Updating the Broadband Infrastructure Index – ultrafast, infrastructure competition and beyond

Broadband Infrastructure Index

We have been scoring our Broadband Infrastructure Index (BII) since 2010, updated in 2012* and we are now ready to make another update to version 3 of the index.

Figure 1:  GB Broadband Infrastructure Index v3 (quintiles) – December 2018

As time passes different technologies, conditions and supply characteristics change the impact of components of the index.  For example the importance of ADSL related coverage and metrics has diminished significantly since our first version at the start of the shift from ADSL to FTTC in the UK.

The Government’s encouragement of infrastructure competition, the Openreach and BT separation and the influx of investment in the last five years in the UK has meant the arrival of more technology choices available to the consumer, business and/or residential.

The index is broadly technology neutral since it focuses on the capabilities rather than the (sometimes flexible) labels applied to their networks as well as what constitutes coverage or ‘premises passed’.

The primary changes since then are:

  1. We have replaced the ‘cable coverage’ row with ‘Index of wholesale networks’ to allow for multiple networks
  2. The ‘2Mbps services’ has been replaced by the ultrafast and superfast coverage indices
  3. Upstream as well as downstream bandwidths are included
  4. Forecasts have been removed from this index and now have their own outputs – the rationale being this index is a measure today rather than a projection tool.

The components of version 3 are laid out in the following table along with sources:

Local Authorities and the components of the BIIOne advantage is that this is a geographically scalable index.  We can compare scores/indexes/ranks for Local Authorities as well as postcodes or individual addresses.  Below are Local Authority map with associated dataset/s available for download or ask us at info@point-topic.com.

Local Authorities and the components of the BII

Perhaps the most striking outcome of reviewing the components of the BII is the impact of FTTP/B from various suppliers but primarily Openreach.  The upstream advantages that full fibre offers can’t yet be matched by other technologies (xDSL or cable) and the impact on areas that are relatively low density can be seen in Wales in particular.

Figure 2: GB Upstream Index v3 (quintiles) – December 2018

This correlates as noted with the deployment of Openreach FTTP.

Figure 3: GB FTTP by proportion of premises covered (quintiles) – December 2018

The impact of the cable and FTTC/Gfast coverage, proportionally much larger than FTTP, can be seen in the Downstream component of the index.

Figure 4: GB Downstream Index v3 (quintiles) – December 2018

Infrastructure Competition

As regulations are tweaked and local and national authorities seek to stimulate full fibre broadband coverage we see more overbuild and multiple networks and suppliers coming to a number of areas in the UK.

Figure 5: GB Network Index v3 (quintiles) – December 2018

We have provided a spreadsheet of the BII and its components at Local Authority level for you to carry out your own analysis and comparisons.  More analysis and mapping and The full postcode level outputs are available to subscribers to Point Topic’s thinkpoint product.

Download the accompanying dataset here


The full version of this report is included in Point Topic’s UK Plus service. Please contact Simona Pranulyte on +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail simona@point-topic.com for more details.


[*] Data from 2013 here – http://point-topic.com/free-analysis/uk-local-authority-broadbandranking/v16-broadband-infrastructure-index-summary-for-uk-plus-and-free-analysis/

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