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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 May 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 and most others define the starting point as 100Mbps+.

As of April 2018 around 99%+ of the country can access a basic broadband connection, although estimated speeds do vary (i.e. under 1% of premises get less than 2Mbps and this rises to around 3% 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 Q1 UK Fixed Superfast Broadband Coverage

Area % Fibre based % Superfast 30Mbps+ % Ultrafast 100Mbps+ % Under 10Mbps USO
London 97.80% 96.80% 71.60% 2.50%
England 97.60% 95.30% 56.30% 3.30%
United Kingdom 97.60% 94.80% 53.30% 3.60%
Rest Of Scotland (Excluding H&I) 97.20% 94.40% 47.20% 4.40%
Wales 97.30% 94.10% 32.80% 4.10%
Scotland 96.90% 93.20% 43.30% 5.60%
Northern Ireland 98.80% 86.20% 31.10% 8.70%
Highlands and Islands Only (Scotland) 90% 78.10% 0.30% 16.50%

Take note that the term "fibre based" above includes full fibre optic and hybrid fibre (part fibre) solutions, such as FTTP , FTTH , FTTC VDSL2 / G.fast and Cable (DOCSIS / FTTN), albeit without any definition of speed (i.e. speeds can be as low as 2Mbps+).

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 60-65% 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 Q4-2017)
* Broadband Coverage (Ofcom 2016 Connected Nations Report + BDUK)
* Superfast Broadband Coverage (TBB Q1 2018 Data)
* Superfast Broadband Lines (Ofcom Data Tables Q4-2017)
* Total Broadband Lines (Ofcom Data Tables Q4-2017)
* 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 (2130)
  2. FTTP (1497)
  3. Broadband Delivery UK (1415)
  4. FTTC (1388)
  5. Openreach (1106)
  6. Politics (1093)
  7. Business (1004)
  8. Statistics (887)
  9. Fibre Optic (815)
  10. Mobile Broadband (796)
  11. Ofcom Regulation (742)
  12. Wireless Internet (735)
  13. 4G (689)
  14. Virgin Media (668)
  15. FTTH (665)
  16. Sky Broadband (509)
  17. TalkTalk (486)
  18. EE (446)
  19. Security (347)
  20. Vodafone (336)
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