% (+0.58)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.4% 1.2% (=)
29,797,495 Premises 29,434,806 28,864,620 19,388,926 11,286,267 5,844,154
 3,531,331
113,650 356,891
North West 99.1% 97.2% (=) 61.7% (+0.2) 37.25% 18.34% (+0.45)
 13.73% (+0.31)
0.4% 1.1% (=)
4,141,875 Premises 4,104,286 4,025,973 2,554,043 1,542,735 759,481
 568,619
16,917 45,132
England 98.9% 97.2% (=) 67.1% (+0.2) 37.60% 19.7% (+0.78)
 11.76% (+0.61)(includes KCom Lightstream)
0.3% 0.9% (=)
25,532,221 Premises 25,249,762 24,820,271 17,142,351 9,600,043 5,029,305
 3,001,474
71,885 236,522
South East 99.3% 97.7% (=) 66% (+0.1) 32.54% 18.8% (+1.08)
 8.18% (+0.84)
0.2% 0.6% (=)
2,301,859 Premises 2,285,876 2,249,742 1,520,029 749,123 432,766
 188,403
3,772 14,622
Wales 98.1% 95.2% (=) 43.2% (+0.1) 26.96% 19.3% (+0.11)
 15.07% (+0.11)
0.7% 2.4% (-0.1)
1,503,491 Premises 1,474,870 1,431,544 649,623 405,405 290,229
 226,608
10,462 36,883
East of England 99% 96.9% (=) 60.3% (+0.2) 21.54% 14.06% (+0.55)
8.58% (+0.49)
0.3% 1% (=)
2,779,116 Premises 2,752,490 2,693,022 1,674,536 598,638 390,856
 238,482
8,113 28,435
South West 98.6% 95.7% (+0.1) 56.7% (+0.2) 20.88% 19.8% (+0.32)
 12.97% (+1.16)
0.5% 1.7% (=)
3,756,790 Premises 3,702,574 3,594,637 2,131,639 784,448 743,996
 487,115
19,666 64,605
East Midlands 99.4% 97.9% (=) 68.5% (+0.2) 17.29% 17.29% (+2.05)
 10.42% (+2.06)
0.2% 0.6% (=)
1,173,485 Premises 1,166,619 1,149,286 803,293 202,856 202,856
122,322
2,374 7,423
North East 98.8% 97.8% (=) 64.9% (+0.9) 13.3% 13.3% (+1.72)
5.53% (+0.83)
0.2% 0.8% (=)
976,448 Premises 964,997 955,140 633,812 129,892 129,892
 53,968
1,901 7,593

The changes in the levels of Gigabit coverage have been driven by the full fibre roll-outs as it has been a couple of months since Virgin Media switched on another DOCSIS 3.1 area. If Virgin Media was to enable DOCSIS 3.1 today and we found no more FTTP the UK would suddenly jump to 62.68% Gigabit coverage.

Comments

Re "... in the longer term giving the public choice is important, since if any single infrastructure operator dominates an area for FTTP in 20 years people will be at the risk of both unfair pricing and potential neglect leading to higher latency and poor speeds at peak time."

I agree - on your results my area of Romsey in Hampshire looks good - Virgin cable is available but Openreach only offer ADSL2/VDSL - anyhow 0.5MB up and 10MB down - and it has already been like that for 20 years. It is preventing TalkTalk and Sky from making their competitive offering which I would choose. Romsey Cab#7

  • jonesjh99
  • about 1 month ago

I would very much like the choice of at least one superfast fixed line service. I don't really care which one it is.

  • sheephouse
  • about 1 month ago

@sheephouse, I tend to agree but then you see some of the comments in these forums about the service provided by some of the altnets and it is rather worrying to think that the local council may team up up with one of the poorer ones. One has been discussed in these forums recently. The altnet in question is not cheap, doesn't offer very fast speeds,is reported to have close to zero customer service and poor speeds. It is worrying to think that development of your local area may effectively be made unattractive to others by the entry of such an operator.

  • JHo1
  • about 1 month ago

@JHo1, personally I think the risk of having a poor superfast service is preferable to the certainty of having none.
I do agree that having a choice is even better, and for many people that is increasingly the case - and it is increasing many times faster than the reduction in sub-superfast availability, which has practically stalled now the emphasis is on gigabit.

  • sheephouse
  • about 1 month ago

Comments in article were more about areas with 1 FTTP option, rather than going from ADSL (or nothing) to superfast. In the case of 2 Mbps almost anything will be better, for those with say 9 Mbps it is a slightly different matter, so long as not trying to do lots of home working/zoom calls when the higher uploads of superfast options will be more needed.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

Post a comment

Login Register