Metrics For The UK Independent Network Sector 2021

Nearly £11bn will be invested by the ‘altnets’ by 2025 to help cover the UK with fibre

Report shows that sector is four times larger than a decade ago

Compiled for the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) by Point Topic using data provided by independent network operators, this years ‘Metrics for the UK independent network sector’ report shows that the sector is four times larger than a decade ago and continues to attract significant sums of private investment. Nearly £11bn will be invested in the delivery of new full fibre connectivity by independent providers before the end of 2025 and over 2.5m homes and businesses in the UK can now connect to an independent fibre broadband network, according to new figures published.

The Point Topic report provides an overview of the UK’s independent network operator sector as of end-2020 and early 2021 in terms of scale, coverage, ambitions and concerns.

Full fibre coverage from the independent sector is significant and accelerating,” said Point Topic’s CEO, Oliver Johnson. “Conditions in the UK are encouraging for the altnets.  Demand and supply are being driven by a renewed consumer appreciation and desire for better downstream and upstream capacity and stability as well as access to more finance and an encouraging regulatory environment,” he concludes.

Other key points in the report include:

  • 845,000 properties are currently connected to either a full fibre or gigabit fixed independent network.
  • Gigabit infrastructure supplied by independent operators is expected to reach over 6.6 million premises at the end of 2021 with an estimated 1.1 million live connections made.
  • By end-2025 nearly 30 million homes and businesses will connect to an altnet, with around 6.2 million live connections made.
  • Interest and commitment are growing strongly in the independent network sector, with £5.6 billion of investment and expenditure already spent or committed to be spent in early 2021.

The full INCA/Point Topic report can be viewed at