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Broadband is a general term for any telecoms technology that carries a lot of data (high speed internet connectivity), using a wide range (band) of frequencies, over fixed lines or wireless.
 Categories
network cable snake
  1. Fixed Line Narrowband
  2. Fixed Line Broadband
  3. Wireless Broadband
 Summary - UK Fixed Line Broadband Statistics (Updated August 2019)
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)

Decent Broadband
Services that supply actual internet download speeds of at least 10Mbps (1Mbps uploads), which is generally delivered using ADSL technology over existing copper telephone lines.

Superfast Broadband
Services that supply 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-Premises (FTTP / FTTH) or cable (DOCSIS). It's worth noting that most government (BDUK Phase 1 + 2) supported broadband schemes define superfast as 24Mbps+, while later phases 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) 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" (FTTP) networks but DOCSIS 3.1 (cable) can also deliver it and so can future 5G mobile connections.

As of 8th July 2019 around 97.3% of the country can access a "decent broadband" (10Mbps+) connection and around 96.1% can recieve a "superfast" connection (24Mbps+), although "ultrafast" (100Mbps) speeds and Gigabit capable "full fibre" networks are a long way behind.

NOTE: The figures in brackets (%) below represents the previous 2018 H2 result.

Fixed Broadband Network Availability 2019 H1

Area % Superfast 24Mbps+ % Ultrafast 100Mbps+ % Full Fibre FTTP/H % Under 10Mbps USO
London 97.3% (97.1%) 74.7% (73.9%) 11.31% (9.00%) 2.2% (2.4%)
England 96.6% (96.3%) 60.2% (58.9%) 7.95% (5.62%) 2.4% (2.7%)
UK 96.1% (95.8%) 57.5% (56.1%) 8.13% (5.47%) 2.7% (3%)
Wales 95.2% (95%) 37% (36%) 8.59% (6.12%) 3.5% (3.6%)
Scotland 94% (93.7%) 47.7% (46%) 5.05% (2.8%) 4.7% (5%)
Northern Ireland 89.5% (88.5%) 45.5% (39.3%) 23.16% (8.67%) 7.1% (7.6%)

NOTE 1: Nearly all of the "ultrafast" (100Mbps+) coverage is coming from Virgin Media's cable network, although Openreach, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, Cityfibre, TrueSpeed and others all have big "full fibre" (FTTP/H) expansion ambitions for related services (details). The 330Mbps capable G.fast roll-out to 5.7 million UK premises by the end of 2020 will also help.

NOTE 2: Recent BDUK contracts have adopted the EU and Ofcom's higher download speed target of 30Mbps+ for "superfast" connectivity, which on average tends to trail around 0.2-0.4% points behind the 24Mbps+ figures above (we don't list this due to the limited difference).

NOTE 3: It's very important to remember that Government / political targets like 95% or 98% reflect a national average, which can of course be better or worse for some regions (e.g. a few may achieve universal coverage, while others could be well below that).

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 55% 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, 4G based Mobile Broadband services are available to most people and is reasonably affordable (outdoor geographic coverage of is at 66% from all four mobile operators or 91% from at least one operator).

Total Broadband vs Superfast Broadband Lines
Data Sources (Graphs and Statistics):
* Market Share by Technology (Ofcom Data Tables Q1-2019)
* Broadband Coverage (TBB H1 2019 Data)

* Superfast Broadband Coverage (TBB H1 2019 Data)
* Superfast Broadband Lines (Ofcom Data Tables Q1-2019)
* Total Broadband Lines (Ofcom Data Tables Q1-2019)
* Fixed Line Broadband Speeds (Ofcom 2019 Speeds Report)

Useful Articles:
* The UK Best Broadband ISPs for 2019
* 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 (2489)
  2. FTTP (2146)
  3. FTTC (1645)
  4. Building Digital UK (1590)
  5. Openreach (1402)
  6. Politics (1399)
  7. Business (1224)
  8. Statistics (1090)
  9. FTTH (1048)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1023)
  11. Fibre Optic (964)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (908)
  13. Wireless Internet (894)
  14. 4G (885)
  15. Virgin Media (850)
  16. Sky Broadband (592)
  17. EE (582)
  18. TalkTalk (572)
  19. Vodafone (506)
  20. Security (409)
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