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Nearly 11 Million Superfast 30Mbps Broadband ISP Lines in Britain by Late 2016

Posted: 01st Nov, 2011 By: MarkJ
point topicTelecoms analyst Point Topic has estimated that Britain (UK) will be home to more than 10.5 million superfast broadband ISP lines by the end of 2016 and 60% of broadband customers (half of all homes and businesses) will be downloading with speeds of 30Mbps (Megabits per second) or more by the same date; rising to 100Mbps by 2021.

But the firm admits that its forecast is both "risky and controversial" due to uncertainty about the technology and the market. A number of European Telco's are said to have been using Fibre-to-the-Cabinet ( FTTC ) for years, which currently dominates BT's UK rollout ( BT-Infinity ), and Point Topic claims that many have found it both hard to deploy and to connect customers economically.

uk superfast broadband uptake 2016

Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic, explained:

"It is always difficult to predict something which is expected to grow so fast. If the forecast is correct, the number of superfast lines will grow 50 times over between mid-2011 and the end of 2016. [But] the strength of demand is not there yet. Users are not exactly crawling over each other to get superfast broadband today.

But we do believe that the demand for bandwidth will continue rising steadily just as it has done for the past 15 years. BT is doing better than we expected a few months ago. Speeding up the rollout shows they are getting on top of the problems."

The news comes a day after BT announced that it was to speed up their rollout of related superfast broadband services, which would now complete by the end of 2014 instead of 2015 (here). By then BT expects to have at least 66% of the UK connected up to its 'up to' 80Mbps FTTC and 'up to' 300Mbps FTTP solutions.

Meanwhile Virgin Media can already reach half of the country with their 50Mbps service and the same will become true of their 100Mbps services by the middle of next year (2012). However mass market adoption of both will only occur if prices fall to levels that are more competitive with existing DSL (ADSL2+ etc.) solutions, which is easier said than done.
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