top of page
  • Writer's pictureJolanta Stanke

Two or more FTTP networks covered 7m UK premises in Q1 2024

Updated: May 9

This is our regular update on fixed broadband availability in the UK, tracking the progress between the end of December 2023 and the end of March 2024. The analysis is based on theThinkPoint 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.


Note: There will generally be a lag to the operator announcements for premises passed at the time since it takes us time to properly track and audit any new deployments, unless the operators tell us about them. Also, we report RFS (ready for service) premises, while some operators and ISPs include premises where customers can pre-order a broadband service.


Key headlines


  • At the end of Q1 2024, the overall FTTP coverage was 20.7m premises (64.7% of the UK total). This metric was up by 6.5% compared to Q4 2023.

  • Nearly 7 million premises had access to 2 or more FTTP networks, and 0.8m were covered by 3+ fibre networks.

  • In Q1 2024, the largest number of FTTP premises added was in Glasgow (+24.5K), Birmingham (+24K), Buckinghamshire (+20K), and Pembrokeshire (+20K). For the first time, we have local authorities from the South East and Wales in this ranking.

  • Among the FTTP altnets with at least 100Kpremises, we recorded the highest quarterly growth in premises passed FW Networks (+90%), Grain Connect (+59%) and nexfibre (+54%).

  • Across the UK, 19% of premises still lacked gigabit access, down from 21% three months earlier.


Openreach and FTTP in general


In Q1 2024, we recorded yet another slight acceleration in the full fibre rollout by Openreach. We found 946K additional FTTP premises, compared to 917K added in Q4 2023, which resulted in our total recorded Openreach FTTP footprint of 12.9 million premises, up 7.9% quarter-on-quarter (Table 1). This measure was 8.3% in Q4 2023.


Openreach full fibre now covers 40.3% of all UK premises, up from 37.4% three months earlier. In turn, the decline in the number of Openreach ADSL, FTTC and Gfast only premises has speeded up – their number went down by 944K, compared to 915K in Q4 2023. Once again, the largest decline (-799K premises) was in FTTC only coverage, as this technology is being replaced by FTTP. Non-fibre platforms still covered 18.7 million premises in the UK, with this number having decreased by 4.8% in Q1 2024.


Table 1. Openreach footprint by technology, Q1 2024. Source: Point-Topic.

Openreach footprint by technology, Q1 2024. Source: Point-Topic.

In terms of the proportion of total LA 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 95.3% of its premises passed, an increase from 95.1% in Q4 2023. Among the top 20 LAs by this measure, ten are in Northern Ireland (Figure 1 ). Mid Ulster pushed out Coventry out of the top 20 this quarter.


 Top 20 LAs by the proportion of total premises passed by Openreach FTTP, Q1 2024. Source: Point Topic.

Figure 1. Top 20 LAs by the proportion of total premises passed by Openreach FTTP, Q1 2024. Source: Point Topic.


During Q1 2024, Openreach added most FTTP premises in Leeds (+16K). Glasgow also continues to be one of the Openreach’s FTTP target areas, with 15K premises gained in the quarter. Overall, among the top ten LAs, we recorded the largest additions in the northern and central parts of the UK - Yorkshire, Scotland, Midlands (East and West), and the North West. Luton in the East of England also made the top ten (Table 2).


Table 2. Top ten LAs by Openreach FTTP premises added in Q1 2024. Source: Point-Topic.

Top ten LAs by Openreach FTTP premises added in Q1 2024. Source: Point-Topic.

At the end of Q1 2024, the overall FTTP coverage, including Openreach FTTP network, altnets, Virgin Media O2’s RFOG network and KCOM was 20.7m premises (64.7% of the UK total). This metric was up 6.5% q-o-q, with the steady growth continuing.

 

Nearly 7 million premises had access to 2 or more FTTP networks, and 0.8m were covered by 3+ fibre networks[1].

Table 3. FTTP network overbuild (all FTTP networks). Source: Point Topic.

FTTP network overbuild (all FTTP networks). Source: Point Topic.

[1] We are using the 4.5m figure for CityFibre (network present within 200m of premises) in this calculation.


Table 4 lists the bottom ten UK local authorities (LAs) by FTTP coverage in Q1 2024. Once again, it is encouraging to see that the list this quarter features higher percentages – 4.9% to 17.5%, as opposed to 1.5% to 16.4% in the previous quarter, as FTTP covers more premises in more local authorities. Compared to Q4 2023, Shetland Islands have slid down to the very bottom of the ranking with only 4.9% of premises in the area having FTTP, having been overtaken by Isles of Scilly (+4.7% FTTP premises in the area q-o-q) and Copeland (+7.1%). Tamworth, having added 2K FTTP premises in the quarter, got pushed out of the ‘list of shame’ by Telford and Wrekin.


Table 4. Bottom local authorities by percentage of premises covered with FTTP (any network). Source: Point Topic.

Bottom local authorities by percentage of premises covered with FTTP (any network). Source: Point Topic.

* Including Openreach, KCOM, altnets and Virgin Media O2’s RFOG.


Nine out of the top ten best covered FTTP areas are Northern Ireland LAs, largely as a result of Openreach’s prominent FTTP presence in the country as well as the likes of Fibrus and nexfibre. The top LA is Kingston upon Hull, largely due to KCOM’s fibre rollout. (The build in the top ten LAs is more or less complete, and as we see little change in this ranking it is not featured any more). 


It should be noted that these figures do not include Virgin Media O2’s Docsis 3.1 network coverage, which is widely available in some of the LAs. For the combined coverage data see our granular dataset.


Among all the LAs, the largest number of FTTP premises added was in Glasgow (+24.5K), Birmingham (+24K), Buckinghamshire (+20K) and Pembrokeshire (+20K). For the first time, we have local authorities from the South East and Wales in this ranking. Ogi, who have increased their footprint by 23K this quarter, are partly to blame in Wales.


Table 5. Top ten LAs by FTTP premises added in Q1 2024. Source: Point Topic.

Top ten LAs by FTTP premises added in Q1 2024. Source: Point Topic.

Despite some operators slowing down their footprint expansion due to cost, labour and contractor issues, 30 local authorities saw 10%+ growth in the percentage of their premises passed with FTTP networks, down from 31 LAs in Q4 2023. This time, high growth areas are spread more evenly throughout the UK, with the three highest percentage increase areas being in Wales.


Change in percentage of FTTP premises as a proportion of total LA premises in Q1 2024, local authority level. Source: Point Topic.

Figure 2. Change in percentage of FTTP premises as a proportion of total LA premises in Q1 2024, local authority level. Source: Point Topic.


At the end of Q1 2024, FTTP coverage was lower than 20% of premises in 13 local authorities, down from 14 three months earlier. The FTTP coverage was 50% or higher in 71.4% of local authorities, up from 63% of LAs three months earlier.


Read the full report below. The granular data used in this analysis is available to our ThinkPoint customers.



Point Topic - UK broadband premises passed update - Q1 2024
.pdf
Download PDF • 895KB

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page