UK Regulator Ofcom has released its Summer 2023 Study, based on mobile coverage and fixed broadband availability in the UK, as of April and May this year
According to the ‘Connected Nations’ report, “Full fibre” (FTTP) now reaches 52% of the UK, equalling 15.4 million households. This is up from 48% in January this year. The report notes that this growth has been predominately driven by deployments from larger fibre operators, but has been supported by a number of smaller altnets, serving individual regions and communities.
However, the UK’s coverage of fixed “superfast broadband”, remains unchanged at 97%, but Northern Ireland saw an increase of 1%, up to 97%. The 3% unable to access this are likely to be in hard-to-reach areas. The study found that the ‘vast majority’ of the UK can access what is described as ‘decent broadband’, meaning download speeds of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) and upload speeds of 1 Mbit/s.
Gigabit-capable broadband availability has reached 75% of homes, or 22.4 million, up from 21.9 million (73%) in January this year, when their last report was published.
Regarding mobile coverage, there were no notable increases since the January report, however coverage remains stable, with 93% of the UK predicted to have good outdoor 4G coverage from one operator at least.
5G coverage continues to expand, with 85% of premises able to access outdoor 5G coverage.
The usage of 3G continues to decline, with its switch off already underway. Virgin Media O2 confirmed this week that its 3G switch off will begin in 2025, becoming the final major UK operator to do so.