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UPD Q1 2016 Uptake Stats for the BDUK and BT Fibre Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, Jun 8th, 2016 (1:02 am) - Score 1,698

The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK scheme has published its latest Q1 2016 take-up data for their roll-out of superfast broadband (24Mbps+) services across the United Kingdom, which confirms that almost all local authorities have now passed the 20% threshold for clawback.

So far the BDUK scheme, which is predominantly working with BT to expand the reach of their ‘up to’ 80Mbps FTTC network (plus some 330Mbps FTTP), has already helped to ensured that 90% of the UK can order a superfast broadband connection. More than 3.84 million premises have directly benefited from this effort and nearly all of those are in areas that would have otherwise been left neglected by the private sector (details here and here).

In keeping with that the latest data predominantly reflects the take-up level of superfast connectivity for areas that have been helped by Phase One of the Broadband Delivery UK scheme (i.e. % subscribed of premises passed by BDUK supported networks). We’ve also got some early data on uptake for BDUK Phase 2 (Superfast Extension Programme), which can be found at the bottom of this article.

Understanding take-up is also important because it links into the clawback (gain share) mechanism of related contracts, which requires BT to return part of the public investment when adoption of the new service passes beyond the 20% mark in related areas.

The Government has signalled that more than £250 million is expected to be returned to local authorities via clawback (more money will be returned as the % of uptake grows) and this can thus be used to help further improve the coverage of faster broadband connectivity across the UK via additional contracts.

The following list breaks down the take-up by each BDUK local authority / project area, although for the proper context these percentages should ideally be considered alongside the most recent premises passed (network coverage) data. As usual we’ve added the results from previous quarters to show the change over time, but please read the note at the bottom for some vital context.

Project Area (BDUK PHASE 1) Uptake % (Jun 2015) Uptake % (Sep 2015) Uptake % (Dec 2015) Uptake % (Mar 2016)
Berkshire Councils 18.5 16.6 23.2 31.5
Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire 18.7 19.6 23.2 29.9
Cambridgeshire, Peterborough 23.1 23.9 24.1 35.2
Central Beds, Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes 17.2 18.2 21.1 29
Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington, Halton 18.4 20.4 20.5 32.6
Devon & Somerset (including, Plymouth, Torbay, North Somerset, Bath & NE Somerset) 14.8 14.9 16.8 22.5
Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire 17.2 17.2 20.1 32
Cumbria 19.2 16.8 17.3 25
Derbyshire 11 12.6 14.6 20.1
Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole 14.3 12.9 15.7 21.9
Durham, Gateshead, Tees Valley and Sunderland 13.4 14.8 15.2 21
East Riding of Yorkshire 12.1 13.8 17.4 27.2
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove 16.4 17.3 21 27.6
Essex, Southend-On-Sea, Thurrock 14.3 15.1 18 23.6
Greater Manchester 11.4 12.8 18.8 24.7
Hampshire 19.3 16.7 21.9 28.2
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire 20.9 16.7 16.7 22.9
Isle of Wight 8.2 10.2 13.9 19.8
Kent and Medway 16.2 16.9 16.9 26.7
Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen 15.4 14.8 19.3 31.1
Leicestershire 16.3 17.9 20.2 27.1
Lincolnshire 15.7 17.2 20 27
Merseyside 8.9 10 12.8 24.4
Newcastle upon Tyne 8.1 10.6 10.6 25.7
Norfolk 18.2 18 20.8 28
North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire 19.2 21 24.4 30.6
North Yorkshire 25.6 25.2 25.2 32
Northamptonshire 23.3 25.7 28.2 36.7
Northumberland 18.4 19.8 22.9 28
Nottinghamshire 14.2 16 18.8 26.8
Oxfordshire 18.2 20.1 24.4 26.1
Rutland 42.3 42.3 44.1 51.7
Shropshire 19 18.5 20.4 27
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 13.3 14.1 15.7 23.9
Suffolk 17.9 18.9 18.9 31.5
Surrey 29.8 29.7 32.5 42.2
West Sussex 18 19.4 22.7 23.2
West Yorkshire 12.1 14.4 14.4 27.7
Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire 16.1 22.8 20.5 37.5
Worcestershire 15.6 17.8 19.1 25.6
Devolved Administrations
Highlands and Islands 13.1 14.6 16.1 21.6
Northern Ireland 9.6 13.5 18.2 19.3
Rest of Scotland 12.3 13.5 14.6 20.9
Wales 15.6 23.1 24.7 22.4

IMPORTANT: Take-up is a dynamically scaled measurement, which means that at certain stages of the scheme it may go up or even down depending upon the pace of deployment (i.e. premises passed in any given time-scale), although over time the take-up should only rise.

Explained another way, early phases of the roll-out are easier and faster to deploy, so you can expect to see a bit of a yo-yo movement with the take-up % sometimes falling if lots of new areas are suddenly covered. Some contracts are also younger than others and will thus take time to catch-up. BDUK’s roll-out pace is also now starting to slow because they’re increasingly reaching into tricky rural areas, which should give take-up a chance to climb.

A number of other factors that can also impact take-up, such as the higher prices for related “fibre” services (less attractive for consumers), customers being locked into long contracts with their existing ISP (they can’t upgrade immediately) and a lack of general availability awareness (locals don’t know it exists) or interest in the new connectivity (if you have a decent ADSL2+ speed then you might feel less inclined to upgrade).

In other cases the new service may run out of capacity (i.e. demand is higher than expected), which means that people who want to upgrade are prevented from doing so until Openreach resolves the problem.

Early BDUK Phase 2 Take-up

At present only a small amount of take-up data currently exists for the most recent Phase 2 BDUK contracts (i.e. the 95% UK coverage target), which is because most of those contracts are far too young and have yet to even commence the deployment phase. Never the less a few have already begun their deployment are now reporting data.

Crucially BDUK are measuring the progress of Phase 2 take-up separately from Phase 1, which means that we don’t get an overall total. A few contracts, such as the one for South Yorkshire and Telford & Wrekin, only exist in BDUK Phase 2.

Project Area (BDUK Phase 2 – Superfast Extension Programme) Uptake % (Mar 2016)
Black Country 5.7
Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington, Halton 22
Kent and Medway 6.9
Norfolk 18.6
South Gloucestershire 16.2
South Yorkshire 4.2
Suffolk 12.5
Telford & Wrekin 5.7
Wiltshire 0.2

UPDATE 5:51pm

The Thinkbroadband team have run a complicated analysis in order to try and verify if BDUK’s figures are accurate and their results appear to confirm the above outcome for Phase 1.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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