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UK vs Europe – Brief Comparison of National Broadband Plans

Thursday, February 18th, 2016 (11:38 am) - Score 1,535

The on-going FTTH Conference 2016 event in Luxembourg has just released an interesting visualisation, which reveals that the United Kingdom is one of the few European states without a firm target for delivering 100% superfast broadband (30Mbps+) coverage by 2020.

At present the United Kingdom’s Broadband Delivery UK programme aims to ensure that 90% of the country can access a superfast broadband (24Mbps+) connection by around spring 2016 and this will rise to 95% by 2017/18 (BT suggests they may actually hit 96%), although we appear to be one of the few EU states to still be stuck without a solid plan for tackling the final 4-5%.

Indeed most other EU states appear to be aiming to match the European Commission’s Digital Agenda goal(s), which seeks to ensure that every home in the EU can access a 30Mbps+ capable broadband connection (plus 50% subscribed to a 100Mbps+ service) by the year 2020.

Sorry for the low quality picture, but you can load a slightly bigger one by clicking on it.

European broadband plans 2016

It’s notable that a few states, such as Denmark, are also aiming to make 100Mbps+ services available to 100% of their country by 2020 and Germany plans to deliver 50Mbps to all by 2018. Most of these plans are also reliant upon a similar mix of hybrid-fibre (HFC, FTTC etc.) and pure fibre optic (FTTH/P) connectivity methods, much like the United Kingdom.

Some may also point out that the UK has a lesser speed target of 24Mbps+, although in reality the difference in actual coverage between 24Mbps and 30Mbps+ capability is tiny (around 1% or less).

One other thing that should be considered is the difference between what is planned and actual deployment progress. The UK currently bests the big boys of Germany, France, Italy and Spain (here) and we’re in the top 10 overall states for Next Generation Access (NGA) coverage (here). Mind you the linked reports are a little out of date and we could do with something more current.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar TheManStan

    I’ve always wondered about the subscribed bit of the EU target…

    How do you force subscribers away from their cheap it does what I want slower plan to a faster more expensive plan?

  2. Avatar Steve Jones

    I think describing aspirations (or even goals) as plans might be stretching it a bit. To my mind for something to qualify as a “plan” it has to have financial, technical and resourcing plans set out to a sufficient level of detail to make it credible. Even more important, it has to have organisations (and/or companies) which are held to account for actually delivering.

    One interesting thing to note is that the EU appears to have been somewhat softening its approach to rigorous rules on state assistance. There are even hints of indulging incumbents in return for commitments on delivery. In some ways opposite to previous talk about promoting competition at multiple levels. This will make Ofcom’s market review (due next week I believe) extremely interesting. To what extent is it going to be a purist market-driven approach or one which is influenced by more state-driven approaches to goals and targets.

  3. Avatar Dave

    BDUK have got a plan for the last 4-5%.
    It is:- Please wait till 2020. Here is £350, now go away and and get satallite.

  4. Avatar hmmmm

    Leave the eu extra money saved may help super fast internet uk haaa i do not think so

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