UK gigabit broadband availability passes 10%

UK gigabit broadband availability passes 10%

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New figures have revealed that more than one in ten premises in the UK are now able to access gigabit broadband speeds via full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connectivity.

This is according to stats compiled by Thinkbroadband, which revealed 10.1 per cent of homes and businesses across the country are now able to connect to such services, equating to around three million premises.

It noted this marks a significant increase from the figures of 5.47 per cent at the end of 2018 and 8.13 per cent in June this year, which indicates efforts to improve the quality of broadband provision in the UK are gathering pace. However, there is still a long way to go if government targets to connect every home and business to gigabit-capable services by the end of 2025 are to be met.

Thinkbroadband suggested that now initial deployments are live and early teething troubles have been dealt with, the pace should pick up rapidly over the next few years, as traditionally, it is the first ten per cent and final ten per cent of connections that prove the most challenging.

"Hopefully the next ten percentage points will pass in perhaps a year to 18 months rather than the over a decade it has taken to get to this point," the organisation stated.

The figures also revealed that nearly six out of ten premises (58.68 per cent) now have access to 'ultrafast' services, which are defined as those capable of speeds in excess of 100Mbps, while superfast services of at least 24Mbps now reach 96.38 per cent.

However, around 2.5 per cent of homes and businesses still fail to achieve speeds of 10Mbps, although these locations will be able to request improvements from next year under the terms of the incoming Universal Service Obligation.

There is also still a wide variation around the country when it comes to access to FTTP services. Thinkbroadband noted that while some locations, such as Belfast, York, Milton Keynes and Salford, have more than 50 per cent of premises able to access this technology, other districts still have very limited coverage.

While many of these less-equipped areas are rural, such as Dorset and Orkney, some urban areas are also lagging behind. For instance, the cities of Wolverhampton and Portsmouth were among the areas where fewer than 0.5 per cent of premises have access to FTTP.

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