The analysis is based on the ThinkPoint broadband availability dataset which includes 1.7m postcodes.
This is our quarterly update on superfast and ultrafast broadband deployments in the UK. The analysis is based on the ThinkPoint broadband availability dataset which includes 1.7m postcodes. More granular, monthly potscode level broadband availability updates by ISP and technology, are available to ThinkPoint customers.
Openreach are speeding up their full fibre rollout. With a total standing at 4.5 million, they added nearly 650K FTTP premises between the end of March and the end of June 2021, up from 575K in Q1 2021. At the same time, the number of FTTC and ADSL premises has been declining and the Gfast rollout has been suspended as Openreach are focusing on FTTP deployment, aiming to cover 25 million premises with this technology by the end of 2026.
The largest Openreach FTTP footprints are in the large cities and in the regions outside London and the South East.
At the same time, smaller local authorities, located largely in Northern Ireland, dominate the top ten list by the percentage of premises covered with Openreach’s FTTP network.
In Q2 2021, Virgin Media also accelerated their broadband network rollout compared to the previous quarter. The operator added 108,000 premises to its Docsis 3.1 based Gig1 footprint and covered 34,000 additional premises with RFOG (FTTP).
As of the end of June 2021, Virgin Media’s combined Docsis 3.1 / FTTP footprint covered 8.4m premises. Although, their RFOG network is significantly smaller than Gig1, Virgin Media remain the second largest FTTP network operator in the UK after Openreach.
In terms of the percentage of premises covered by Virgin Media’s Gig1 network, as before the top ten list is dominated by London boroughs, with West Scotland and Northern Ireland also featuring in the ranking (Table 5).
Other areas with high Gig1 coverage rates are scattered in the Midlands, the South East, South Wales, the North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber (Figure 2).
Independent network operators have also been driving forward fibre rollout, with Hyperoptic retaining the largest retail FTTP footprint at more than 0.5m premises passed. Vodafone, using CityFibre’s network, is the second largest provider by FTTP premises passed, with Community fibre being a strong third. Overall, more than 2.5 million UK premises are covered by independent fibre networks.
As independent network operators proceed with the expansion of their fibre footprints, network overbuild gets more widespread. As of the end of June 2021, five local authorities had overlapping networks from three independent network operators, though the number of premises passed was rather modest (Table 6).
Another 20 local authorities had two independent networks intersecting. The ones with more than 2,000 of premises covered by two overlapping networks are listed below. Like in the case of Virgin Media’s Gig1 network, the independent fibre providers are also largely focusing their presence on London boroughs and larger cities.
Nationwide, more than 100K premises had access to two or three independent fibre networks at the end of June 2021. This is less than 1% of total UK premises, so there is plenty of scope for improving consumer choice.
There are still many pockets across the country with low broadband competition in terms of operators and technologies, which are being overlooked despite potential high demand for ultrafast speeds. In our June 2021 broadband availability dataset, we identified 5,905 LSOAs covering 632K households which could be an attractive target for deploying ultrafast broadband. We define such ‘attractive’ LSOAs as follows:
This month, we are featuring Cornwall, where we identified 78 LSOAs meeting the above criteria. They contain 137 postcodes with a total of 8,412 premises and have an average attractiveness score of 2.2, varying from 2.00 to 2.57.
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 check our ThinkPoint page.
To find out more you can contact us on 020 3301 3303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
 There will be generally a lag to the operator announcements for premises passed at the time since it takes us time to properly track and audit any new deployments, unless the operators tell us about them.
 We are slightly behind the figure reported by Thinkbroadband due to the differences in our methodologies for counting premises
 Differently from our previous updates, we do not report CityFibre and its reseller ISPs as separate networks in a specific area any more to avoid duplication.