Broadband News

79% cannot and 21% can get a full fibre option in the UK

It has taken some 37 days but we can now report that the UK availability of full fibre has increased to 21.02% or if you prefer 78.98% still do not have access to a full fibre option.

We almost managed to hit the 21% figure a day earlier on Sunday, but we were a few hundred premises short of the 21% figure due to some of what we had found on Saturday overlapping with an existing FTTP deployment.

There are now 28 local authorities with FTTP coverage above 50% up from 25 on 6th February, these are:

  1. City of Kingston Upon Hull 99.03%
  2. Milton Keynes 86.59%
  3. Belfast 74.94%
  4. Antrim and Newtownabbey 70.11%
  5. Coventry District 69.15%
  6. Mid and East Antrim 68.74%
  7. Epson and Ewell District 68.68%
  8. Ards and North Down 67.45%
  9. Amargh, Banbridge and Craigavon 66.85%
  10. Lisburn and Castlereach 66.37%
  11. Exeter District 65.79%
  12. York 65.46%
  13. Tameside District 61.49%
  14. Salford District 61.21%
  15. Thanet 60.36%
  16. Derry and Strabane 59.44%
  17. Tower Hamlets 57.94%
  18. East Riding of Yorkshire 55.41%
  19. City of Bristol 56.39%
  20. Worthing District 55.23%
  21. City of Westminster 53.98%
  22. Mourne and Down 52.83%
  23. Barking and Dagenham 52.76%
  24. City of Peterborough 51.99%
  25. Stirling 51.82%
  26. Causeway Coast and Glens 51.79%
  27. Southwark 51.58%
  28. Newham 50.17%

The full list of councils is available on our stats site and has been updated today to reflect the spread of FTTP across the UK.

The 21.02% in terms of premises means some 6,442,258 places have a full fibre option and 488,015 premises have a choice of two FTTP networks. It is worth highlighting that this does not include metro networks or leased lines or those where fibre on demand is an option.

If the pace of adding 1 percentage point every 37 days is maintained over the next five years then in March 2026 we are looking at a FTTP coverage level of 70%. For the Governments Gigabit target which is now 85% this is clearly well short of the mark, but there will be some Virgin Media DOCSIS 3.1 to add to this and fingers crossed the £1.2 billion the Government is planning to spend will add some more to this and bring things closer to what to some looks an impossible figure.

Comments

I haven't found any annual or preferably month-by-month graphs for how the connectivity/availability rolls out nationally.

For these type of deployments would we expect it to follow a typical S-curve and do we have historical graphs for how this worked with ADSL and FTTC? Instinctively I would not expect availability to continue to increase at a sustained rate much past 50% - surely would be a slowdown before 70% if low-hanging fruit tends to be tackled first.

  • prlzx
  • about 1 month ago

Also, based on what happened with previous targets, there is usually a shift away from specifying availability of a type of technology to an "equivalent" target download speed (in-fill using other technologies), combined with political pressure to find new ways to be able to report ever increasing numbers.

So alongside FTTP I expect to see 5G starting to be included justified by "if a test can show gigabit speeds it counts".

Is there a minimum upload speed for the 85% "gigabit" target, and does it set the bar low to allow existing DOCSIS and GPON upload speeds to qualify?

  • prlzx
  • about 1 month ago

For graphs

https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/ and above the main pie chart press the History button and there are historical timelines back to 2010. Individual areas also have the same graphs

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

@Andrew thanks for that - so for availability (not speed) I can see superfast reaches an inflection at about 80% coverage towards the last quarter of of 2014, and as it happens that is also when the speed graphs start to flatten out.

However I can't remember how the start of the availability graphs looked.

Have you commented elsewhere why Ultrafast 100Mbps starts at 50% (rather than 0%) and sits there for about 6 years going back to 2010 - was it relating to pre-existing Cable / dark fibre footprints for example?

I've looked at the notes but not sure if an artefact of the Ofcom data.

  • prlzx
  • about 1 month ago

@prlzx, yes, VM started offering 100Mb broadband in 2010.

  • ribble
  • about 1 month ago

Well it is on it's way here, they seem to be going ok at the moment,I read that they are hoping to have the first customers up and running in the next month or so. I think it will still be months before they get up here, and it seems like they are only doing the city itself and not the outskirts, so people who live in the sticks, will still be stuck with naff broadband.
Even if they get up here in six months time I still have a contract with Plusnet until January, still at least it will give me more time to decide.

  • zyborg47
  • about 1 month ago

I didn't think BT engineers jobs would be on a massive decline, but I guess it is the sign of the times. With the rapid expansion of the fibre networks its inevitable that the fault rates will decline and fewer copper engineers will be required.

I've noticed the fibres recently installed outside my home go back to the main local exchange rather than one of the spurs that my copper line goes back to. The fault rates will plummet. The exchanges are due to reduce from 5000 tom 900 within the decade.

Let's watch this space.

  • Mitchy_mitch
  • about 1 month ago

Andrew, can you do a table for planned FTTP? especially openreach native FTTP, I want to know if its confirmed Leicester is the only city in England they have missed or not, or if it isnt, how many others there is. Thanks.

  • chrysalis
  • about 1 month ago

Only the providers can do planned accurately, and even then their plans can and do change.

Leicester now has Zen/CityFibre appearing in it.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

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