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Full Fibre Broadband Coverage Improving for New Build UK Homes

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 (1:30 pm) - Score 3,525

Many new build homes are still being constructed without including good provision for “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) ISP networks or Gigabit capable “full fibre” (FTTP) services, but the latest independent analysis of connectivity coverage suggests that the situation is improving.

The change (detailed below) isn’t a surprise, not least due to the tweaks that occurred between 2016 and 2017 to address the problem. Firstly, most of the major home builders (e.g. Home Builders Federation) have now entered into partnerships with network operators (e.g. BT and Virgin Media etc.) in order to better facilitate the rollout of fibre optic (FTTP/H) and hybrid fibre (FTTC / HFC DOCSIS) based broadband technologies.

On top of that a recent directive from the EU (details), which has also been adopted into UK law, is supposed to mean that all newly constructed buildings (i.e. those that gained permission after the 31st December 2016) are “equipped with a high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure, up to the network termination points.

Furthermore the UK government has also long been advising councils to ensure that they factor all this into local planning approvals, which in the future will also be further supported by their new future telecoms proposals for boosting full fibre coverage (here). Sadly much of this will take time to filter down because larger projects can spend years in planning before the work actually begins and then it may then take years longer to build.

We should add that including support for such services is only half the battle and the developer still needs to find a network operator / ISP to actually make use of the infrastructure they’ve built, which doesn’t always happen. Nevertheless the latest model by Thinkbroadband, which examined new build postcodes, appears to suggest that more and more new homes are arriving with superfast and full fibre availability.

Overall the results are improving but clearly we’re still a long way from seeing 90-100% support for “superfast” or better in new build premises. It’s worth noting that the fall in superfast coverage is being more than mitigated by the rise in ultrafast connectivity, which is a good thing.

New Build UK Broadband Cover by Speed or Technology

Area (New Premises)
% Superfast 30Mbps+ % Ultrafast 100Mbps+ % Full Fibre (FTTP) % Under 10Mbps USO
UK 2018 (43,470 so far) 80.9% 50.0% 47.18% 17.6%
UK 2017 (141,535) 85.7% 41.7% 35.94% 13.2%
UK 2016 (168,255) 87% 36.1% 27.64% 12%

NOTE 1: The Ultrafast percentage above will predominantly reflect coverage by FTTP/H, HFC DOCSIS (Cable) and possibly some G.fast based networks; mostly delivered via Openreach (BT) and Virgin Media. Meanwhile Hyperoptic, GTC / OFNL and a few other altnets will also have an impact.

NOTE 2: The focus on postcode level data means that smaller individual developments (usually personal projects) or property conversions aren’t likely to be factored above, although they don’t tend to attract the same requirements anyway.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Karen says:

    Since purchasing a new house, I found the following broadband is installed(big builders)
    Barratt Homes – Openreach FTTP
    Bellway – FTTC
    Bloor – Openreach FTTP
    Bovis Homes – OFNL
    Persimmon – mixture of Virgin / OFNL
    Taylor Wimpey – Openreach FTTP

    So only one of the big builders weren’t installing full fibre. That was over four different sites I visited of that builder

    1. Avatar Joe says:

      The big providers are reasonably easy. Its dealing with the small developers thats the ongoing problem

  2. Avatar Fastman says:

    that’s not always the case, depends which site you are on and whether they have been able to use their preferred method or just asked for Voice services pre fibre Bellway primary do Openreach FTTP but have done quite a lot of retro FTTC on Copper only sites which is perhaps why you have seen some FTTC

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