Latest Point Topic report provides statistical and map information on ADSL 2+ (standard) and fibre optic broadband coverage by BT, Virgin Media and LLU operators such as TalkTalk and Sky.
The research firm has also made its forecast of broadband availability across the UK in the next five years.
Next generation, fibre broadband includes fibre to the cabinet (fttc) and fibre to the home (ftth) based rollouts which promise real world speeds of above 25Mbps to most users, hence, it is aptly called superfast broadband.
According to the new survey, nearly three fourths of premises in the UK (70%) can now access to next generation, high speed broadband via fibre networks. Individually, Virgin Media cable broadband which uses hybrid fibre technology can reach more than 13,400,000 properties. BT has better fibre broadband coverage figures, when compared to Virgin Media, currently reaching more than 16,000,000 premises across the UK.
TalkTalk, EE and Sky do not have their own network but offer their superfast services using BT’s networks. Apart from BT and Virgin Media, there are also small fibre operators which cover a tiny portion of UK map.
Fibre broadband coverage is set improve in the coming years thanks to BT’s own upgrade plans which will enable 20 millon households to access superfast broadband by the end of 2014. Government funds and local initiatives will further extend the coverage to 90% by the end of 2015. Point topic believes that UK fibre broadband could well reach 90% coverage in the next two years, ie., by the end of 2015.
ADSL 2+ broadband
BT can already offer high speed, copper broadband (ADSL 2+) which can deliver around 20Mbps to nearly 90% of premises. The combined ADSL 2+ reach by LLU (Local Loop Unbundled) operators such as EE, Sky and TalkTalk currently exceeds BT, with a figure of 92% +.
As for BT, its basic 8Mbps ADSL service is available to almost all premises and its 21CN upgrade programme is set to increase the ADSL 2+ coverage to 93% by the end of 2013.
As for Virgin Media, the availability of its cable based service is mostly restricted to urban areas and south of UK, however, the operator’s doubling of access speeds (up to 120Mbps) has helped it to become the fastest ISP network with widest coverage (13.4 million).