What does the future of UK broadband look like?

There are at last embryonic signs the Government has begun to wake up to the need to improve the countries broadband infrastructure.

We should not be fooled by the claims that 95% of premises can access superfast broadband – that figure includes residential properties and drops to around 60% when only business premises are measured.

BT seems to have accepted that the battle is not around FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) but FTTP (Fibre to the Premise).   The UK currently has around 2-3% coverage here compared to 45% in Lithuania and 90% in South Korea.

Openreach has announced an increase of 50% in the number of homes it plans to connect with more reliable and ultra-fast fibre-optics by 2020 – taking the total to three million.  It said it had secured approval from BT for a “Fibre First” approach, superseding an earlier plan based on squeezing faster Internet from existing copper telephone lines.  The first three million homes, of which around 500,000 new builds are already connected, will be spread across Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Other operators including Vodafone and Talk Talk are also focussing on this technology.  If the operators are now moving to fight in this space it can only accelerate the deployments.  This should significantly improve available speeds and reduce costs, providing plans are met.  But it is a start.

In the meantime the Government has reintroduced grants for businesses for companies wanting to put in larger dedicated circuits.  However, this was badly abused by many suppliers last time in that they simply raised their normal prices by the amount of the grant – so the end user did not benefit.  So if these are being offered ensure it is you and not the supplier that is benefitting.

If you have any questions regarding broadband and would like to know how we can help you, please get in touch.