The alternative operators – scale, metrics and ambitions

Altnets close in on a million

Altnet report from Point Topic and INCA in April 2018

A new report for INCA from Point Topic reveals the increasing impact the independent network operators are having in the UK.

You can download the report from the INCA site here –

“Today there are nearly a million premises within reach of an ultrafast full fibre alternative broadband network, quite a milestone for any industry.

The need for the UK to have a properly competitive, healthy and functional broadband market has never been more acute and the altnets are essential for that to happen.  The UK is a digitally savvy nation with a real history of innovation and it’s great to see the vibrancy and enthusiasm the altnets have added to that and it’s reflected in the market today,” says Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.

While the UK recently achieved the goal of providing 95% of premises with ‘superfast’ broadband coverage the world has moved quickly on.  There are now more than 700 million subscribers on ultrafast networks globally and the next round of deployments and technologies is well under way.  In the UK Virgin Media and Openreach both have significant coverage already but the number of serious players in the market has increased.

Alternative networks powering onwards

At the end of 2017, Point Topic estimates the UK’s altnets passed or addressed over 998,500 homes and businesses with fixed superfast networks at the end of 2017.  The majority, but not all of this coverage, uses ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) technology. Fixed infrastructure live connections at estimated at 207,500.

By 2025, it is expected the number of premises passed by full fibre infrastructure supplied by altnets will rise to nearly 14.25 million homes and business, covering 50% of the UK’s population, which may include some double counting from overbuild. This will include around 4.8 million live connections.

“The alternative network operators have really made an impact in the last eighteen months.  It’s more important than ever to understand the role they have to play in the UK’s digital future and we’re delighted to be able to work with the industry and INCA to promote improved and improving information sets and insight,” says Johnson.


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