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Q3 2023 – UK Top and Bottom 10 Local Authorities by Full Fibre Cover

Friday, Nov 10th, 2023 (12:01 am) - Score 3,280
fibre optic blue light abstract 2017-gigapixel

A new update from Point Topic has revealed how the top and bottom ten UK local authorities have changed over the past quarter, at least with respect to their coverage of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband networks. In addition, 103 local authorities now have three overlapping full fibre networks (up from 96 in Q2).

Just to recap. At the end of Q3 some 17.4 million UK premises (54.5%) could access a full fibre broadband ISP network (up from 16.3m in Q2 2023). Across the country, almost 1.9m premises could also choose between three independent fibre ISPs, which is up by +180K premises in Q3 2023 (this of course excludes Virgin Media’s older hybrid fibre coax network).

Across all full fibre networks, the largest number of premises added were found in Manchester (+27K), Glasgow (+24K) and Shropshire (+23K). A total of 24 local authorities also saw 10% or greater growth in the percentage of their premises passed with FTTP networks, up from 15 in Q2 2023.

In terms of the newer Alternative Networks (AltNets), specifically those with at least 100,000 UK premises passed, FullFibre Ltd had the highest quarterly growth (+220%), followed by F&W Networks (+79%) and then brsk (+49%). The official figures we’ve seen suggest that some of those listed below, such as Netomnia and brsk, should be showing a lot higher than they are, which we believe is partly due to a lag in how Point Topic collects their data.

Point-Topic-AltNet-FTTP-Growth-Q3-2023

Naturally, the top ten UK local authorities for FTTP coverage tend to reflect urban areas, particularly those that have been building commercial networks for longer than others (e.g. KCOM’s deployment in Hull). By comparison, the bottom local authorities are usually much more rural.

The good news is that even the bottom dwellers are showing some FTTP growth, although the quarterly change is generally not that remarkable for any of the top or bottom ten. Northern Ireland LAs also dominate the top ten, largely as a result of Openreach’s prominent FTTP presence. The only LAs that made the list from outside Northern Ireland are Hull and Coventry, with 99.4% and 91.6% respectively.

Compared to Q2 2023, Allerdale, Melton, Oadby and Wigston, and Redcar and Cleveland moved out of the bottom ten rankings, after growing their FTTP premises by 8%, 10%, 5% and 4% respectively.

Point-Topic-Top-and-Bottom-10-UK-LAs-for-FTTP-Q3-2023

Remember that this report only looks at full fibre (FTTP/B) networks, thus it’s excluding the impact of Virgin Media’s older – but still gigabit-capable – coax cable broadband network.

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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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Comments
16 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Alan says:

    What’s going on with Cityfibre? Why is there growth so low? Looks to only be around 10%.

    I assumed they’d be building much faster if they’re going to achieve their target of 8 million premises by the end of 2025.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Covered in several prior articles, but they’ve had a difficult year (job losses, change to build strategy etc.) and then recently paused a good number of deployments by ending deals with several contractors. CityFibre are not immune to the market’s current challenges.

    2. Avatar photo Howard says:

      Rumours of another round of redundancies to be announced shortly too.

    3. Avatar photo Matt says:

      I mean they’re financed by debt, and the interest rate became lol%

      5%+ on peoples 200k mortgage is pain. 5%+ on £4.9bn+ is a huge issue. They sort of relied on people pouring money in pretty continually until it was more established than it is.

      Hopefully they manage to survive, all people can do really is refer your friends and family if you have CF and wanna keep em I guess. If they were available I’d have a line 🙁

    4. Avatar photo Misled CF employee... says:

      Yes and Cityfibre’s management will still say “everything’s fine and going to plan”.

    5. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      @Matt

      They have a £4.9bn debt facility but so far I believe they’ve only actually used about £2bn of that and I expect the creditors will want to see some results from what they’ve already built before they release funds to build more.

  2. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

    Be interesting to see what these graphs look like in a years. By then the fern trading group should be merged (Giganet, Jurassic, Swish, All points) and a lot of their new fiber will have come on line. I suspect we’ll also see a few other mergers/acquisitions resulting in a few big changes.

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      Sooner this happens the better. Given they’ve been talking about this since the beginning of the year I would have expected to see some serious movement by now if the altnets want to stop hemorrhaging cash. There was rumours of a merger between VM and CF back in April but since then nothing so I assume it’s a no go.

  3. Avatar photo Optimist says:

    Interesting that 8 out of the top 10 areas are in Northern Ireland.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Northern Ireland’s network is quite different from most of Great Britain and FTTC wasn’t anywhere near as effective due to longer d-side lines.

    2. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      That’s politics in action for you, and a Brexit benefit for the people of Norn Iron.

      Given the difficulties with the dysfunctional Stormont parliament, where the devolved assembly hasn’t met for two years now, and the botched Brexit trade deal that means NI follows EU rules, the Westminster government have been desperate to try and show there’s benefits to NI from being part of the union. It’s not that they care about NI, but that they don’t want NI to break away from the UK on their watch, that’d be a badge of shame lasting for decades plus it would hugely rejuvenate Scottish nationalism.

      Whether the union really works for the people of the four nations is a matter of debate. As far as I can see, those who benefit most from current arrangements are most keen to leave the union, and those who benefit least are keen to retain it, but that debate is well off topic!

    3. Avatar photo Bill Jones says:

      A lot of patronising stuff here about N Ireland and the union. Nothing really to do with Brexit or Westminster sweetener benefits. Much more about local authority drive and great commercial partners grabbing the benefits of fibre infrastructure. The English could learn a lot.

  4. Avatar photo GG says:

    So, in conclusion – look at what endless amounts of English taxpayer cash has done for Northern Ireland …

  5. Avatar photo John says:

    Harlow will be an interesting case study. It is pretty much a dense urban area just north of London but almost completely devoid of any ducting. Because it is so dense, brainlets in government will claim it does not need any funding but lack of ducts means it’s one of the most expensive areas in the country and will be part of the hardest to reach

  6. Avatar photo H Wilkie says:

    No surprise that a lot of the bottom ten are in Scotland. Just another failure with the Scottish Paramount. Still waiting to hear when FTTP will be on my area

    1. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      Four of the bottom five are remote islands, with Copeland (Cumbria?) being the exception.

Comments are closed

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