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Broadband is a general term for any telecoms technology that can carry a lot of data, using a wide range (band) of frequencies, over fixed telephone lines or wireless communication. In the UK broadband is most typically used to describe high-speed Internet access (see below).
 Categories
network cable snake
  1. Fixed Line Narrowband
  2. Fixed Line Broadband
  3. Wireless Broadband
 Summary - UK Fixed Line Broadband Statistics (Updated Nov 2018)
Broadband Technology Market Share
Superfast Broadband Coverage

The graphs on this introductory page are regularly updated and should give you some indication as to the status of national broadband performance, access, uptake and availability in the United Kingdom.

At present home internet access is primarily delivered over fixed lines and through a variety of different technologies, which are explained in the above categories. Ofcom (telecoms regulator) splits these services into two camps based on their performance:

Average Download Speeds (Real)

Broadband Speed Definitions (Ofcom)

Standard Broadband
Services that supply actual internet download speeds of at least 2Mbps (Megabits per second), which is generally delivered using Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) or ADSL2+ technology over existing copper telephone lines.

Superfast Broadband
Services that supply headline download speeds of at least 30Mbps (Ofcom and EU definition), which are most commonly provided through fibre optic and or coaxial cables in the form of Hybrid Fibre / Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTP/H) or cable (DOCSIS). It's worth noting that most government (BDUK Phase 1 + 2) supported broadband schemes define superfast as 24Mbps+, while later phases have adopt the 30Mbps+ definition.

Ultrafast Broadband
Services that supply headline download speeds of at least 300Mbps (Ofcom's definition), which are most commonly provided through pure fibre optic cables (FTTP/H) or in the form of advanced hybrid fibre solutions (G.fast, XG.Fast, DOCSIS). NOTE: The EU, BT and most others define the starting point as 100Mbps+.

Gigabit Broadband
Services that can supply headline download speeds of up to or beyond 1Gbps (Gigabits per second) or 1000Mbps+ (Megabits per second) if you prefer. Usually supplied via "full fibre" (FTTH/P) networks but DOCSIS 3.1 (cable) can also deliver it and so can future 5G mobile connections.

As of early July 2018 around 99%+ of the country can access a basic broadband connection, although estimated speeds do vary (i.e. 0.7% of premises still get less than 2Mbps and this rises to 3.5% for those who can't get 10Mbps). Similarly 95%+ can recieve a "superfast" connection (30Mbps by Ofcom's definition), which drops to around 60-70% in rural areas.

2018 H1 (Q2) UK Fixed Superfast Broadband Coverage

Area % Superfast 24Mbps+ % Ultrafast 100Mbps+ % Full Fibre (FTTP/H) % Under 10Mbps USO
United Kingdom 95.3% 54% 3.82% 3.5%
England 95.8% 56.9% 4.14% 3.1%
London 97% 72.3% 7.18% 2.5%
Wales 94.6% 33.4% 4.81% 3.9%
Northern Ireland 87.6% 34.8% 1.61% 8.40%
Scotland 93.4% 44% 1.07% 5.40%

We should add that Openreach's (BT) open fixed line telecoms network, which is used by most of the main ISPs except Virgin Media and many smaller alternative network providers, dominates most of country's national infrastructure and reaches nearly 100% of the population. By comparison Virgin Media's closed cable network covers around 50%+ of the country and is primarily focused on urban areas (expanding to 60%+ by 2020).

Meanwhile Satellite services can reach close to 100% of the population but they are costly and quite restrictive. By contrast there are a growing number of fixed wireless networks (FWA) but these are predominantly niche and only cover specific areas. Finally, Mobile Broadband is available to most people and is reasonably affordable, if more restrictive than fixed solutions.

Total Broadband vs Superfast Broadband Lines
Data Sources (Graphs and Statistics):
* Market Share by Technology (Ofcom Data Tables Q2-2018)
* Broadband Coverage (TBB Q2 2018 Data)

* Superfast Broadband Coverage (TBB Q2 2018 Data)
* Superfast Broadband Lines (Ofcom Data Tables Q2-2018)
* Total Broadband Lines (Ofcom Data Tables Q2-2018)
* Fixed Line Broadband Speeds (Ofcom 2018 Speeds Report)

Useful Articles:
* The UK Best Broadband ISPs for 2018
* Broadband Buyers Guide
* UK ADSL Broadband Internet Connection Tips and Tweaks
* Broadband Solutions for Remote and Rural UK Communities
* The Definition of UK Superfast Next Generation Broadband
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The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2265)
  2. FTTP (1723)
  3. FTTC (1498)
  4. Broadband Delivery UK (1480)
  5. Openreach (1213)
  6. Politics (1211)
  7. Business (1079)
  8. Statistics (952)
  9. Fibre Optic (871)
  10. Mobile Broadband (869)
  11. FTTH (803)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (800)
  13. Wireless Internet (796)
  14. 4G (753)
  15. Virgin Media (735)
  16. Sky Broadband (542)
  17. TalkTalk (519)
  18. EE (502)
  19. Vodafone (393)
  20. Security (367)
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