Newly Released Data Highlights Digital Divide In The Next Decade

Point Topic Publishes Broadband Availability Forecasts for 2021 to 2030

Newly released data points towards missed targets and the potential for deeper broadband inequality in the UK

Point Topic have released detailed forecasts for broadband availability for all 1.7 million postcodes in the UK.  The data paints a mixed picture as the UK moves towards blanket gigabit broadband coverage.

At a turbulent time for public finances and with forecasts indicating that it was going to be difficult for Government to meet their original target of full fibre coverage for every premises in the UK by 2025, it was no surprise when plans were rolled back by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the latest spending review. Point Topic in fact forecasts a five year delay before the UK gets close to 100% coverage.

This was never a realistic goal and the scaling back of ambition has been signaled for some time.  We do not expect a fixed gigabit supply available to 100 per cent of homes and businesses until 2030 at the earliest.  In our opinion it is very unlikely to happen at all given the costs of deployment in certain situations and the evolution of alternatives.

Fixed wireless and the mobile alternatives, 5G and the implementation of full 4G-LTE can certainly be used to support policy goals as well as providing a useful backstop to allow reporting of gigabit availability to ‘100 per cent’ but nothing beats a fixed connection for satisfying the increasing demands for bandwidth at an affordable cost.

Point Topic project that 87.6% of the UK, on aggregate once all the footprints have been overlaid will have access to gigabit capable FTTP/B or cable [1]by the end 2025, falling more in line with the updated plans from the Conservative Government.It gets challenging and expensive in parts of the UK at least for fixed fibre solutions however the fact that money is being shuffled is unsurprising given the funding on offer along with the current issues and circumstances as well our forecasts released days prior.

Get in touch

The complete dataset used to produce this analysis is part of our ThinkPoint service which involves UK Broadband Mapping at postcode level. For more information see our ThinkPoint service page.

To find out more you can contact us on 020 3301 3303 or e-mail oliver.johnson@point-topic.com 

[1] ‘cable’ refers primarily to Virgin Media’s network.  It is a useful shorthand and includes all their network for the purposes of this report, co-ax and fibre.