Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Ultrafast Fibre Optic FTTH Broadband Services Cover 351,000 UK Premises

Monday, September 14th, 2015 (1:36 am) - Score 2,896
fibre optic green cable flay

The latest information on the availability of true ultrafast fibre optic broadband (FTTH/P/B) services, most of which are capable of delivering Gigabit class speeds (1000Mbps), has estimated that some 351,642 premises in the United Kingdom are now within reach of such a service (up from 251,522 last year).

True fibre optic connectivity methods generally take the fibre optic cable directly to your doorstep, which transmits information using laser light instead of electrical signals and metal cable (Will the Real Fibre Optic Broadband Service Please Stand Up). As a service it’s very expensive and slow to deploy due to the need for significant civil works, but the ability to deliver symmetrical Gigabit speeds is a huge bonus.

The data, which reflects information requested by ISPreview.co.uk from Point Topic and some official progress updates from major operators (e.g. BTOpenreach), indicates that fibre optic connection technologies, such as Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) and Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) solutions, have increased their rate of growth.

Native FTTH/P/B Growth Estimates (Premises Passed)
2013 = 186,500
2014 = 251,522 (+34.86%)
2015 = 351,642 (+39.80%)

As ever the official figures released by operators tend to only be updated sporadically (often just once a year), which means that today’s actual total is probably a fair bit higher than 351K (we’d guesstimate above 400K) and some operators are known to have significant expansion plans for the next few years (e.g. KC, Gigaclear and Hyperoptic).

Breaking the Data Down

In November 2014 BT revealed that their native FTTP network had passed 160,000 premises (85,000 of which are in Cornwall) and a few short months later KC in Hull confirmed that it had around 45,000 with a plan to reach 105,000 by March 2017. The latest data we have is that KC has now pushed out to 50,000 and the ISP offered us the following details.

 Premises Type  KC FTTP Passed  KC FTTP Connected
Consumer 43,013 15,869
Business 7,126 2,652
Total 50,139 18,521

Similarly Hyperoptic has been another big contributor in urban areas and in February 2015 they confirmed having delivered coverage to 100,000 premises (here), with a goal of achieving 500,000 by 2018. Once again we suspect that they’ve made a fair bit of progress since that 100k figure was announced.

Another major contributor is Cityfibre, which last year said they intended to cover 1 million homes, businesses and public sector sites in 20 cities by the end of 2016 cities (here). Some examples include their roll-out in York to 20,000 homes (currently about 5,000+ completed) alongside Sky Broadband and TalkTalk, not to mention another 21,000 in Bournemouth etc.

Cityfibre informs ISPreview.co.uk that they now have a total of 800,000 premises passed, which includes homes, businesses and public sector locations passed with built or in-build network footprints. But the definition of “premises passed” usually excludes premises that cannot be connected without further installation of substantial cable plant, such as feeder and distribution cables (fibre) to reach the area in which a potential new subscriber is located.

Cityfibre’s network often does require extra work and thus we can’t include their full total (i.e. they typically consider properties passed to be those within easy reach of its footprint), with the exception deployments like the ones in York and Bournemouth. Similarly BT’s Fibre-on-Demand (FoD2 or FTTPoD) coverage isn’t included either because it often requires expensive street works to bring the service to a property and is thus be considered separate from their native FTTP roll-out.

Elsewhere Sky Broadband are also quietly deploying their own FTTH/P connectivity in a number of areas, such as the roll-out to 5,000 premises in Woodville, Midway and the Swadlincote region of Derbyshire in England (here). Sky also has a similar network in Basingstoke (here) and likely some other places too.

Some other unsung heroes of the FTTH/P race are Independent Fibre Networks Limited (IFNL). Elsewhere Gigaclear are fast growing from being a smaller rural-focused FTTP/H provider and seem set to become one with an ambition to reach around 50,000 premises within the next year or so (here, here and here) and possibly rising to 200,000 in a few years time.

Outside of that there are the small providers, such as the B4RN community development in Lancashire that covers around 1,500 to 3,000 premises (depending upon how you gauge it), and a handful of other smaller operators and projects, such as GTC‘s roll-out to new build home developments and Fibre GarDen’s deployment in rural Cumbria. All add a little something to the total and there are a few others that we haven’t mentioned due to lack of information.

At this point it’s important to remind readers that the United Kingdom is home to a total of around 26.5 million households and nearly all of those can get a basic broadband service, with BT’s slower hybrid-fibre (FTTC) solution able to cover 23 million (80%+ coverage). Virgin Media’s cable network is also expanding out, with plenty of BT FTTx overlap, to 17 million premises (60%+ coverage) by 2020.

Over the next few years both BT and Virgin Media will be deploying 300-600Mbps capable broadband upgrades to the majority of their network footprints. But in performance terms a pure fibre optic connection will always have a huge edge over hybrid solutions and today’s 1,000Mbps home products could rise to 2,000Mbps or even 10,000Mbps in the future.

The problem holding FTTH/P solutions back is generally that they take a very long time to deploy and that can also come at a huge cost. Never the less it’s clear that progress is being made and ironically those that seem to be putting in the most effort are the smaller and more agile alternative network operators, which in recent years have managed to attract significant private investment.

We might not all be able to benefit from these services yet, but progress is being made and in 10-20 years the market at infrastructure level could look very different; especially if Ofcom moves to make the industry more competitive and pushes through its Dark Fibre measures (here and here). Certainly the half a million milestone (premises passed) seems feasible for this time next year.

Add to Diigo
Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Neil

    Im a little confused is the story about those that get Ultrafst 1000Mb speeds or just FTTP type services. The opening paragraph suggests its about FTTP that runs at 1000Mb but then later quotes BT Openreach premises figures. I did not think they did a 1000Mb product.

    Is it just FTTP type services as a whole and if so is there any other detail on how many have a 1000Mb option out of that 300,000 odd number?

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £21.00 (*25.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Shopping Voucher
  • TalkTalk £21.95 (*36.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Post Office £22.90 (*37.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Direct Save Telecom £22.95 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Onestream £22.99 (*34.99)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2528)
  2. FTTP (2247)
  3. FTTC (1671)
  4. Building Digital UK (1615)
  5. Politics (1442)
  6. Openreach (1428)
  7. Business (1255)
  8. Statistics (1108)
  9. FTTH (1101)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1054)
  11. Fibre Optic (977)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (922)
  13. 4G (917)
  14. Wireless Internet (917)
  15. Virgin Media (868)
  16. EE (601)
  17. Sky Broadband (598)
  18. TalkTalk (583)
  19. Vodafone (531)
  20. 3G (416)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact