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Top Full Fibre Providers by Share of UK New Build Homes – 2024

Friday, Mar 29th, 2024 (12:01 am) - Score 2,520
house building uk broadband

We are today publishing our 2024 summary of the top full fibre (FTTP) broadband ISP network operators with the greatest share of the UK new build homes market, which is naturally a table that ends up being topped by the market’s largest network access provider – Openreach (BT). But they’re not the only player.

At present over 98% of new build homes are already being constructed with support for Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) infrastructure (here), which hasn’t changed much in the past couple of years but does compare well with the figure of over 60% in 2017 (here). Just for comparison, more than 60% of all UK premises (new builds and existing properties) can access an FTTP network (Jan 2024 data) and that rises to 80% for gigabit-capable broadband (FTTP and Hybrid Fibre Coax combined).

NOTE: The latest postcode data for the full year wasn’t available at the time of writing, so our table uses partial data for the Nov 2022 to Oct 2023 period, which still gives a good overview of the market.

Suffice to say that a lot of progress has been made over the past few years and England now mandates gigabit-capable broadband for almost all new build homes (here), albeit with a few exceptions. Both Wales (here) and Scotland (here) are also following by this same example.

However, we also find it informative to do an annual check to see which full fibre operators are having the most impact on new build homes, which involves an analysis of information extracted from Thinkbroadband‘s excellent database of coverage.

As usual, we’ve split this into two tables below, one of which looks at developments over the past year (Nov 2022 to Oct 2023), while a second table summarises the total delivery since January 2018 (i.e. reflecting the period when full fibre started to become the primary roll-out focus for UK operators).

In addition, we’ve included an entry for Virgin Media’s gigabit-capable Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) network for context. Readers may note that Virgin still delivered a few HFC connections to new build sites in 2023, which is largely reflective of legacy contracts that have existed with property developers since before they switched to focus on FTTP (including via nexfibre).

Top UK Full Fibre Operators for New Build Homes in 2024

As before, there are some caveats with this data. For example, some very recent builds may be too new to have been spotted. This is because it takes a lot of time and effort to identify everything, thus the latest data may sometimes lag a few months behind the reality.

In addition, some tiny or individual developments may also be missed (e.g. personal projects or property conversions) and the availability of new postcode data can cause a further lag. On top of that, Thinkbroadband will only identify live / RFS services (i.e. completed builds where the service is available from an ISP). But otherwise the table below should, broadly, provide a reasonable reflection of the current new build homes market.

Should any operators want to ensure that all of their new build home sites are being included in this data, then please contact Andrew at Thinkbroadband to help fill in any blanks

NOTE: The following list is purely focused on new build homes created with full fibre coverage (plus HFC) – it does NOT include those only served by other technologies (FTTC, ADSL etc.).

Top 13 Full Fibre Operators for New Build Homes (2024)

Network Operator New Build Premises (Nov 2022 to Oct 2023)
Openreach (BT) 126,439
Hyperoptic 28,028
OFNL 7,483
FibreNest (Persimmon Homes) 2,163
Virgin Media Cable (HFC) 2,026
Virgin Media FTTP (RFoG) 603
Grain Connect 454
CommunityFibre 391
4th Utility 286
Glide 238
CityFibre 224
Brsk 157
YouFibre (Netomnia) 132

Openreach is naturally top of the table as the UK’s largest network operator, followed by Hyperoptic, with other players in the market – even major networks like Virgin Media – all sitting some way behind. The historic totals below tell a similar story, although we note that Virgin’s influence was much more significant in the past.

We should also add that Virgin Media holds an expanded network partnership with Open Fibre Networks Limited (here), which isn’t reflected in this data. But this does mean that consumers can often take Virgin Media’s broadband services on many, but not all, of OFNLs sites.

The data also reveals that a shade over 28% of the new builds added last year were being covered by alternative network providers, even if that is dominated by Hyperoptic and, to a lesser extent, OFNL.

Finally, for a bit of extra context, we’ll summarise how the table splits down when we look over a much wider range of data – gathered for new builds between 2018 to October 2023.

Top 20 Full Fibre Operators for New Build Homes (Since 2018)

Network Operator New Build Premises (2018 to Oct 2023)
Openreach (BT) 956,999
Hyperoptic 179,778
Virgin Media (HFC) 105,859
OFNL 89,931
Virgin Media FTTP (RFoG) 50,166
FibreNest (Persimmon Homes) 36,774
YouFibre (Netomnia) 22,778
Nexfibre – Virgin Media (FTTP XGS-PON) * 11,781
CityFibre 6,700
Zzoomm 6,613
FullFibre Limited 6,371
Trooli 5,888
CommunityFibre 5,583
KCOM 5,521
4th Utility 5,241
Grain Connect 4,782
Swish Fibre 3,714
Fibrus 3,206
Gigaclear 2,765

The observant among you might notice the oddity of including nexfibre in the table directly above, but not in the top table for the past year, particularly given that nexfibre’s network only went live in 2023. Part of this is down to the fact that they were building out for a while before the network went live, as well as some quirks of the postcode data and the age of the new build homes sites.

Otherwise, it’s no huge surprise to find that builds linked to Openreach, Hyperoptic, Virgin Media and OFNL remain some of the most dominant when it comes to provision for new build homes. All four of those players have always had a strong focus on such developments. FibreNest has also grown into this quite a bit in recent years.

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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
13 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    There’s becoming more and more estates where the house builder makes an exclusive deal with an altnet, my mates lad is in such a situation (I’m looking you OFNL) and the residents have little option but to use their services at the price they set (which are well above market average unsurprisingly). It’s a disgrace that Ofcom hasn’t clamped down on these operators. If it was Openreach, Ofcom would be down on them like a ton of bricks.

    1. Avatar photo John says:

      It’s actually funny how the O in OFNL stands for open, yet they close off their network and it is very hard for anyone else to get into these homes because new build areas completely reject poles

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      I’ll be branded a BT shill by some for this – but I wouldn’t go near a new build that didn’t have Openreach FTTP available. It would be high on the list of my priorities.

      Though I’d wonder how such an exclusivity agreement would be legal given that BT/Openreach has a USO and arguably therefore a right to seek access. (I don’t think any operator should have exclusivity)

    3. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      @Ivor

      On most of these new estates the roads and paths do not get adopted by the local authority and remain in the ownership of the developer who then also charges the fleecehold (sorry leasehold) residents service charges for their maintenance, therefore they have a veto of who does and doesn’t build infrastructure on the land. The poor sods who buy these houses are then screwed in every way possible.

    4. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Dave: the wayleave issue is the same for companies wanting to use PIA as well. They aren’t entitled to use Openreach plant in areas not adopted by the local authority they need wayleave which is entirely at the discretion of whomever owns the private streets.

    5. Avatar photo 10BaseT says:

      @Big Dave:
      Try to buy a newly built home in a newly established estate without this “feature”. Government prohibited leasehold so now all homes are on freehold with service subscription you can’t do anything with and literally nobody want to fix it. I live in one of these estates and we are being constantly told that any time soon the whole area will be adopted by the local council and more ISPs will be able to build their infrastructure but we will be still obligated to pay service charge and full amount on council tax.

    6. Avatar photo 10BaseT says:

      @John:
      Yeah and having no poles in sight I will also protest against poles. If OFNL, OR, Nexfibre, Netomnia can do underground why others can’t?

  2. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    But at Openreach will be subject to the same scrutiny of Ofcom as they are everywhere else. Altnets like OFNL not so much.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Joys of having SMP. Can still get that exclusivity nonetheless: they had that on the estate I am in right now.

  3. Avatar photo Shaukat says:

    Our new build of 10 years ago came with virgin media pre-installed.

    Walking down the estate, the majority of the premises have a cable connection, as the estate is on the edge of an exchange area, and a industrial area, there was no provision of fttp.

    A 5G mast overlooks the housing estate, with average speeds of 600Mbs. There is choice between cable and 5G, for broadband, until an alt net arrives.

  4. Avatar photo I hate Openreach says:

    This whole thing is driving me nuts – I’m slap bang in the middle of an area that is surrounded by FTTP but only a handful of properties (including mine) have been missed out.

    Openreach promised to start works late last year and then removed us at the beginning of 2024 because costs were apparently too high. Really starting to lose patience.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Frustrating that they ‘promised’ to start work last year: they should have really properly surveyed you before telling you anything and shouldn’t ever be promising anything.

  5. Avatar photo james smith says:

    just give the housing developer the bird and use 5g. Antenas are quite small and discreet. Speeds and prices are reasonable

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