UK hits 95% superfast broadband coverage

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 30 January, 2018

UK hits 95% superfast broadband coverage

The United Kingdom has recently reached its target of achieving 95% coverage of “superfast broadband” services with speeds of over 24 Mbps, according to figures compiled by ThinkBroadband.

Just over 95% of residential and business premises are now able to access a broadband connection of over 24 Mbps and nearly as many (94.7%) are able to access speeds of over 30 Mbps, the broadband comparison site said.

In addition, 97.5% of premises are within the coverage area of fibre-based broadband, but just 3.4% are covered by full fibre (fibre to the premise or fibre to the building) broadband.

But coverage is not consistent across the market. In some areas superfast broadband coverage is reaching 99%, whereas coverage is much lower in others such as the City of London (50.3%).

More than one million premises (3.8% of the total) are also limited to services under the legal universal service obligation (USO) of 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload, with around 0.7% of premises not even able to attain 2 Mbps download speeds.

“The onus now needs to be on getting as many people as possible to upgrade to the superfast services where they are available, especially in areas where public money was used,” ThinkBroadband said.

Higher take-up will increase the gainshare payback, and if this happens during 2018 there is real hope that more local authorities will skip the Universal Service Obligation by announcing plans to deliver 100% superfast broadband coverage ... by 2020.”

By way of comparison, nbn co announced in November that more than half of Australian premises are now able to connect to the nbn, although a number of non-nbn services are capable of achieving speeds above the 24 Mbps threshold and a number of nbn connections do not use fibre.

But Australia has been shown in multiple speed test comparisons to rank just 55th in the world in terms of average fixed broadband speeds. Results released in January suggest that Australia’s average broadband speeds are just 25.88 Mbps, which compares to a 26th position and average speeds of 52.53 Mbps in the UK.

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