Related Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP/H) networks generally transmit their data using a combination of laser light and high capacity optical fibre cable, which is capable of delivering Gigabit class speeds and will easily go many times faster in the future.

Networks like this are preferable to the less reliable electrical signals found inside copper or aluminium metal cables, which are usually significantly slower. On the flip side FTTP/H networks also take a lot longer and cost significantly more to roll-out than hybrid fibre services (e.g. FTTC), which mix both fibre with slower twisted pair or coax copper cables.

Each year collects as much coverage data as possible direct from related FTTP/H/B providers and we then combine it with related information supplied bPoint Topic in order to produce a rough overall annual estimate of total premises passed across the United Kingdom.

Crucially they exclude the more theoretical “addressable market” style coverage claims and only focus on actual deployments (i.e. mostly premises that can order the service today and get it installed fairly quickly for a relatively small setup fee, without requiring significant additional civil works).

Native FTTH/P/B Coverage Estimate (Premises Passed)
2013 = 186,500
2014 = 251,522
2015 = 351,642
2016 = 779,006
2017 = 1,084,500 (c.552,000 from altnets*)

* The altnets figure in brackets excludes Virgin MediaOpenreachKCOM and WighFibre.

In addition to this Virgin Media are hoping to build around an extra 2 million premises passed with FTTP (plus 2 million more via HFC EuroDOCSIS Cable) by the end of 2019 under their £3bn Project Lightning scheme. At present there are no public figures for their FTTP-only progress, which might be at least partly due to recent concerns over the roll-out progress

The biggest influence on this total continues to be Openreach, which during the spring claimed to have covered 400,000 premises with their FTTP network. At present the operator’s goal is to reach 2 million premises passed by 2020, although they’re also consulting on a future plan that could in theory push this to 10 million by around 2025; at a cost of £3bn to £6bn!

An independent model has estimated that the coverage of fixed “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) services across the United Kingdom has grown slightly from 94.7% in December 2017 to 95.1% at the end of March 2018, with most of the increase being fuelled by publicly funded projects.

Area % Fibre based % Superfast 24Mbps+ % Superfast 30Mbps+ % Ultrafast 100Mbps+ % Under 10Mbps USO
London 97.80% 97% 96.80% 71.60% 2.50%
England 97.60% 95.60% 95.30% 56.30% 3.30%
United Kingdom 97.60% 95.10% 94.80% 53.30% 3.60%
Rest Of Scotland (Excluding H&I) 97.20% 94.70% 94.40% 47.20% 4.40%
Wales 97.30% 94.50% 94.10% 32.80% 4.10%
Scotland 96.90% 93.60% 93.20% 43.30% 5.60%
Northern Ireland 98.80% 87.10% 86.20% 31.10% 8.70%
Highlands and Islands Only (Scotland) 90% 79.30% 78.10% 0.30% 16.50%


Here at Dyfed IT we are registered Access Broadband Cymru suppliers. Helping to make a superfast Wales | superfast Cymru.

The Access Broadband Cymru scheme provides grants to fund (or part-fund) the installation costs of new broadband connections for homes and businesses in Wales. It does not include monthly rental costs.

The scheme complements the Superfast Cymru programme where the Welsh Government is working in partnership with BT to deliver fast fibre broadband across Wales.  The scheme offers a Welsh Government funded grant to the value of 90% of the cost of the proposed installation, with a maximum grant of £800 available to eligible premises in Wales.