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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Speiser

Research Round-up September 2023

Q2 2023: 25% of UK Premises Still Lack Gigabit Broadband; Broadband Tariff Benchmark Report Q2 2023; UK telecoms sector updates; ISP news; government and Ofcom updates


Point Topic’s key publications of the month:


This is our regular update on fixed broadband availability in the UK, tracking the progress between the end of March 2023 and the end of June 2023. The analysis is based on the ThinkPoint broadband availability dataset which includes 1.7m postcodes. More granular, postcode-level broadband availability updates by ISP and technology, are available to our ThinkPoint customers.


Key headlines

  • At the end of Q2 2023, the overall FTTP coverage was just over 16.3m premises, up from 15m in Q1 2023.

  • The FTTP coverage was 50% or higher in 45.5% of local authorities, up from 38.9% of LAs three months earlier.

  • Across the UK, more than 1.7m premises could choose between three independent fibre ISPs, compared to 1.6m we recorded in Q1 2023.

  • Among the LAs with 30K+ premises passed by three providers, Bolton saw the largest number of new premises added in Q2 2023, at +22,435.

  • As of the end of June 2023, 25% of UK premises still did not have access to gigabit capable broadband. This metric was 23% in England, 41% in Wales, 32% in Scotland and 7% in Northern Ireland. However, all countries of the UK saw improvement in this area.

Openreach and FTTP in general

In three months to the end of June 2023, there was a slight acceleration in the Openreach full fibre rollout, compared to the previous quarter. We found 850K additional FTTP premises (up from 814K in March 2023), which resulted in our total recorded Openreach FTTP footprint of 10.3 million premises. This is 32.2% of all UK premises, up from 29.7% three months earlier. At the same time, the decline in the number of Openreach ADSL, FTTC only and Gfast only premises has slowed down – their number went down by 706K compared to 810K at the end of March 2023. As before, the largest decline (-611K premises) was in FTTC only coverage, as this technology is being replaced by FTTP.


Table 1. Openreach footprint by technology. Source: Point-Topic.
Table 1. Openreach footprint by technology. Source: Point-Topic.

As of the end of June 2023, the FTTP coverage was lower than 20% of premises in 10.4% of UK local authorities, down from 14.1% three months earlier. The FTTP coverage was 50% or higher in 45.5% of local authorities, up from 38.9% of LAs three months earlier.

During Q2 2023, 15 local authorities saw 10%+ growth in the percentage of their premises passed with FTTP networks, down from 29 LAs in Q1 2023. High growth areas are well spread out across the UK.


Figure 1. Growth in FTTP premises passed during Q2 2023, local authority level.  Source: Point Topic.
Figure 1. Growth in FTTP premises passed during Q2 2023, local authority level. Source: Point Topic.

The complete dataset used to produce this analysis is part of our ThinkPoint service which involves UK Broadband Mapping at postcode level.


Read the complete article in our free analysis here.



Point Topic tracks the changes in the standalone and bundled broadband tariffs provided by European operators every second quarter. This report presents the latest tariff benchmarks at the end of June 2023.


The complete tariff data is available within Point Topic’s European Broadband Operators and Tariffs (EuroBOT) subscription service. We provide access to the raw data, as well as charts and tables for the tariffs offered.


Residential broadband packages

As of the end of June 2023, the copper-based residential broadband tariffs were the cheapest ($54 PPP) but they also offered the lowest average download speed at 14Mbps. There was little change in these metrics compared to Q2 2022. The average monthly tariffs for cable and fibre broadband were similar ($69 PPP and $67 PPP respectively). However, the fibre-based tariffs offered a higher average download speed at 534Mbps, compared to 488Mbps over cable. Year-on-year, the average tariffs based on these technologies decreased only slightly but the average download speeds went up by 15.6% for cable (from 422Mbps to 488Mbps) and by 5.7% for fibre (from 505Mbps to 534Mbps).


In Q2 2023, the average downstream bandwidth, regardless of technology, was 469Mbps, up from 440Mbps a year ago. As FTTP and Docsis3.1 availability across Europe is becoming more widespread, we recorded 269 residential gigabit tariffs (with downstream bandwidth of at least 900 Mbps) in Q2 2023, compared to 241 such tariffs in Q2 2022.



Figure 2. Average monthly cost and download bandwidth by technology, residential broadband. Source: Point Topic.
Figure 2. Average monthly cost and download bandwidth by technology, residential broadband. Source: Point Topic.

Business broadband packages

We recorded the largest year-on-year change in the average business tariff for fibre – the average monthly charge increased by 20.1% from $142 PPP to $170 PPP. It wasn’t quite matched by the increase in download speed, which went up by 10.3% from 628Mbps to 693Mbps.


Businesses using cable-based broadband saw the largest boost in the average download speed – between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023, it went up by 23.1% from 402Mbps to 496Mbps. At the same time, the average monthly cost for these services has increased by only 5.5%, from $102 PPP to $107 PPP.


In Q2 2023, the combined average download speed grew by 11.4% y-o-y and stood at 588Mbps, largely thanks to the increase in the average speed over cable (Figure 3). The average monthly charge went up from $143 PPP to $165 PPP.



Figure 3. Average monthly cost and downstream bandwidth by technology, business broadband. Source: Point Topic.
Figure 3. Average monthly cost and downstream bandwidth by technology, business broadband. Source: Point Topic.

Read the complete article in our free analysis here.



BDUK Project Gigabit Update


The first premises have been connected under BDUK’s Project Gigabit contracts, and it has now launched all of its currently planned procurements in England. BDUK has a total of 27 live procurements, covering a total of over 780k premises. Combined with the existing 12 live contracts, this represents over £2bn of investment to support the deployment of gigabit-capable broadband to over 1.1m premises in hard-to-reach areas across the UK.


Since its last progress update in June 2023 BDUK have:

  • launched a further nine new local and regional procurements, with a combined indicative value of £597m, to cover up to 260k more premises. This includes two cross-regional contracts that will target some of what is deemed under Project Gigabit to be the hardest-to-reach areas

  • reached the milestone of the 100,000th voucher used to connect premises to gigabit-capable broadband

  • published a Voucher evaluation report, which highlights how its Gigabit Vouchers have improved access to gigabit-capable connectivity for homes and businesses

  • published its latest evaluation report of the Superfast Programme which found that by September 2021, the programme had helped upgrade up to 300k additional premises to gigabit-capable broadband - connections that would not have happened without the Government intervening


Figure 4. Combined commercial and residential gigabit-capable coverage across the devolved nations.  Source: ThinkBroadband, May 2023 and broken down by rurality and type of infrastructure, Ofcom, Connected Nations Report Update, September 2023. Data accurate as of May 2023.
Figure 4. Combined commercial and residential gigabit-capable coverage across the devolved nations. Source: ThinkBroadband, May 2023 and broken down by rurality and type of infrastructure, Ofcom, Connected Nations Report Update, September 2023. Data accurate as of May 2023.

Other key telecom sector news items from the month can be found below.


BT Group News

Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) News

CityFibre (CF) News

Independent Operators (AltNets) News

Other News


If you are a subscriber to UK Plus, sign-in here to access our UK Plus content where you can view our updated Q3 2023 profiles of the UK’s leading internet service providers, as well as our annual overview of the country’s broadband market.


Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about UK Plus or particular publications.

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