Determined to shake its reputation as a full fibre laggard, the UK has seen FTTH penetration levels pass 1% for the first time

The UK has been included in the FTTH Council’s Global FTTH Index, for the first time, as penetration levels officially passed the 1 per cent threshold in 2018. As of September 2018, the UK’s penetration levels for combined fibre to the home (FTTH) and fibre to the building (FTTB) services stood at 1.5 per cent of the population.

The UK was ranked as the 33rd best country in Europe for fibre penetration. While the country still languishes a long way behind the vast majority of its European neighbours, the UK is ramping up fibre network deployment, with the number of FTTH/FTTB subscriptions up by 87 per cent from 2017. 

UK telecoms trade association, INCA, singled out the role of altnet providers, such as CityFibre, Hyperoptic, OFNL, KCOM, Gigaclear and Truespeed in accelerating the deployment of full fibre services in the country.  

“We are delighted to see the UK included in the FTTH Council’s annual report, with this confirming that the UK is playing a major role in building Europe’s fibre broadband infrastructure,” said Malcolm Corbett, CEO at INCA. 

“This recognition has been a long-time coming and it is no coincidence that it comes after such significant progress in the independent sector where smaller operators have grown substantially to become viable competitors to the incumbents. The UK’s ranking is both a credit to their work and the Government’s efforts in recognising that independent network build-outs are critical in developing a world class digital infrastructure in the UK that is fit for future requirements.”

The UK government has called on the industry to provide 15 million FTTH connections by 2025, in order to safeguard the evolution of the country’s digital economy.  


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