More than half of UK connected with hybrid fibre, figures show

More than half of UK connected with hybrid fibre, figures show

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New research has revealed more than half of properties in the UK now at least partially rely on fibre optic cabling for their internet connectivity, although the proportion of UK homes using full fibre networks remains low.

An analysis by Thinkbroadband found that fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) is now used by a majority of home users, with 54.5 per cent of properties connected using this technology, up from around five per cent at the start of 2012.

Meanwhile, around a quarter of homes (24.8 per cent) continue to depend solely on ADSL or ADSL2+ technology. However, the number of premises that remain on this legacy connectivity solution has been steadily falling as partial fibre services become more popular.

Thinkbroadband stated that if this trend continues, the use of ADSL/ASL2+ could drop below ten per cent in the next three to four years, even before any potential bulk migrations are taken into account, as the industry continues to push toward fibre technology.

The study also revealed the uptake of full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology remains low, at just 3.1 per cent, but the research does indicate the pace of growth is strong.

"Starting in 2016, the trend is clear - full fibre is arriving and is starting to squeeze the other technologies," the company said.

"As the FTTP Fibre First roll-out from Openreach gets going, it will be interesting to see if the pull of full fibre makes for a different take-up rate ahead of any bulk migrations."

Thinkbroadband's figures also highlight how upgraded copper line technology, such as G.fast, is quickly being overtaken. Just 0.1 per cent of homes use this technology, with the website noting: "Given G.fast is invariably rolled out to areas where we know people can get 60Mbps or better from FTTC, and invariably have Virgin Media as an ultrafast option, take-up is likely to be a slow process."

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