back to article UK good for superfast broadband, crap for FTTP – Ofcom

Blighty is one of the top countries when it comes to superfast broadband but one of the worst for full-fibre connections, according to an in-depth report by Ofcom comparing the UK with 16 other nations. Superfast broadband is available to more than nine in 10 UK households, making it one of the top countries for 30Mbps, …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    but, but


  2. Sam Therapy

    This Friday, I'll be one of the 3%


    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        What will you do with all that bandwidth?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pr0n and cat videos but whatever you do, don't cross the streams. Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

        2. Baldrickk Silver badge

          What will you do with all that bandwidth?

          I'm getting FTTP sometime in March-May when I move.

          The answer to the question is... I don't have a clue. I'll be able to start livestreaming if I feel like it though.

          1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: What will you do with all that bandwidth?

            Easy, open my browser and get more annoying adverts wasting bandwidth ...

            At present, and for most usage a guaranteed 10Mbps bandwidth would suit me. On occasion for multiple streaming a 30Mbps is nice.

            I have absolutely no idea what the rest of a 300Mbps connection would be used for in the retail market - apart from the obvious marketing ploy of 'you really need this to improve our profit margins and it'll only cost oodles of wonga per month'.

    2. Adam Jarvis

      Dreams Bed Advert...

      Your comment has the sentiment of a Dreams Bed Advert, Sale ends 'Monday', which Monday?

      I wish Ofcom would stop being such a Narcissistic organisation that only seems to care about it's own continued worthless existence.


      "UK Good for Superfast Broadband", that's more an oxymoron. Let's clarify that, UK is good for obfuscated, bamboozled, legacy copper carcass aka 'wet string' FTTC that offers no one with a line of more than 500m (250m as the crow flies) any chance of ever getting 100Mbps+ Ultrafast Broadband, without replacing that copper with pure fibre FTTP for those lines.

      Ofcom, use some due diligence for once, we're fed up of the rose-tinted 'BT appeasement' bullshit statements.

      BT needs to be side stepped completely (Vodafone are showing the way), or forced to installed FTTP for 500m+ copper/alu lines. Pointless won't help these people. Ofcom need to stop obfuscating, making out could, it won't help longer 500m+ lines.

      We need to start this FTTP job now for these 500m+ lines, not another fcuking year from now. Pull your finger out Ofcom. Stop giving yourself compliments.

      The only real solution is more fibre in the ground, everything including 5G mobile is reliant on this, not more delaying bullshit. We have to find a way of doing this NOW, we've not solved this problem for these line lengths, Ofcom - so stop making out you have.

      Ofcom's "We're Technology Agnostic" statement shows what weezels work for Ofcom

      Merry Xmas.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dreams Bed Advert...

        Absolutely. No use I couldn't believe Orange a challenget in Spain was soon to have 18m premises passed for full fibre and 20m in France when we have next to nothing. It's more than BT it's an investment averse climate in the UK and somehow policy makers have managed to disincentivise both challengers and BT.

  3. FlatSpot


    I would love to get just 30Mb.. compared to the current BT 7Mb single supplier lock-in, with no hope insight of anything better and escalator price increases that would make Sky blush

    1. Bill M

      Re: 30Mb

      Great if they could first get everybody onto 10 Meg.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 30Mb

      I'm on superfast broadband, it's 11Mb.

      Outside of cabled (virgin etc) I don't know anyone getting more than 15Mb on "superfast".

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: 30Mb

        For a moment I read that as "Superficial Broadband"

  4. timnich

    Misleading stats

    9/10 may have access to a vdsl (fttc) connection, but a fair % of those will be too far away from the cabinet to get anywhere near 30M.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Misleading stats

      Exactly my position.

      property to exchange 2km

      property to fttc 2km - 50m

      exhange to fttc 50m

      nearest fttc 500m

      will they move the line to nearest fttc, NO


    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Misleading stats

      Agree highly misleading and selective use of statistics.

      For example:

      However, the availability and take-up of ultrafast services (offering speeds above 300Mbps), in the UK is comparatively low

      Firstly, to get speeds above 300Mbps, one of the follow scenarios needs to apply:

      1) over FTTC and your residence is within 100m of the cabinet.

      2) FTTP from an Alt-ISP such as Gigaclear. But then this can be discounted as strictly these 500Mbps services are classified as "Hyperfast" and not "Ultrafast".

      3) You are using bonded sub 300Mbps lines (FTTC/FTTP) to create an aggregated line. But then I suspect your usage scenario would be invisible to Ofcom et al.

      Note the threshold explicitly excludes:

      1) Virginmedia Vivid 300 upto 300Mbps service.

      2) BT Infinity 4, which also has a upto 300Mbps limit.

      Both of which are recently introduced and premium-priced services.

      So, given how, for many households, a 40/10 Mbps FTTC service is more than adequate, you have to ask whether this is a really meaningful metric.

      1. OoohSoFast

        Bye Bye BT!

        Having suffered for years being 7km from my 'local' exchange, 3G mobile broadband was a godsend.

        Speed test yesterday evening on my new Gigaclear fibre - 102 Mbps down and 98 Mbps up!

        And for £5 I can get a 48hr boost to 1Gbps.

        Will soon add the Vonage VoIP telephone service and finally become an EX-BT Customer.

        I'm not the only one!.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow. They actually acknowledge that we need to work on coverage before rolling out new technologies?

    ...though...everybody knows the telcos won't listen because there's no profit in improving existing systems...whereas there's tons in increasing version numbers and charging more for theoretically improved top speeds...

    Yeah, it may be hundreds of Mb per second...but that's not much good if the connection keeps dropping...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well that's what happens when you let BT handle things.

  7. Teiwaz Silver badge

    BT sucks Sky sucks Virginmedia sucks

    I can barely get a 35MB file down without it cacking out today...

    Damn their eyes....

    1. andyp-random-number

      Re: BT sucks Sky sucks Virginmedia sucks

      I spent years slagging off BT....then I got's been fantastic. I share it with my neighbour, I slung a cable through the wall and he has my wifi. 2 families on Netflix, iPlayer etc every evening, PC's, Tablets phones, cameras and we never find any issues. 2 years and not one day when there has been a problem. Our usage figures are often 300GB per month.

      Connection speed is only 28MB but previously we had 2.5MB with ADSL.

      For once in my life I've got lucky! It probably also helps that I'm only sharing my part of the cabinet with about 12 other houses :)

      BT do reboot my router a lot though but Netflix buffers so much the router can do a full restart and the film doesn't miss a beat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BT sucks Sky sucks Virginmedia sucks

        You'll slag them off again when you are cut off for breach of contract.

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I would be happy with a slower connection speed if the prices were reduced. The cheapest ADSL I can get costs about £20 per month yet I only get about a 5Mb connection. Most of this £20 goes on line rental. If the price was around half of that then I would be happy with the speed as I don't really need super fast but do want a service with unlimited download allowance as my average monthly use is about 50GB per month which I couldn't get anywhere near to this amount of data allowance on 4G for the same price.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    10 posts in and no one has pointed out that it seems Lord Adonis is flexing his muscles?


    1. teknopaul Bronze badge

      Re: 10 posts in and no one has pointed out that it seems Lord Adonis is flexing his muscles?

      Flexing his muscles,

      or stiffening his upper lip.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And Italy is pushing hard on FTTP/FTTH...

    Open Fiber won the government bid for fiber coverage in those areas deemed "uneconomical" by the telco, and despite the bid required only 31% 100Mb+ coverage, it offered 87% 100Mb+ coverage with FTTH technology.

    I've been lucky my little town (10,000 souls) is among the pilot group and is being cabled in these days... others will follow, and by 2020 most of the country should be covered.

    UK risks to fall even lower...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair Nigeria are heavy users of the internet. The crown prince himself has contacted me on many occasions.

  12. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Comparing with New Zealand _is_ in order

    Because the incumbent Telco in NZ tried to sell the government on the BT/Openreach model.

    After studying what had happened in the UK from 2000 to 2009 and documenting BT's continued market abuse, the NZ government forced the breakup of Telecom NZ in 2011 by the simple expedient of making it a condition of getting any more rural broadband funding.

    Separate shares, Boards, Offices, etc. None of this "separate company but incumbent owns the lines" malarky - it was suggested and rightfully pointed out that it left the market abusable.

    Making it a condition of funding saved a lot of legal fighting. TCNZ rolled over and played dead in a heartbeat, after making more FUD about splits than BT has been doing - and the same claims were rolled out there, to be proven false.

    NZ has 10% of the UK's population with 10 times the rugged terrain. If they can make it work, it's a sure bet the UK can.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "NZ has 10% of the UK's population with 10 times the rugged terrain."

      But NZ is not in the EU.

      Y'know? "Competition rules blah blah. Rural investment blah blah.."

      However NZ is the 53 largest economy,.

      The 52 largest is Romania, which is in the EU.

      And I'll bet there broadband is still better than the UK's.

      1. Anonymous Noel Coward

        Re: "NZ has 10% of the UK's population with 10 times the rugged terrain."

        Romania have cheap FTTP iirc.

  13. Roland6 Silver badge

    However, the availability and take-up of ultrafast services (offering speeds above 300Mbps, in the UK is comparatively low, largely due to a focus on the deployment of fibre-to-the-cabinet rather than fibre-to-the-premises networks.

    That is something incumbent telco BT has been repeatedly bashed for.

    Hang on a moment, it was Ofcom and the UK government who, when presented with the costed options, decided on an FTTC rollout rather than FTTP, as FTTC could deliver improved connections to more households quicker and more cheaply than FTTP,. It also had the advantage that FTTC would facilitate a future deployment of FTTP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trouble is by opting for FTTC we give BT an excuse to argue we don't need anything faster - which they will certainly try to do for the next few decades as they sweat their investment to the max.

      Meanwhile the UK will fall massively behind all the other industrialised nations that have a proper strategy for getting full fiber to everyone.

      1. mark 177

        Don't worry, the UK is ahead of Australia still.

        Soon, Nigeria will be ahead of Australia as well.

      2. inmypjs Silver badge

        "excuse to argue we don't need anything faster"

        And for the most part they would be right.

        I get 80M FTTC. I could get 300M from virgin but it is much more likely I would drop to 40M FTTC to save about a fiver a month and I am a heavy and techy internet user.

        1. Naselus

          "I could get 300M from virgin but it is much more likely I would drop to 40M FTTC to save about a fiver a month and I am a heavy and techy internet user."

          And in five years, when streaming 4k video is normal?

  14. Joe Montana


    Getting FTTP is even relatively easy in Myanmar...

    The UK will be behind North Korea too before too long.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mobile signal "must have"

    > "In an age when access to a mobile signal is regarded as a must-have ..."

    That's not true. I live near the beach in Cornwall, and we have no mobile reception anywhere around here.

    Very few people seem to care (OpenReach gets here, so internet speeds are decent). This is a tourist area, and it turns out tourists like being able to "disconnect" when they're on holiday. :)

  16. steelpillow Silver badge


    Monopoly on the wet string at the end of the fibre = eternal profit.

  17. John Miles 1

    Despite all the sound an fury about limited FTTP coverage in UK, when one looks at the figures it turns out that UK has the second highest monthly data download volume of the surveyed coutries - much higher than rest of Europe and a close second to South Korea.

    In other words, the current UK infrastructure is not actually an obstacle to a high level of usage.

  18. localzuk

    Kicking the ball down the road

    The push for FTTC instead of FTTP simply kicked the ball down the road, allowing BT to milk every last penny from their copper infrastructure.

    The UK government should have seen this and enforced FTTP rollout with the billions they handed to them.

    We're just going to be hit with the same issue again in a few years when ultra-fast connections are a necessity. Then again, that'd be something for a different government to worry about wouldn't it?

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Kicking the ball down the road

      "simply kicked the ball down the road, allowing BT to milk"

      Ahh it is all down to that wicked BT. Not like the rest of us don't 'milk' things like our cars by not buying a new one every year. I will be 'kicking' my car 'ball' down the road for several more years.

      1. localzuk

        Re: Kicking the ball down the road

        Your personal car is not the same as infrastructure necessary for the prosperity of the nation...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK good for superfast..... what a load of rubbish!

    "You're scheduled to be upgraded and we're surveying your area to make sure our initial fibre plans will work in your community.

    You can't order a fibre service today but typically it'll be available to your premises within the next nine months."

    It's been like this now for 5 years.

    I'm in a town centre and exchange is less than a mile away.

  20. timrowledge

    Good grief - 30Mb is considered super fast? I live miles into the rainforest on a Pacific island and I have fibre to my server cupboard (in my underground laboratory, of course) and gigabit internet.

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