Government Close to Achieving 90 Percent UK Superfast Broadband Goal - ISPreview UK
he Government’s Broadband Delivery UK project takes a lot of flak, but this often overlooks some of the good progress that has been made. New data now appears to confirm that the original 90% coverage target for “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) availability is finally within touching distance. At this point we should highlight that, prior to BDUK, commercial investment had already helped operators like BT and Virgin Media to expand fixed line superfast connectivity to around 70% of the UK. However those ISPs were slow or unwilling to invest in connecting the final 30%, which are more expensive to tackle, and so the Government’s BDUK programme was formed.

The 90% target was originally set as part of BDUK’s first funding phase (530m from the Government / BBC TV Licence fee) and this was initially targeted to be achieved during 2015, although they later tweaked that to “by 2016” in order to allow some breathing room after administrative delays.

All of the contracts for BDUK Phase One are being delivered by BT, which has predominantly used its ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service and a little FTTP. A second target also exists for pushing this coverage to 95% by the end of 2017/18 (adds another 1 million+ premises with some input from altnet ISPs), but we’ll focus on that after 90% is achieved.

The most recent data from BDUK, which was published at the very end of 2015 (here), reported that 3.5 million additional premises have so far benefited from the programme; the 90% coverage target is expected to be achieved at around the 4 million+ mark (a Spring 2016 completion is expected).

Naturally we wanted to offer a bit more data to show the current level of “superfast” (24Mbps+) and “fibre based” (includes lines that also deliver sub-24Mbps speeds) coverage by each local authority / district area. Luckily we can always rely upon Thinkbroadband to help us fill in the gaps and they’ve kindly furnished us with the full data.

Overall some 88.7% of the UK can now order a superfast broadband connection (92.5% for raw “fibre based” coverage), although obviously this estimate doesn’t account for any problems (slow speeds) caused by local network capacity or poor home wiring etc. Likewise the figures below only include the impact from BT, Virgin Media and KC’s deployments (altnets only have a tiny impact at national scale and aren’t yet factored).

NOTE: The following list of local authorities looks at more than county-level coverage. For example, Poole and Bournemouth are both part of Dorset in England, although they also have their own separate entries below. Likewise we also include districts.

Wales (85.1% “superfast”)


Authority Name % Fibre Based Coverage % Over 24Mbps (“Superfast”)
Abertawe – Swansea 95.5 92.9
Blaenau Gwent – Blaenau Gwent 99.1 96.5
Bro Morgannwg – the Vale of Glamorgan 93.6 90.1
Caerdydd – Cardiff 97.3 95.4
Caerffili – Caerphilly 97.1 94.2
Casnewydd – Newport 96.2 93.8
Castell-nedd Port Talbot – Neath Port Talbot 93.2 89.8
Conwy – Conwy 88.2 80.2
Gwynedd – Gwynedd 83.8 72.8
Merthyr Tudful – Merthyr Tydfil 99.1 94.2
Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr – Bridgend 96 93.1
Powys – Powys 63 52.7
Rhondda Cynon Taf – Rhondda Cynon Taf 97.9 94.3
Sir Benfro – Pembrokeshire 75.4 68.1
Sir Ceredigion – Ceredigion 62.1 51.7
Sir Ddinbych – Denbighshire 82.6 77.3
Sir Fynwy – Monmouthshire 80.3 71.5
Sir Gaerfyrddin – Carmarthenshire 71.4 65.7
Sir y Fflint – Flintshire 92.3 86.8
Sir Ynys Mon – Isle of Anglesey 81.4 72.5
Tor-faen – Torfaen 96.1 94.6
Wrecsam – Wrexham 91.7 85.8
Scotland (82.1% “superfast”)

Authority Name % Fibre Based Coverage % Over 24Mbps (“Superfast”)
Aberdeen City 93.2 91.2
Aberdeenshire 78.3 67
Angus 78.7 72.6
Argyll and Bute 50.2 43.7
City of Edinburgh 93.7 93.5
Clackmannanshire 85.6 84.4
Dumfries and Galloway 81.8 69.5
Dundee City 98.1 97.8
East Ayrshire 86.5 80.4
East Dunbartonshire 91.6 89.9
East Lothian 77.4 72.6
East Renfrewshire 90.8 89.4
Falkirk 90.4 89.4
Fife 87.5 85
Glasgow City 92 90.9
Highland 73.7 61.6
Inverclyde 90.3 88.6
Midlothian 76.6 71.3
Moray 82.4 73.8
Na h-Eileanan an Iar 39.7 26.1
North Ayrshire 81.4 77.5
North Lanarkshire 93.7 91.6
Orkney Islands 44 37.9
Perth and Kinross 70.2 62.9
Renfrewshire 91.8 90.3
Scottish Borders 72.8 61.9
Shetland Islands 48.4 38.9
South Ayrshire 85.1 81.4
South Lanarkshire 91.6 87.3
Stirling 80.3 74.7
West Dunbartonshire 95.8 95.2
West Lothian 84.5 82
Northern Ireland (77.7% “superfast”)

Authority Name % Fibre Based Coverage % Over 24Mbps (“Superfast”)
Belfast East 97.2 96.2
Belfast North 97.2 96.3
Belfast South 95.9 95
Belfast West 98.5 96.5
East Antrim 90.2 80.3
East Londonderry 95.5 74.8
Fermanagh and South Tyrone 94.6 56.4
Foyle 97.2 91.9
Lagan Valley 96.8 76.9
Mid Ulster 94.1 56.7
Newry and Armagh 95.5 63.7
North Antrim 89.3 61.6
North Down 96.2 90.8
South Antrim 93.9 73.5
South Down 91.6 59.7
Strangford 93.8 73.3
Upper Bann 94.3 80.5
West Tyrone 95 58.3

Check out the https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local micro-site for a searchable database of broadband network coverage across the United Kingdom.
Note: For the list of English regions, please click the link to the article above.