Broadband Coverage in Europe; Gigabit access available to 77% of UK in Q3 2023; UK Forecasts Update; BDUK Project Gigabit updates; UK telecoms sector updates; ISP news; government and Ofcom updates
Point Topic’s key publication of the month:
Gigabit access available to 77% of UK in Q3 2023
At the end of Q3 2023, the overall FTTP coverage was just over 17.4m premises (54.5%), up from 16.3m in Q2 2023.
The FTTP coverage was 50% or higher in 54% of local authorities (LAs), up from 46% of LAs three months earlier.
24 local authorities saw 10%+ growth in the percentage of their premises passed with FTTP networks, up from 15 in Q2 2023.
Almost 1.9m premises could choose between three independent ﬁbre ISPs (including resellers). This ﬁgure went up by +180K premises in Q3 2023.
Across the UK, 23% of premises still lacked gigabit access, down from 25% three months earlier.
Openreach and FTTP in general
In three months to the end of Q3 2023, there was a slight slowdown in the Openreach full ﬁbre rollout, compared to the previous quarter. We found 724K additional FTTP premises (down from 850K added in June 2023), which resulted in our total recorded Openreach FTTP footprint of 11 million premises. This is 34.5% of all UK premises, up from 32.2% three months earlier. The decline in the number of Openreach ADSL, FTTC and Gfast only premises has continued – their number went down by 721K compared to 706K in Q2 2023.
Looking at the proportion of total premises passed by Openreach FTTP, urban centres, towns, and regions outside London and the South East dominate, with Northern Ireland enjoying particularly extensive FTTP coverage. Belfast remains the leading local authority in terms of the availability of Openreach ﬁbre, with 94.8% of its premises passed, an increase from 94.6% in Q2 2023.
Among all the LAs, in Q3 2023 the largest number of FTTP premises added was in Manchester (+27K), Glasgow (+24K) and Shropshire (+23K).
Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) is accelerating full fibre network rollout mainly via their nexﬁbre venture using XGS-PON technology. According to the new CEO, nexfibre passed 500,000 premises by the end of September 2023, with all of them being ready for service. This figure does not include 175,000 premises passed to be acquired by nexfibre from Virgin Media O2 as part of the Upp transaction.
Altnets and other independent ﬁbre providers
The altnets are pushing ahead with their ﬁbre rollouts. As an increasing number of altnets are exceeding 100K ﬁbre premises passed, we are now focusing on this cohort. At the end of Q3 2023, our ﬁgures showed CityFibre at the top of the league with 2.6m FTTP premises covered by their network. Vodafone, Zen and TalkTalk remained the largest retail providers using CityFibre network.
In Q3 2023, 103 local authorities had three overlapping independent ﬁbre providers, compared to 96 in Q2 2023 (Table 3). Coventry and Peterborough have maintained their lead by the percentage of premises served by three providers, with 78.6% and 76.3% respectively. Aberdeen City has overtaken Milton Keynes in the third position with 74.1%. Among the LAs served by three fibre providers, Glasgow, Leeds and Leicester saw the largest number of additional premises served in Q3 2023, at +26K, +18K and +15K respectively.
Read the complete article in our free analysis here. The complete dataset used to produce this analysis is part of our ThinkPoint service which involves UK Broadband Mapping at postcode level. For more information check our UK Mapping page.
Building Digital UK (BDUK) Project Gigabit Updates
Building Digital UK (BDUK) has carried out significant market engagements in various regions to identify potential areas for government intervention to roll out gigabit-capable broadband. After market engagements and procurement processes the following Project Gigabit contracts have been awarded to Gigaclear and Connect Fibre throughout November 2023 (Table 4).
To date, all 15 Project Gigabit intervention area live procurements have been awarded to AltNet suppliers. The contracts awarded are worth over £635m aim to cover around 400k premises.
Other key telecoms sector news items from the month can be found below.
Telecoms Sector News
BT Group News
Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) News
CityFibre (CF) News
Independent Operators (AltNets) News
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 The footprint reported by CityFibre is 3 million premises passed, including 2.6m that are ready for service.