August update on state of broadband coverage across the UK and regions
Another month has flown by and that means its time to look at the changes in broadband coverage across the UK and see how much of an impact all the work is having compared to the number of press releases that are issued. The same number of regions are included in the data this month, but we have now included the number of premises in each region and the breakdown for the various speed points too, thus making it easier to get an idea of what sort of change each 0.1% in the overall figure actually means.
thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage1 across the UK, its nations and regions for premises
In descending order of superfast coverage – figures 6th August 2017
(change since 7th July 2017) Area % fibre based
Cable % superfast
24 Mbps or faster % superfast
30 Mbps or faster % Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under proposed 10 Mbps USO North East 97.7% 96.3% (+0.1) 96% 52.8% (+0.1) 0.06% 0.2% 1.3% 927,552 Premises 905,759 893,634 890,447 877,939 600 2,169 12,094 London 97.2% 96.1% (+0.2) 95.9% 71.1% (+0.1) 1.90% 0.1% 0.8% 4,397,679 Premises 4,272,897 4,224,452 4,215,213 3,124,889 83,368 6,563 36,791 East Midlands 98.2% 95.9% (+0.1) 95.4% 58.7% (+0.1) 0.14% 0.5% 1.9% 1,101,327 Premises 1,081,586 1,055,946 1,051,212 645,955 1,498 5,613 20,570 South East 98.1% 95.7% (+0.1) 95.2% 52.4% (=) 1.22% 0.3% 1.6% 2,154,786 Premises 2,113,165 2,063,073 2,052,302 1,129,449 26,216 7,237 34,850 West Midlands 97.7% 95.4% (+0.1) 95% 64.4% (+0.1) 0.28% 0.4% 1.9% 2,767,345 Premises 2,702,906 2,641,404 2,628,726 1,781,983 7,854 11,345 52,155 North West 97.6% 94.8% (+0.1) 94.3% 48.5% (+0.1) 0.99% 0.7% 2.6% 3,895,746 Premises 3,801,455 3,692,854 3,672,825 1,887,588 38,714 28,239 100,225 England 96.7% 94.1% (+0.2) 93.6% 55.7% (=) 1.76% 0.6% 2.5% 23,891,665 Premises 23,105,672 22,472,665 22,350,644 13,313,043 420,025 135,215 602,189 United Kingdom 96.5% 93.4% (+0.2) 92.8% 52.8% (=) 1.61% 0.8% 3.1% 28,515,090 Premises 27,522,375 26,619,513 26,452,838 15,057,164 458,814 229,100 888,860 Rest Of Scotland 95.5% 92.5% (+0.5) 91.8% 47% (+0.1) 0.12% 1% 4% 2,338,003 Premises 2,231,953 2,161,972 2,147,373 1,098,494 2,833 23,718 92,540 East of England 95.8% 92.3% (+0.3) 91.6% 51.6% (=) 0.59% 0.7% 3.5% 2,602,529 Premises 2,492,069 2,401,162 2,384,473 1,342,575 15,241 19,153 90,202 Wales 95.5% 91.5% (+0.2) 90.5% 32.2% (+0.1) 2.48% (+0.14) 0.9% 4.9% 1,321,385 Premises 1,262,556 1,208,819 1,195,809 426,027 32,715 12,351 64,937 Yorkshire and Humber 93.9% 91.5% (+0.3) 91% 53.1% (+0.1) 5.1% (includes KCom Lightstream) 0.6% 3.9% 2,557,428 Premises 2,401,146 2,339,403 2,327,882 1,357,200 130,305 16,172 100,606 Scotland 94.7% 90.8% (+0.5) 90% 42.7% (+1.9) 0.11% 1.4% 5.3% 2,575,926 Premises 2,440,157 2,338,504 2,318,638 1,100,508 2,848 34,913 137,145 South West 95.6% 90.6% (+0.1) 89.7% 44.6% (+0.1) 3.33% 1.1% 4.4% 3,487,273 Premises 3,334,689 3,160,737 3,127,564 1,553,749 116,229 38,724 154,696 Northern Ireland 98.3% 82.6% (+0.4) 80.9% 30% (=) 0.44% 6.4% 11.6% 726,114 Premises 713,990 599,525 587,747 217,586 3,226 46,621 84,589 Highlands and Islands (HIE) 87.2% 73.4% (+0.8) 71.1% 0.08% (=) 0.08% 4.9% 19.6% 226,458 Premises 197,578 166,175 161,009 173 173 11,168 44,368
A week ago we were quoting 904,000 premises as needing work under the proposed Universal Service Obligation and that has now dropped to 888,860 premises as a result of the roll-outs and this reflects the importance when costing solutions or studying proposals to implement the USO that the impact of the continuing roll-outs of superfast broadband is considered. These figures do not include the contribution that fixed wireless is making to the superfast coverage levels from AirBand in Devon or UK Broadband in Swindon yet, they are on the to-do list to be integrated into the coverage analysis.
Scotland has crossed a milestone this month as it has reached the coveage level of 90.01% for premises (and for those not aware premises comprises homes + businesses) at the 30 Mbps and faster level and it will be interesting to see how long current pace of roll-out can be maintained.
Northern Ireland also appears to have woken up from a relative slumber with more cabinets, infill cabinets and little bits of native GEA-FTTP appearing.
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Was this football season finally going to be the one where you said enough is enough: “no longer will I spend my hard earned cash on watching overpaid prima donnas kicking a glorified pig’s bladder around a lawn”. Well prepare to have your cake and eat it – because BT Broadband is offering FREE BT Sports with all of its broadband packages1.
BT broadband2 has tapped in to the inner psyche of the nation’s sport fans as football fever builds towards the start of the Premier league season next Friday August 11. Until midnight on Tuesday August 15, they are waiving the ?3.50 per month charge to add BT Sports to its internet plans for a whole year. That means you get exclusive access to…wait for it…42 Premier League games, 24 FA Cup games, 12 Champions League matches (including the final), 14 Europa League matches (including the final), a bunch of Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1, as well as the crown jewels – the Community Shield!
BT Unlimited Broadband with BT Sports
BT Unlimited Broadband | 12 months | Up to 17Mb | Weekend calls | BT Sports | ?9.99 upfront| ?24.99pm
Usually, standard ADSL broadband from BT comes out a little more expensive than from other providers. But now you get free BT Sport for a year, it’s well worth considering again. Unless you also add a full TV package to your broadband, you’ll have to watch BT Sport online or via BT’s app. You’ll also get a ?40 Reward Card – a pre-paid Mastercard you can spend in store or online. Total cost of 12 months ?309.87
BT Unlimited Infinity 1 fibre broadband with BT Sports
BT Unlimited Infinity 1 fibre broadband | 12 months | Up to 52Mb | Weekend calls | TV Starter + BT Sports | ?69.99 upfront| ?29.99pm
BT Infinity superfast fibre broadband gives speeds of up to 52Mb (6.5MB per second), which is about 50% faster than most other providers’ entry-level fibre speeds.
You have to pay an extra tenner for the activation fee, but as well as 12 months of BT Sport you also get BT’s TV Starter package (adding the usual Freeview channels), a YouView box and an ?80 Reward Card. That’s a lot of freebies for your money. Total cost of 12 months ?429.874
What other sports does BT Sport show?
BT Sport6 continues to add more and more sports to its portfolio. If you can’t get enough of the sound of leather on willow, then BT Sports has exclusive coverage of the England cricket team’s sojourn to Australia for this winter’s Ashes. It also has the rough and tumble double threat of Aviva Premiership rugby union and UFC ultimate fighting.
What happens to BT Sport after a year?
After you’ve enjoyed/endured the highs and lows of the 2017-18 football season, BT will turn off the tap to its free BT Sport subscription. When your broadband plan hits its 13th month, you’ll be on the hook to pay ?3.50 per month to carry on watching the channels if you go for superfast fibre Infinity or ?7pm if you get standard ADSL.
I’m already with BT broadband. Do I get free BT Sport?
You can probably already guess this, but good on you for clutching at those straws. This deal is for new customers only we’re afraid. If you want to add BT Sport to your broadband plan, you’ll need to pay an extra ?3.50 a month for the sport channels.
What is a BT Reward Card?
The Reward Card7 that BT sends out is a pre-paid credit card that you can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. In short, that’s around a million shops, cafes and restaurants around the world, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to find places to spend, spend, spend. It’s an old-fashioned chip and pin card, rather than contactless. But do make sure that you claim your Reward Card within three months of signing up to BT, otherwise you’ll lose out on all that cash.
Best broadband deals
If you’re still um-ing and ah-ing over whether to go for one of these BT broadband offers, or if you want to see what other TV or phone options there are, then check out our BT broadband deals page8 – our bespoke price comparison table will help you choose, with packages that include unlimited calls and BT Sports subscriptions.
- ^ broadband packages (www.techradar.com)
- ^ BT broadband (www.productsandservices.bt.com)
- ^ BT Unlimited Broadband plus BT Sport deal (www.productsandservices.bt.com)
- ^ superfast fibre broadband (www.techradar.com)
- ^ BT Infinity broadband plus BT Sport deal (www.productsandservices.bt.com)
- ^ BT Sport (sport.bt.com)
- ^ Reward Card (www.productsandservices.bt.com)
- ^ BT broadband deals page (www.techradar.com)
- ^ our main broadband deals comparison page (www.techradar.com)
Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has said there are unanswered questions from the UK government on their announced deal with BT to provide broadband, with concerns over the benefits to rural Scotland and whether the proposals are the best deal for the taxpayer.
BT has offered to provide the infrastructure for 99% of premises in the UK to get broadband speeds of at least 10 megabits per second by 2020. Gavin said: “There are some important questions that need answered urgently about this deal. It’s not clear if all of Scotland is going to benefit from the broadband roll-out or what the time scales for the more remote communities are.
This is an issue which is particular importance to the rural areas and villages in Renfrewshire and we need to see the details from the UK government urgently.
“It is not just the remote Highland and island communities that lack access to fast and reliable broadband as areas such as Houston and Bridge of Weir in Renfrewshire also need to gain to access to superfast broadband and we need clarity on when the service is going to improve.
“We also need answers on its potential impact on the Scottish Government’s own commitment to provide access to superfast broadband to 100 per cent of Scotland’s homes and businesses by 2021.
“We also don’t know if this represents the best value for the public, when there has been no specification, no tender, no other providers involved – the Tories have just enabled BT to maintain its monopoly in this market and we do not know if this is a good deal for the taxpayer.”
Photo Credit: Adrian Malec