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UK fibre optic broadband statistics 2024

This page includes relevant fire optic broadband statistics for 2024, such as UK fibre optic broadband growth, its availability across the country as well as regional, average download and upload speeds, the reliability of UK fibre optic broadband, and different types of fibre optic broadband available across the country.
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Feature image with the title "200+ UK fibre broadband statistics 2024" next to a fibre optic cable

According to UK fibre broadband statistics, 97% of UK premises currently have a superfast, fibre broadband connection available to them. This provides download speeds of at least 30Mbps—the majority of which is mostly supplied by part-fibre, part-copper networks of cables. 

Whilst superfast fibre broadband is currently sufficient for the majority of UK households, the demand for such services is increasing, and there are still around 750,000 premises in the UK without a superfast broadband connection. 

Our research has collated various UK fibre broadband facts and stats for 2024, by analysing and comparing fibre broadband trends across the country. This report includes information on the UK fibre broadband market, how it has evolved since its inception, and predictions about the future of fibre broadband provision in the UK. 

Top 10 UK fibre broadband statistics

  • According to Ofcom, 97% of UK premises currently have a superfast, fibre broadband connection available to them.

  • There are still around 750,000 premises in the UK without a superfast broadband connection.

  • Three-quarters (75%) of the UK can now access gigabit-capable broadband.

  • More than half (52%) of UK premises have access to full fibre broadband.

  • There is now a 26% difference between average internet speeds in urban and rural areas of the UK (70.3Mbps vs 56.0Mbps). 

  • The UK Government’s Project Gigabit aims to bring gigabit-capable coverage to 85% of the UK by 2025.

  • Around 93% of UK homes with access to broadband took out a package with an advertised speed of 30Mbps or more.

  • Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of gigabit broadband access of any UK nation, at 91%.

  • About 88% of broadband connections in the UK had actual speeds of at least 30Mbps.

What are the different types of fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is a type of high-speed broadband that uses fibre cables to connect your premises to the internet.  

There are three main types of fibre broadband connection in the UK:

Diagram to show the difference between the three different types of fibre optic broadband

1. Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) 

Also known as superfast broadband, Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) involves running fibre cables between the broadband provider’s exchange point and the phone cabinet on the street near your home. Copper cables then connect the phone cabinet to your premises to deliver your fibre broadband. 

2. Fibre To The Premises (FTTP)

Most commonly known as full fibre, but sometimes known as ‘Fibre To The Home’ (FTTH) or ultrafast broadband, FTTP involves running cables directly into your home, and avoids a roadside cabinet like FTTC. The result is a much faster, fibre broadband connection. 

3. Fibre To The Node (FTTN)

Fibre To The Node (FTTN) is roughly the same as FTTC, only the street cabinet is placed several kilometres from your street. Copper wiring is then used to make up the remaining distance to your home. 

FTTP is capable of connection speeds well beyond 1000Mbps. However, most fibre broadband connections in the UK are superfast FTTC, providing download speeds of between 30-70Mbps. 

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of broadband that run off fibre cables in the UK:

  • Superfast partial fibre: FTTC connection and currently available to 97% of UK homes, providing speeds between 30-70Mbps. 

  • Full fibre: FTTP connection with speeds of up to 1Gbps and above, in some cases.  

  • Virgin Media cable: A separate, fixed-line broadband network provided by Virgin Media that uses coaxial cables instead of phone lines for the final leg of the journey. These are partly fibre, and a lot faster, resulting in speeds of around 1Gbps. 

Availability of UK fibre broadband by type   

As of Q2 2023, more than 97% of the UK now has fibre broadband of some kind, whether it be FTTC, VDSL, G.fast, cable, or FTTP. Comparatively, full fibre broadband sits at almost 52%.  

At the time of writing, the vast majority (97%) of the UK is now fed by superfast broadband (> 30Mbps), with a similar percentage receiving speeds greater or equal to 30Mbps. By comparison, ultrafast broadband (>100Mbps) is currently accessible to more than three-quarters (80%) of the UK population, followed by just over 75% for gigabit broadband.  

A breakdown of the percentage of UK fibre coverage by type of broadband

Bar graph showing the percentage of fibre optic coverage in the UK by broadband type

Social tariff broadband deals are now also available on the market, for UK families on low incomes receiving Universal Credit, or other governmental financial support.

We recently found that two-thirds of financially vulnerable households were unaware that low-income broadband tariffs existed. This equates to around 10 million UK households that could save up to £243 a year—or £20 a month—just by getting cheaper broadband deals. However, in reality, less than 2% are taking up this opportunity. 

UK fibre broadband industry and growth

Our latest UK fibre broadband statistics report shows a continued rise in the accessibility of fibre broadband services across the UK. 

As of May 2023, around 500,000 more homes now have access to gigabit broadband compared to the beginning of the year. The numbers increased from 21.9 million homes to 22.4 million, meaning that three-quarters (75%) of UK houses now have access to gigabit broadband.

A breakdown of UK households and the percentage that have different types of fibre broadband in 2023

Waffle chart to show the percentage of UK households that have different types of broadband

Full fibre coverage has also continued to accelerate in this time, with 15.4 million homes (52%) now having access—a 15% increase from May 2022. This increase has been largely down to  improvements in fibre infrastructure across the UK from larger operators, as well as a string of smaller providers supplying services to individual regions and communities.

Superfast broadband has remained stable at 97% since Q3 2022. The number of premises unable to get decent broadband is down 49% from 2021, to 62,000, representing 0.2% of all UK premises. The lack of increase in superfast accessibility suggests that there’s been continued difficulty in successfully delivering the final 3% of UK households without access to superfast broadband. 

Decent broadband is defined by the UK Government as ‘a broadband connection offering at least 10Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed’.

As of March 2023, around 93% of UK homes with broadband access opted for a superfast package (of 30Mbps or faster). This has increased by nearly a third (29%) over the last five years, and by 8% within the last two years.

A breakdown of the percentage of UK residents who’ve taken up a fixed super-fast broadband product between 2018 and 2023

Area graph showing the percentage of people with a fixed superfast broadband package by month/year.

According to Ofcom, in May 2023, approximately 75% of properties had availability of gigabit networks, with just over half (52%) connected to a full fibre service. 

UK fibre broadband industry growth by country

The latest UK fibre broadband stats show that every UK nation has seen its full fibre access expand within the last year. As of May 2023, more than half (52%) of the UK had access to full fibre broadband–a rise of 10% since September 2022.

A breakdown of UK full fibre broadband accessibility rates in the UK by country between 2021 and 2023

Line graph showing the accessibility rates of full-fibre broadband across the UK by month/year.

While England, Wales, and Scotland each reported almost identical figures of between 40% and 41% in September 2022, this rose to 49-51% in May 2023. 

Northern Ireland’s accessibility rate increased to 90% (+1%) over this period–nearly two-fifths (39%) more than any other UK nation.

A breakdown of UK gigabit broadband accessibility rates across the UK by country between 2021 and 2023

Line graph showing the accessibility rates of gigabit broadband across the UK by month/year.

As with full fibre access, the latest gigabit broadband statistics show a sharp rise across the UK in terms of gigabit broadband accessibility, ranging from +6% to +11% between May 2022 and May 2023 across all four UK nations. 

The UK’s provision for gigabit broadband grew by almost 7% in this time, meaning three-quarters (75%) of the UK can now access this type of broadband. 

On a country level, Wales increased the most (11%) over the last 12 months, followed by England (7%), Scotland (6%), and Northern Ireland (6%).

Northern Ireland once again recorded the highest figures (91% in May 2023) for UK gigabit broadband access for the sixth quarter running across all UK nations. This is 15% more coverage than England (the next highest), and 31% greater than Wales (the lowest rate of coverage across the UK). 

Which area of the UK has the highest access to gigabit broadband? Northern Ireland has the highest access to full fibre in the UK, with 87% of its citizens able to access the high-speed service.

A breakdown of UK superfast broadband availability rates by country between 2021 and 2023

Access to superfast servicesSeptember 2021January 2022May 2022September 2022January 2023May 2023
England96%97%97%97%97%97%
Northern Ireland91%92%93%94%96%97%
Scotland94%94%94%94%95%95%
Wales94%95%95%95%96%96%
UK96%96%96%97%97%97%

(Source: Ofcom)

With regards to superfast services, the UK has remained at 97% accessibility since January 2022, with increases of between 0-5% across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland over this period. Northern Ireland had the biggest increase during this time–rising from 92% to 97% (+5%) between January 2022 and May 2023.

Recent superfast fibre broadband stats for the UK show that all four nations had accessibility rates for superfast broadband above 90% since 2021. 

With rates of 97%, England and Northern Ireland has the highest overall accessibility, while Scotland’s total of 95% is the lowest of the four home nations.

Unsurprisingly, superfast broadband access had lower rises than the other types of broadband covered in this study. This is largely due to the already high rates of access since September 2021, and suggests each country faces difficulties in providing superfast broadband access to some of the final, hard-to-reach locations.

Fibre broadband statistics across the UK

As of 2023, more than half (52%) of UK households had access to full fibre, FTTP broadband. When broken down to a country level, Northern Ireland was leading the way, with around 90% of houses having access to full fibre, FTTP broadband –compared to almost 51% for England, 50% for Wales, and 49% for Scotland.

A breakdown of fibre broadband stats across the UK and the percentage in each country who have access to superfast and full fibre broadband

Comparative bar chart showing fibre optic broadband statistics across the UK and the percentage in each country who have access to superfast and full-fibre broadband

By contrast, over 97% of UK households have access to superfast broadband (at least 30Mbps), ranging from 97% in England and Northern Ireland down to 95% in Scotland.

Availability of fibre broadband across urban and rural parts of the UK

The latest fibre broadband statistics report from Ofcom indicates that, as of January 2023, less than half (44%) of UK urban premises have access to full fibre broadband.  In contrast just 38% of UK rural areas have similar access.

A breakdown of the UK premises that have full fibre broadband in rural and urban areas for different countries of the UK, as of May 2023

butterfly chart comparing the rural and urban full-fibre broadband accessibility rates across the UK.

On a country-by-country level, Northern Ireland is very much leading the way, with 84% of its urban locations receiving full fibre broadband. The corresponding figure for Wales is just 45%, and even less for both England (43%) and Scotland (41%). 

However, more than two-thirds (70%) of Northern Ireland’s rural premises have full fibre internet, with figures of over a third for England and Wales’ rural locations (37% and 36%, respectively). Just under a quarter (22%) of Scotland’s rural premises is provided with full fibre broadband—the lowest percentage across the UK. 

A breakdown of UK broadband speeds by urban and rural areas

Pie charts showing the breakdown of UK broadband speeds by urban/rural areas

The average gap between UK urban and rural broadband speeds has shortened in recent months. During the peak-time period of 8pm-10pm, there was a 26% difference between average speeds for urban and rural areas of the UK (70.3Mbps vs 56.0Mbps). This is a 32% decrease from 2022, largely due to the increased uptake and accessibility of fibre broadband in rural areas. 

Almost 87% of UK urban areas were able to access broadband speeds of 30Mbps or more in 2023, compared to just over three-quarters (78%) of UK rural areas. 

What is the difference in average broadband speeds between urban and rural areas?

In 2023, UK urban areas had a 9% faster average minimum speed compared to rural areas (50.6Mbps vs 46.3Mbps). Additionally, the difference between average maximum speeds for urban and rural areas was just 4.8Mbps (10%), in favour of urban locations.

A breakdown of urban and rural download speed statistics for UK broadband 2023

Butterfly chart comparing the average rural and urban download speeds in the UK in 2023

The average peak-time speed (between 8pm and 10pm) was 4.5Mbps (9%) faster in UK cities by comparison, with a 4.7Mbps (9%) difference for the average 24-hour speeds.

A breakdown of fibre broadband statistics between rural and urban parts of the UK

Urban (Mbps)Rural (Mbps)
Median average peak-time download speed (2023)70.356
Proportion of lines with an average evening peak-time speed of 30Mbps or higher (2023)87%78%
Proportion of lines with an average evening peak-time speed of less than 10Mbps (2023)1%8%

(Source: Ofcom)

Ofcom data shows that the median average peak-time download speed was 26% faster in urban areas of the UK (70.3Mbps) compared to rural (56Mbps) in March 2023. 

In March 2022, respective figures showed a 58% difference of 22.7Mbps, when average urban speeds were 62.1Mbps and rural speeds were 39.4Mbps. Therefore, over the past 12 months, urban areas have only improved by 8.2Mbps compared to 16.6Mbps for rural parts of the UK. 

As of 2023, only 1% of urban broadband lines in the UK had an average evening peak speed of less than 10Mbps, compared to 8% of rural lines. However, this gap is 6% smaller compared to March 2022, when the respective urban and rural figures were 1% and 14%, showing some progress has been made to narrow the gap.  

Average peak-time home broadband download speed statistics for urban and rural areas of the UK

For UK urban areas in March 2023, average peak-time download speeds of 30-100Mbps were provided more than half (54%) of the time, compared to 61% for rural areas. This is a rise from 41% and 43%, respectively, since November 2018. 

Average peak-time download speeds of 100-300Mbps were delivered to just over a fifth (22%) of UK urban premises in March 2023–a 5% rise over the past five years. The corresponding figure for UK rural areas in March 2023 was 12% in total.

A breakdown of UK average home broadband download speeds for urban and rural areas

Mixed graphic showing Average peak-time home broadband download speeds for urban areas.

Ultrafast broadband (300Mbps+ download speed according to Ofcom) was provided to 11% of UK urban locations in March 2023, yet just 5% for rural. This represents an increase of 3% in urban areas and 2% in rural areas, since March 2022.

Unavailability of fibre broadband across the UK

Ofcom data suggests that 3% of UK household lines had an average 24-hour actual speed of less than 10Mbps in 2023–the minimum download speed required for decent broadband (as defined by the UK Government). 

A breakdown of UK broadband unavailability across the UK by month/year between 2022 and 2023

Line graph showing the percentage of broadband unavailability across the UK by month/year.

Across the UK, around 0.2% of UK households were unable to receive this minimum standard in May 2023–a decrease of 0.1% from the previous year. In terms of numbers, this dropped from 80,000 premises to 62,000 between 2022 and 2023 for fixed wireless broadband networks. For fixed-line broadband, the total number decreased from around 500,000 to 428,000 over the same period.

Tired of dealing with cables and wired networks? Check out our latest deals and compare wireless broadband packages available on the market. 

Provision was better in England (0.1%) compared to Northern Ireland (0.5%) for houses with less than 10Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed. Despite this, Northern Ireland’s figures have reduced most over the last year, more than halving from 1.2% in May 2023.

For Scotland and Wales, houses that fail to meet the minimum requirements for decent broadband stand at 0.6%.

Availability of full fibre broadband across different regions of the UK

Of all the regions of the UK, Northern Ireland is leading the way in terms of the percentage of premises that have access to full fibre broadband (95%). 

Yorkshire and the Humber has the largest percentage of all English regions (72%) with full fibre broadband, followed by London (64%) and the North West (61%).

A breakdown of UK full fibre percentage by region

 A shaded map of the UK showing the full fibre percentage of each region, the total number of premises, and the total number of premises with full fibre.

Corresponding figures for Scotland, Wales, and the vast majority of English regions fall between 52% and 38% of premises with full fibre connections. 

The North East has the lowest percentage of sites with full fibre broadband access, with just over half (51%) in the region having access to the service.

A breakdown of UK regions by the percentage that have access to full fibre broadband 

Regionfull fibre % (of residential premises)
East Midlands57.56
East of England55.02
London64.05
North East51.4
North West61.24
Northern Ireland94.63
Scotland53.41
South East55.9
South West56.3
Wales57.67
West Midlands56.15
Yorkshire and the Humber71.83

(Source: Think Broadband)

Full fibre broadband availability across UK local authorities (exclusive data) 

As of 2022, more than 98% of premises in Kingston upon Hull had access to full fibre broadband—the highest percentage of all UK local authorities. This is mainly due to provider KCOM, which has connected the vast majority of homes in the area for several years. Kingston upon Hull is followed by Coventry (almost 94%) and Milton Keynes (virtually 90%).

A breakdown of the UK regions for highest and lowest for full fibre broadband availability in 2022

 Infographic to show the best and worst regions for full-fibre broadband availability across the UK in 2022

Most of the remaining local authorities in the top 10 are from Northern Ireland, with full fibre broadband access ranging between 84% and 89%.

A breakdown of the UK local authorities with the highest current full fibre broadband availability in 2022

Local authorityNumber of premisesPremises with current full fibre availabilityCurrent full fibre percentageEstimated premises with full fibre by March 2025Estimated full fibre percentage (March 2025)
Kingston upon Hull, City of122,099119,76798.09120,34098.56
Coventry142,571133,55193.67141,06598.94
Milton Keynes118,424106,57289.99116,66198.51
Belfast159,514143,01189.65157,94599.02
Ards and North Down72,39264,13488.5970,50997.4
Peterborough88,20376,77787.0578,25688.72
Mid and East Antrim61,49153,07986.3258,76795.57
Derry City and Strabane61,28252,69985.9959,78597.56
Antrim and Newtownabbey61,57252,64085.4959,52396.67
Lisburn and Castlereagh62,07752,63284.7959,81796.36

(Source: Uswitch via Ofcom)

As of 2022, Oxford had the least access to full fibre broadband, with around 1.8% of its premises currently able to access this type of internet connection. This is followed closely in second place by the Isles of Scilly (1.97%), which only has 1,114 premises, yet only 22 of these have full fibre access. Oxford, on the other hand, has over 63,000 premises, but only 1,163 with a full fibre internet connection. 

A breakdown of the UK local authorities with the lowest current full fibre broadband availability in 2022

Local authorityNumber of premisesPremises with current full fibre availabilityCurrent full fibre percentageEstimated premises with full fibre by March 2025Estimated full fibre percentage (March 2025)
Oxford63,7261,1631.8361,21096.05
Isles of Scilly1,114221.97221.97
West Dunbartonshire44,6689572.142,2164.96
Blackpool72,4161,6632.357,86579.91
North East Lincolnshire70,4021,7062.4269,65298.93
Copeland33,8228302.4528,74284.98
Burnley41,8531,2042.8840,22196.1
Argyll and Bute49,3391,5333.1118,43237.36
Oadby and Wigston24,1737643.162,0838.62
Castle Point39,0351,3083.3538,87499.59

(Source: Uswitch via Ofcom)

Incidentally, by 2025, Oxford’s percentage access to full fibre is expected to exceed 96%, whereas the Isles of Scilly is predicted to remain at less than 2%. 

The vast majority of remaining local authorities in the bottom 10 for full fibre internet access are located in the north of the country, ranging from West Dunbartonshire in Scotland (2.14% full fibre access), down to Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire (at 3.16%).

Projected full fibre broadband availability across UK local authorities by 2025 (exclusive data)

Our data certainly reflects the Government's plans to offer large-scale increases in fibre availability throughout the UK by 2025. 

There is evidence of substantial projected increases throughout the UK, with local authorities such as Stevenage in Hertfordshire, and Blaenau Gwent in Wales, both rising from just under 6% and and 4%, respectively, up to virtually 100% for both. 

A breakdown of the UK regions with the highest and lowest predicted full fibre broadband availability in March 2025

An infographic comparing the top 3 best and top 3 worst regions for full fibre connectivity.

The highest projected increases in fibre broadband provision are typically found in the areas with the lowest current availability, with these places naturally offering more room for improvement than places with already high full fibre availability.

A breakdown of the UK local authorities with the highest projected full fibre broadband availability 2025

Local authorityNumber of premisesPremises with current full fibre availabilityCurrent full fibre percentageEstimated premises with full fibre by March 2025Estimated full fibre percentage (March 2025)
Stevenage37,7262,2335.9237,72199.99
Harlow39,6384,04810.2139,63199.98
Salford123,67777,91563123,63999.97
Rushmoor41,0417,11017.3241,02599.96
Cardiff155,87586,88255.74155,79499.95
Wirral150,814105,27169.8150,71699.94
Oldham93,53924,90226.6293,46599.92
Merthyr Tydfil27,24716,55560.7627,22599.92
Mansfield50,3055,50910.9550,26199.91
Blaenau Gwent32,9871,1783.5732,95899.91

(Source: Uswitch via Ofcom)

According to our projected full fibre broadband statistics, some of the most substantial increases will include:

  • Oxford (1.83% to 96.05%)

  • North East Lincolnshire (2.42% to 98.93%)

  • Burnley (2.88% to 96.1%)

  • Castle Point (3.35% to 99.59%). 

A breakdown of the UK local authorities with the lowest projected full fibre broadband availability in 2025

Local authorityNumber of premisesPremises with current full fibre availabilityCurrent full fibre percentageEstimated premises with full fibre by March 2025Estimated full fibre percentage (March 2025)
Isles of Scilly1,114221.97221.97
West Dunbartonshire44,6689572.142,2164.96
Oadby and Wigston24,1737643.162,0838.62
South Tyneside72,5046,4978.9613,37218.44
Dudley139,3979,4756.827,12619.46
Luton82,8583,5754.3118,33722.13
Middlesborough64,5039,23114.3122,18834.4
Argyll and Bute49,3391,5333.1118,43237.36
Warwick65,88813,22420.0725,20338.25
Gloucester57,37216,51528.7923,49340.95

(Source: Uswitch via Ofcom)

Some of our data underlines the Government’s continued struggle to provide certain rural areas with high-speed internet. 

Despite substantial investment plans, there are certain areas expected to have little to no increase in full fibre availability over the coming years. These struggles are best defined by the Isles of Scilly, where the projected full fibre availability is expected to remain at 1.97% by 2025.

Certain areas, such as West Dunbartonshire in Scotland, will see their full fibre percentage double, from 2.14% to almost 5%. Conversely, Oadby and Wigston will see their percentage triple over the next few years, but still remain available to less than 9% of all premises. 

The picture looks a little less bleak for the remaining local authorities in the bottom 10 areas for full fibre broadband access in 2025. This ranges from 18% in South Tyneside (up from nearly 9%), to almost 41% in Gloucester (a rise of 12%). 

Some remote areas, such as Argyll and Bute in Scotland, will see a relatively large increase in full fibre accessibility, going from 3% to 37% in three years. However, it will still remain within the top 10 least accessible areas in the UK for full fibre internet. 

Ultrafast broadband access across the UK by local authority for the over 65s

Over 65s have the best access to ultrafast broadband in the City of Kingston upon Hull, where almost 99% of the elderly population have this form of fibre broadband. 

This is followed very closely by Coventry (98.25%), then Leicester and Worthing (both over 96% accessibility for their over 65 population). 

A breakdown of UK local authorities with the highest percentage of ultrafast broadband access for the over 65s

Local authorityTotal number of householdsHouseholds with ultrafast broadband %Over 65s ultrafast broadband %Percentage difference
Kingston upon Hull, City of106,44598.6898.680
Coventry124,46197.6998.250.56
Leicester116,53796.7196.64-0.07
Worthing46,68196.3296.21-0.11
Derby101,26196.1595.76-0.39
Middlesbrough56,07696.0396.510.48
Southampton95,98195.9795.53-0.44
Harlow33,99695.8496.070.24
Portsmouth84,07095.4394.3-1.13
Nottingham118,13595.395.970.67

(Source: Uswitch, via Ofcom and ONS)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those local authorities that already have a high percentage of households with access to ultrafast internet, also have a high percentage for their over 65 population.

A breakdown of UK local authorities with the lowest percentage of ultrafast broadband access for the over 65s

Local authorityTotal number of householdsHouseholds with ultrafast broadband %Over 65s ultrafast broadband %Percentage difference
Copeland30,5291.751.940.19
Isles of Scilly9422.342.05-0.29
Allerdale41,7563.413.28-0.13
Blaenau Gwent29,9164.364.22-0.14
Scarborough48,9054.725.120.4
High Peak39,1558.197.19-1
North Norfolk46,9808.337.65-0.68
Eden24,13010.399.9-0.49
Derbyshire Dales31,15111.4510.4-1.05
Tendring65,04512.3811.34-1.04

(Source: Uswitch, via Ofcom and ONS)

When considering the worst local authorities for ultrafast broadband access for the over 65s, Copeland in the Lake District ranks highest. Less than 2% of the retired population here have access to ultrafast broadband, which is marginally higher than the overall household percentage. 

This is followed by those living on the Isles of Scilly (just over 2%), and Allerdale in Cumbria, where only 3.28% of the over 65 population have ultrafast broadband. 

The remaining percentages in the bottom 10 local authorities for over 65s ultrafast broadband access range from just over 4% in Blaenau Gwent, to over 11% in Tendring, in North Essex. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those local authorities that already have a generally low percentage of households with access to ultrafast internet, also have a low percentage for their over 65 demographic.  

A breakdown of UK local authorities with the highest percentage of ultrafast broadband access for the over 65s compared to overall UK household percentages

Local authorityTotal number of householdsHouseholds with ultrafast broadband %Over 65s ultrafast broadband %Percentage difference
West Lancashire46,51048.9553.24.25
Canterbury60,63643.3146.923.61
North East Derbyshire44,20038.1840.882.7
Conwy51,43527.2229.642.42
Salford97,96687.6890.042.36
Manchester192,09681.4883.812.34
Ipswich56,84090.8292.892.07
Brent104,34680.982.962.07
Rushmoor36,02787.1588.961.81
Thanet60,67467.2368.981.75

(Source: Uswitch, via Ofcom and ONS)

While lower access rates for over 65s were common in most areas of the UK, there were a selection of local authorities in which this age group recorded ultrafast broadband access rates higher than the overall household percentage for that area. 

The best example of this occurred in West Lancashire, where the over 65s accessibility rate of 53.2% was over 4% higher than the standard household rate, followed by Canterbury (3.61%). 

Almost 93% of those aged 65+ living in Ipswich currently have access to ultrafast broadband, compared to just 40% in North East Derbyshire—the latter representing a value that is 2.7% higher accessibility compared to all households for the area (the third highest percentage difference in the country).   

A breakdown of UK local authorities with the lowest percentage of ultrafast broadband access for the over 65s compared to overall UK household percentages

Local authorityTotal number of householdsHouseholds with ultrafast broadband %Over 65s ultrafast broadband %Percentage difference
City of London3,17681.170.43-10.67
Ashford48,27159.6551.78-7.88
Newark and Sherwood49,59358.7751.93-6.84
East Staffordshire46,28739.5332.74-6.79
Worcester41,42044.2637.54-6.72
Basingstoke and Deane67,38163.8257.32-6.5
Wirral140,96978.8472.38-6.46
Somerset West and Taunton63,62238.9332.68-6.25
Pendle37,05967.0960.86-6.23
Horsham52,56240.6534.5-6.15

(Source: Uswitch, via Ofcom and ONS)

Our data shows that, in that vast majority of regions across the UK, over 65s are less likely to have ultrafast broadband access. The biggest difference was found in the City of London, where the over 65’s ultrafast broadband accessibility rate of 70.43% was nearly 11% lower than the percentage of households with access to this type of connection.

A similarly stark difference could be found in the Kent town of Ashford, where over 65s ultrafast accessibility was nearly 8% lower than the overall household access rate for ultrafast broadband in the area. 

While these two places recorded the highest differences, there were numerous places throughout the UK that recorded accessibility differences of between 6% and 7%. This suggests that the reduced ultrafast broadband access for over 65s is a nationwide issue, and not localised to a specific region.

Availability of full fibre FTTP broadband across the UK by postcode

FTTP fibre broadband availability in the UK tends to be clustered around major urban areas. According to our study, London has the highest concentration of postcodes that registered an FTTP-eligible location, followed by other densely-populated cities, such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle. 

The remaining pattern in England shows a high number of FTTP locations in the South and South East, with clusters forming along parts of the English coastline, notably Sussex, Hampshire, Cornwall, and Devon. 

Rural parts of England are still registering FTTP fibre broadband sites. However, these are more sparsely distributed once you move further north beyond Leeds. 

A breakdown of full fibre FTTP broadband availability across the UK (exclusive data)

 Map graphic showing the availability of full fibre broadband by postcode

Wales has some clustering towards its southern and northern regions, but on the whole registers a scattered spread of FTTP fibre broadband locations. This is mirrored by Northern Ireland, which, apart from a cluster around Belfast, has a relatively even spread of sparsely-located FTTP points. 

Scotland tends to register more FTTP fibre locations around Edinburgh and Glasgow. Otherwise, Scottish postcodes that can currently access FTTP broadband are few and far between, and situated in isolated locations throughout the mainland.  

Enter your postcode into our broadband postcode checker to see what broadband deals and speeds are available in your local area.

What ways are the UK Government investing in fibre broadband?

Project Gigabit is a UK Government programme aimed to bring £5 billion worth of investment to the country’s broadband infrastructure. The aim is to bring gigabit-capable coverage to 85% of the UK, and maximise coverage in the 20% hardest-to-reach locations by 2025.

Coverage figures stood at just 6% in 2019, before reaching 75% in 2023. 

According to the latest broadband news, homes and businesses without superfast broadband will be prioritised, and see their connectivity speeds rocket from less than 30Mbps to more than 1,000Mbps (or 1Gbps). 

Alongside these major contracts, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was introduced to allow eligible individuals, households, and businesses to claim broadband vouchers. This will help incentivise broadband providers in their area to improve the quality of local broadband provision.

Mini infographic showing how much the UK is spending to improve broadband infrastructure.

In total, this will provide £210 million worth of funding to immediately help those living in rural areas, with slow broadband speeds

As of June 2023, 117,000 vouchers had already been issued across the UK, granting up to £4,500 worth of support payments to some of the UK’s hardest-to-reach areas, and those who struggle with internet connection problems

Financial support via the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme tripled in 2022 from £1,500 to £4,500 for residential properties, and from £3,500 to £4,500 for businesses. These changes came into effect in 2023, allowing broadband suppliers to continue installing high-speed internet connections for some of the UK’s most remote locations.

Infographic showing how many gigabit broadband vouchers have been issued by the UK Government as of June 2023.

In November 2022, satellite broadband trials were also announced for various locations in England and Wales, as the UK Government aims to target those in hard-to-reach areas with alternatives to fibre broadband services. 

These areas include:

  • Rievaulx Abbey (in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park).

  • Wasdale Head (in the Lake District and a notorious ‘blackspot’ zone for mountain rescue teams and global positioning systems).  

  • Snowdonia National Park (to support life-saving operations and an activity centre located within an isolated 25-acre site). 

The initial wave is being supported by Starlink satellite broadband equipment, given the readiness and availability of its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology, which is positioned between 500-1000 km above the Earth’s surface. 

Recent trial tests show that these satellites can deliver speeds up to 200Mbps in many locations, well above the average speed of copper cable technology currently used in such hard-to-reach areas.

Fibre broadband investment in England

As part of the UK’s Project Gigabit, large parts of England are due for an upgrade over the next two-to-seven years, in terms of their fibre superfast broadband provision, totalling £650 million worth of investment.   

In 2022, Building Digital UK (BDUK) awarded Project Gigabit contracts which will improve the quality of broadband connectivity for tens of thousands of people in Northern England, including: 

  • Cumbria: £108 million for around 59,000 premises.

  • North Northumberland: £7.3 million for approximately 3,750 premises. 

  • Teesdale: £6.6 million for about 4,000 premises. 

In total, 11 suppliers have been awarded contracts for Project Gigabit, totalling more than £500 million.

Infographic showing how much money is being invested in England's fibre optic broadband over the next seven years.

Fibre broadband statistics in Scotland

The Scottish Government’s “Reaching 100%” (R100) project now means that connections are live in all contract areas across Scotland. This includes ‘The North Lot’, where 16 new subsea cables have been installed to enable faster broadband access for 15 of Scotland’s island communities.

Mini infographic showing how much Scotlands R100 project will cost and how it will affect broadband speeds.

Additional support is provided through the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme, which will provide up to £5,000 for properties in Scotland that:

  • Receive less than 30Mbps in broadband speed.  

  • Aren’t due to receive a superfast connection through the R100 scheme.

This additional source of money can also be combined with funding provided by the UK Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. 

This expansion, costing around £36 million, will see another 2,637 rural Scottish properties able to access gigabit-capable connectivity for their broadband. This will provide speeds 30 times faster than the Scottish Government’s original commitment to some of Scotland’s most remote communities. 

This is in addition to 100% relief in non-domestic rates on newly-laid fibre cables until March 2034, to further incentivise the rollout of fibre broadband across Scotland. 

Fibre broadband statistics in Wales 

The Welsh Government’s Local Broadband Fund supports local authorities and social enterprises to deliver broadband projects on a local scale. The Access Broadband Cymru scheme helps to provide grants that help with the installation costs of new broadband connections for homes and businesses across Wales. 

The amount of funding available will depend on the speed of the new connection:

  • £400 for 10Mbps (or above). 

  • £800 for 30Mbps (or above). 

Ogi has confirmed an expansion of its network reach across the country, as part of a £200 million investment. Ogi’s ultrafast service is now available across seven local authorities, taking their coverage to 80,000 premises and 38 communities. This represents nearly 50% of its initial target (150,000).

Fibre broadband statistics in Northern Ireland 

Project Stratum was developed in November 2020—a £165 million contract awarded to Fibrus Networks Ltd. By the end of 2021, Fibrus had already delivered new fibre infrastructure to more than 22,000 premises. 

The project aims to provide a full fibre network across the country’s entire premises (85,000 in total), and is expected to be completed by March 2025. 

Public funding of £32 million will be used to extend coverage of gigabit-capable broadband, to the benefit of an additional 8,500 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland. The focus will be on rural regions to include 2,500 hard-to-reach properties that weren’t included in the original contract, plus a further 6,000 premises.

Mini infographic documenting costs and aims of project stratum.

Project Stratum represents Northern Ireland’s largest-ever public investment in telecommunications infrastructure. This is an attempt to close the gap between urban and rural broadband provision, where a third of premises cannot access speeds of 30Mbps or above.

Fibre broadband investment in remote schooling 

Numerous measures have been taken by the Government and businesses since the Covid-19 pandemic to make learning from home easier for children.   

Hyperoptic—one of the UK’s largest fibre broadband providers—began offering free 50Mbps fibre broadband connections to thousands of disadvantaged families during the pandemic to ensure more children had sufficient Wi-Fi access for homeschooling. 

Virgin Media pledged 1,500 laptops—each with a 4G mobile dongle containing 25GB of free mobile data—to school children from low-income backgrounds who were unable to access adequate learning equipment during the lockdown. Called ‘Help for Home Learners’, these measures were rolled out in partnership with a charity called Business in the Community. 

Virgin also rolled out an initiative encouraging members of the public to donate second-hand laptops or tablets to financially disadvantaged children during the pandemic.

Mini infographic showing some initiatives introduced by companies during the Covid-19 pandemic to help homeschooling of children.

Another notable initiative during the pandemic came from BT, allowing people to claim free Wi-Fi vouchers. This pledged to give children free access to its 5.5 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the country. 

The pandemic also saw the Government work directly with the UK’s biggest mobile operators to provide free mobile data to schoolchildren whose households didJn’t have home broadband and couldn’t afford to pay for extra data.J

Additionally, online outlets like BBC and YouTube revamped their online learning resources during this period to aid children's learning while they were unable to attend school.

Fibre broadband price statistics 2023 (exclusive data)

According to recent fibre broadband statistics, superfast broadband prices in 2022 were generally cheaper than ultrafast packages. For example, the cheapest superfast broadband deal for in-contract customers was from TalkTalk (£21), compared to £30 for its comparative lower-speed ultrafast package.

A breakdown of different types of fibre broadband package by most recent price for in-contract customers December 2022

Broadband providerLower Superfast (~35Mbps)Upper Superfast (~65Mbps)Lower Ultrafast (generally <500Mbps)Upper Ultrafast (generally >500Mbps)
Community Fibrexx£20.00£19.00
Hyperopticxx£18.00£27.00
TalkTalk£21.00£22.00£30.00x
NOW£22.00£22.00xx
Vodafone£22.00£25.00£26.00£35.00
Plusnet£22.99£24.99xx
EE£24.00£26.00£40.00x
Gigaclearxx£25.00£31.00
Sky£30.50£26.00£32.00£42.00
Virgin Mediaxx£26.00£38.00
BT£28.99£33.99£39.99x

(Source: Uswitch) 

The overall cheapest full-price fibre broadband deal of the products analysed, as of 2022, was Hyperoptic’s lower ultrafast service at £18 per month. This was more than half the cost compared to the most expensive option, BT’s comparative package priced at £39.99 a month.

A breakdown of different types of fibre broadband package by most recent price for out-of-contract customers December 2022

Broadband providerLower Superfast (~35Mbps)Upper Superfast (~65Mbps)Lower Ultrafast (generally <500Mbps)Upper Ultrafast (generally >500Mbps)
Community Fibrexx£22.00£21.00
Vodafone25£28.00£29.00£38.00
TalkTalk£30.00£30.00£32.00x
NOW£32.00£35.00xx
BT£33.99£38.99£47.99x
Hyperopticxx£35.00£50.00
Sky£35.50£36.00£40.00£50.00
EE£37.00£42.00£49.00x
Gigaclearxx£40.00£59.00
Plusnet£41.75£47.54xx
Virgin Mediaxx£51.00£62.00

(Source: Uswitch)

Out-of-contract customers should expect to pay more for their fibre broadband compared to those who are still in-contract. As of 2022, this ranged from £2 a month more for those with Community Fibre ultrafast broadband, up to £28 extra for Hyperoptic customers on its upper ultrafast package, making it £50 a month. 

The cheapest option for out-of-contract customers for fibre broadband in 2022 was Community Fibre’s higher-speed ultrafast service (£21 per month). By contrast, Gigaclear’s comparative package was almost two-and-a-half times more expensive, at £59 a month.

Fibre broadband price statistics per mbps

When broken down by the cost per Mbps, in-contract customers using Community Fibre’s upper ultrafast service were getting the best value for money, at just 4p per Mbps. This is followed by Hyperoptic and Gigaclear’s comparative packages (5p and 6p per Mbps, respectively).

A breakdown of different types of fibre broadband package by cost per Mbps for in-contract customers December 2022

Broadband providerLower Superfast (~35Mbps)Upper Superfast (~65Mbps)Lower Ultrafast (generally <500Mbps)Upper Ultrafast (generally >500Mbps)
Community Fibrexx£0.13£0.04
Hyperopticxx£0.11£0.05
Gigaclearxx£0.13£0.06
Vodafone£0.58£0.33£0.26£0.07
Virgin Mediaxx£0.24£0.07
Sky£0.85£0.44£0.22£0.08
TalkTalk£0.55£0.33£0.21x
BT£0.81£0.51£0.27x
EE£0.67£0.39£0.28x
NOW£0.61£0.35xx
Plusnet£0.64£0.38xx

(Source: Uswitch)

Conversely, in-contract Sky customers with lower superfast packages were paying 85p per Mbps—more than 20 times the cost compared to Community Fibre’s contracted customers. 

A breakdown of different types of fibre broadband package by cost per Mbps for out-of-contract customers December 2022

Broadband providerLower Superfast (~35Mbps)Upper Superfast (~65Mbps)Lower Ultrafast (generally <500Mbps)Upper Ultrafast (generally >500Mbps)
Community Fibrexx£0.15£0.04
Vodafone£0.66£0.37£0.29£0.08
Hyperopticxx£0.22£0.10
Sky£0.99£0.61£0.28£0.10
Virgin Mediaxx£0.47£0.12
Gigaclearxx£0.20£0.12
TalkTalk£0.79£0.45£0.22x
BT£0.94£0.58£0.32x
EE£1.21£0.63£0.34x
NOW£0.89£0.56xx
Plusnet£1.16£0.72xx

(Source: Uswitch) 

Out-of-contract customers will generally pay slightly more per Mbps for their fibre broadband compared to in-contract customers. However, those opting for Community Fibre’s upper ultrafast package can still expect to only pay four pence per Mbps—the same price per Mbps as in-contract customers. 

Similarly, those on Vodafone and Hyperoptics’s comparable services were paying 8p and 10p per Mbps, respectively, for their fibre broadband in 2022. 

Those with EE paid over £1.20 per Mbps—the most expensive fibre broadband package per Mbps in our study. This is followed by Plusnet’s comparative package at £1.16 per Mbps. 

Fibre broadband price statistics for average annual price change for new customers

According to our fibre broadband statistics for average annual price change for new customers, EE experienced the fewest amount of price changes per year (1.0), followed by TalkTalk (1.4 times per year). This equated to one price change almost every 13 months for EE and every nine months for TalkTalk. 

Conversely, new customer prices for Vodafone changed more than seven times throughout the year compared to in-contract customers—the most out of all providers in our study. This equated to a price change every 1.6 months. 

A breakdown of the number of price changes for customers on various broadband providers, broken down by contract status

Broadband providerAverage times the price changes per year while in-contractAverage times the price changes per year while out-of-contractHow often the price changes while in-contract (months)How often the price changes while out-of-contract (months)
BT44.432.7
EE1012.6No change
Sky6.40.71.918.5
NOW Broadband4.702.6No change
Plusnet5.212.312
TalkTalk1.408.8No change
Virgin Media5.53.12.23.8
Vodafone7.681.61.5
Community Fibre2.82.84.34.3
Gigaclear5.232.34
Hyperoptic5.202.3No change

(Source: Uswitch) 

Sky’s prices for new customers changed more than six times a year compared to the price paid by in-contract customers, followed by Virgin Media (5.5), or a change in price every 1.9 and 2.2 months, respectively. 

Compared to out-of-contract customers, the frequency of price changes throughout the year was generally much less. According to our fibre broadband study, EE, NOW Broadband, TalkTalk, and Hyperoptic saw no annual changes between the price for new customers compared to those out-of-contract with fibre broadband. 

At the other end of the scale, Vodafone had an average of eight changes across the year—the most by any provider. On monthly terms, this equated to a change every one-and-a-half months.

UK superfast fibre broadband price statistics  

Superfast fibre broadband statistics indicate that in-contract Sky customers will pay an average of £6 a year extra for lower speed, superfast broadband—more than any other provider. BT and EE customers will see much smaller average price hikes across the year, averaging 26p and 52p, respectively. 

Alternatively, NOW Broadband, TalkTalk, and Vodafone customers saw an average annual price reduction of around 50p. 

A breakdown of superfast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for in-contract lower superfast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
TalkTalk21-0.5221232
NOW Broadband22-0.520233
Vodafone22-0.518235
Plusnet22.99021.9523.992.04
EE240.5223252
BT28.990.2624.9928.994
Sky30.562530.55.5

(Source: Uswitch) 

According to our superfast broadband price study, Sky had the greatest price variation between its packages, at £5.50 between its most expensive and cheapest deals. Conversely, TalkTalk and EE both had the smallest difference, at just £2.

A breakdown of superfast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for out-of-contract lower superfast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
Vodafone25-0.521265
TalkTalk30030300
NOW Broadband32032320
BT33.99-0.5231.9936.995
Sky35.5035.535.50
EE37037370
Plusnet41.752.6336.5241.755.23

(Source: Uswitch) 

For out-of-contract customers with lower speed superfast broadband, Plusnet comes out with the most expensive package in 2022, at almost £42. The average yearly price difference for Plusnet customers is £2.63—the only provider in this study to see a price increase for this service in 2022. 

Conversely, Vodafone had the cheapest current price of £25 per month, and experienced an average annual price reduction of 50p—something only matched by BT (52p). 

Plusnet also had the greatest variation in price range for out-of-contract broadband customers, at £5.23 between its maximum and minimum prices. BT and Vodafone also both registered price ranges of £5, while all remaining providers in our study had a difference of zero.  

A breakdown of superfast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for in-contract upper superfast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
NOW Broadband22-120255
TalkTalk22-1.0422253
Plusnet24.99-0.523.9525.992.04
Vodafone25119256
EE26-0.5226282
Sky26-0.523285
BT33.99229.9933.994

(Source: Uswitch) 

For in-contract customers with upper superfast fibre broadband packages, the average annual price change in their broadband varied between providers. As of 2022, NOW Broadband and TalkTalk currently offer the cheapest price at £22, with an average annual price reduction of around £1. 

By contrast, BT offered the most expensive deal at almost £34 a month, with an average yearly price increase of £2. 

Vodafone customers saw the greatest difference in prices offered—at £6—yet this also offered the lowest minimum price of £19. Despite providing the joint second-highest maximum price, EE also boasted the smallest range of just £2 between its minimum and maximum price offerings.  

A breakdown of superfast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for out-of-contract upper superfast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
Vodafone28122286
TalkTalk30030300
NOW Broadband35035350
Sky36228368
BT38.990.532.9940.998
EE42042420
Plusnet47.542.9841.5947.545.95

(Source: Uswitch) 

According to our fibre broadband statistics study, Vodafone offered the cheapest out-of-contract price for upper superfast broadband in 2022. At £28 per month, this was almost £20 cheaper than Plusnet—the most expensive provider for this service. 

Plusnet customers saw an average annual price hike of £3 on their broadband payments, compared to no increase for EE, NOW Broadband, and TalkTalk customers who are out-of-contract. 

BT and Sky had the greatest variation between its package prices (£8), compared to around £6 for Plusnet and Vodafone.  

UK ultrafast fibre broadband price statistics  

For those customers in-contract and receiving lower superfast broadband, the prices are quite varied. As of December 2022, Hyperoptic offered a broadband package for just £18 a month—less than half the price of BT and EE, who were both around £40 per month for the same package.

A breakdown of ultrafast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for in-contract lower ultrafast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
Hyperoptic18-4.5172912
Community Fibre20020200
Gigaclear25-10.36174427
Virgin Media26024273
Vodafone26022286
TalkTalk30030300
Sky32-3.5315120
BT39.99039.9939.990
EE40040400

(Source: Uswitch)

Gigaclear, while not offering the cheapest package in 2022, did have the largest average price reduction of all providers, at more than £10. This was followed by £4.50 and £3.50 for Hyperoptic and Sky, respectively. All other providers in our study saw no change across the year in their prices. 

When comparing the variation of prices on offer, Gigaclear had the largest difference between its highest and lowest-priced packages (£27), followed by Sky (£20) and Hyperoptic (£12).

A breakdown of ultrafast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for out-of-contract lower ultrafast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
Community Fibre22-5.65223210
Vodafone29025316
TalkTalk32032320
Hyperoptic35035350
Gigaclear40-2.1840477
Sky40-240444
BT47.99047.9947.990
EE49049490
Virgin Media51044528

(Source: Uswitch) 

For out-of-contract customers with a lower superfast broadband connection, the price variations between providers was clear to see. According to our study, in December 2022, Community Fibre offered the cheapest current out-of-contract package for lower ultrafast broadband, at £22 a month. This was about two-and-a-half times more affordable compared to Virgin Media’s current price deal at £51 a month. 

Community Fibre also saw the greatest average price reduction across the year at £5.65, followed by Gigaclear (£2.18), and Sky (£2). All other providers saw no change in their average annual prices. 

Community Fibre also saw the greatest variation between minimum and maximum cost of out-of-contract broadband packages, at £10. This was followed by Virgin Media, which despite being the most expensive provider in 2022 for this type of broadband package, had a variation of £8 in its costs.

A breakdown of ultrafast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for in-contract upper ultrafast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
Community Fibre19-6.35193819
Hyperoptic27-4253510
Gigaclear31-10.29194930
Vodafone35-1.5305525
Virgin Media38-236448
Sky42-1.240433

(Source: Uswitch) 

According to fibre broadband statistics from our study, in-contract upper ultrafast customers can expect prices as low as £19 a month, compared to a staggering £42 per month for Sky.  

Across the year, Gigaclear customers who are in-contract and receiving the upper ultrafast service, saw average price reductions in excess of £10, compared to over £6 a year for Community Fibre, and £4 for Hyperoptic. 

Despite offering the greatest average annual price drop across all providers in our study, Gigaclear had the largest variation between its prices. The lowest price of £19 a month challenges Community Fibre for the crown of lowest price, yet a high of £49 a month does make it one of the most expensive across the year. 

Incidentally, Sky had the lowest variation of just under £3, but even its cheapest package of £40 is more than double the cost of Gigaclear and Community Fibre—the cheapest options in this study.

A breakdown of ultrafast fibre broadband price statistics for different UK broadband providers for out-of-contract upper ultrafast customers

Broadband providerCurrent price (£)Average yearly price difference (£)Min price (£)Max price (£)Variation between package prices (£)
Community Fibre21-13.41214019
Vodafone38-1.533385
Hyperoptic50050500
Sky50050500
Gigaclear595.71496415
Virgin Media62-3.562719

(Source: Uswitch) 

For those customers who are out-of-contract and receiving an upper ultrafast fibre broadband service, the prices are considerably higher compared to those in-contract. As of 2022, Community Fibre provided the cheapest current price of £21 a month, with average annual price reductions of over £13. 

By contrast, Virgin Media’s comparable package was almost three times as expensive, at £62 a month. Across the year however, their customers would see a price drop of £3.50—the second highest in our study. 

Gigaclear’s upper ultrafast broadband was the second most expensive, at £59 a month. However, their customers experienced an average price increase of almost £6 across the year in their broadband bill. 

Community Fibre, being the most affordable, also had the greatest variation in its fibre broadband package cost at £19, followed by Gigaclear at £15 between their minimum and maximum prices. 

By contrast, Sky and Hyperoptic both had no difference between their package costs, as both remained at £50 a month for their upper ultrafast fibre broadband service. 

Average speed of fibre broadband in the UK 2023

Average download speeds for broadband increased considerably between November 2019 and March 2023. This is largely due to the rise in the number of UK homes switching to high-speed fibre broadband, such as full fibre and superfast packages. 

Average download and upload speed of broadband in the UK 2022

According to our broadband statistics report, the median average download speed of UK broadband in March 2023 stood at 69.4Mbps. This is 17% (or 10.1Mbps) faster than the previous March, and 65% (or 27.43Mbps) faster than the average for November 2019.  

A breakdown of the average download and upload speeds of broadband in the UK by month/year between 2018 and 2023

Bar graph showing the average broadband download and upload speeds in the UK by month/year.

Average upload speeds have also risen considerably over the between 2022-23. As of March 2023, the median average upload speed for broadband was 18.4Mbps –a rise of 7.7Mbps from a year earlier, and 10.1Mbps faster than in November 2019. 

According to our global broadband index, this is more than three times slower than Chile, the fastest median download speed in the OECD, yet more than twice as fast as Turkey, the slowest. 

A breakdown of average UK download speed by connection type

Bar graph showing the median average download speed by connection type.

As of Q1 2023, the percentage of UK homes receiving a 24-hour average download speed of 30Mbps or higher stood at 88%–5% more than the same time last year. 

The median average download speed for full fibre connections also increased slightly in the same period, to 149.2Mbps (+1%) during peak time.

In the year up to March 2023, Virgin Media cable connections had the largest increase in their median average download speed, up by 71.3Mbps to 270.6Mbps–a 36% increase since 2022. This significant increase is largely down to cable customers migrating to faster packages.

By comparison, the increase in average download speed over the last 12 months for superfast ‘fibre-to-the-cabinet’ (FTTC) connections was smaller (5.6Mbps), rising 11% to 55.7Mbps.

What is the average download speed of broadband in the UK? 59.4Mbp

A breakdown of UK connections and the percentage of UK premises able to hit these various broadband speeds

Area graph showing percentage of UK connections able to reach various broadband speeds.

By March 2023, the median average download speed for UK broadband connections was 69.4Mbps (a 17% increase from the previous year), with a mean average of 139.1Mbps. 

Understanding internet speeds can get complex, as the mean average download speed is often inflated, due to a small proportion of lines with very fast connection speeds. It’s anticipated that this gap between median and mean average speeds will grow until at least 50% of broadband connections are provided by copper-based technologies, after which the gap will reduce. 

Average UK upload speeds have increased as more homes upgrade to faster broadband packages. Median upload speeds were 18.4Mbps as of March 2023–a 73% increase from last year. 

Cable and full fibre lines recorded the highest speeds in 2022, with Virgin Media’s 1.13Gbps service having the fastest median average 24-hour download speed (1,137.1Mbps). The fastest median upload speed went to Gigaclear’s 300Mbps full fibre package, at 337Mbps.

Peak-period download speeds were 5% slower than average maximum speeds across all connections in March 2023 – down from 6% the previous year.

If you’re not happy with the strength of your home internet signal, then check out our guide on how to boost your Wi-Fi signal through a Wi-Fi extender.

Advertised download speeds for UK broadband 2023

As of March 2023, almost three-fifths (61%) of advertised download speeds for UK broadband were between 30-100Mbps–a 5% rise since November 2019. The corresponding figures were 21% for 100-300Mbps (+5% since November 2019), and 11% for advertised download speeds of more than 300Mbps (+10%). 

In terms of actual download speeds for UK broadband, 30-100Mbps was delivered in 57% of cases (4% less than the advertised figure), and 100-300Mbps was provided in 21% of scenarios (equal to the number of advertised download speeds). 

There was a 1% difference for broadband with advertised speeds of 300Mbps or higher (10% actual vs 11% advertised).  

A breakdown of advertised UK download speeds and actual download speeds by month/year between 2019 and 2023

Butterfly chart comparing the advertised download speeds and actual speeds by month/year

Incidentally, it was for broadband of slower speed where the results were reversed. In March 2023, only 7% of UK broadband provision was advertised with speeds of 10-30Mbps–a drop of 17% over the previous four years. In March 2023, the actual download speed for this category of broadband was delivered in 9% of cases. 

Broadband speeds of less than 10Mbps were advertised at 0% in March 2023. However, in terms of actual download speed, this was provided in 3% of situations in the same month. This represents a 10% reduction over the last four years, down from 13% in 2019.

Enter your details into our broadband speed test to find out your current internet speed in seconds.

Average fibre broadband download speed statistics by broadband package and provider

In terms of FTTC fibre broadband connections of all packages included in Ofcom’s study, Sky’s Superfast broadband deal offered median average download speeds. With median speeds of 64.6Mbps, Sky’s package was narrowly ahead of Plusnet (64.2Mbps), TalkTalk (62.6Mbps), and Vodafone (60Mbps). 

These four packages were around twice as fast as the advertised median download speeds for EE’s 38Mbps service, which was the slowest in Ofcom’s study from March 2023. The Ofcom study covers all of the major providers in the UK, but does not include packages from some of the smaller providers.

A breakdown of UK fibre broadband download speed statistics by FTTC broadband provider and package

Box plot showing a breakdown of UK fibre optic broadband download speed statistics by FTTC broadband provider and package

In terms of mean average download speeds, BT’s 67Mbps package came out fastest (63.4Mbps). Vodafone’s variance of 1.9Mbps between its mean and median speeds was the smallest in Ofcom’s analysis, suggesting customers on this service are likely to get more consistent speeds compared to the other FTTC packages. 

A breakdown of UK fibre broadband download speed statistics by cable broadband provider and package

Box plot showing a breakdown of UK fibre optic broadband download speed statistics by cable broadband provider and package

Of the five Virgin Media cable packages included in Ofcom’s 2023 study, Virgin’s 1.13Gbps service recorded the fastest mean (1,123.9Mbps) and median (1,137.1Mbps) download speeds. These figures were around twice as fast as their 516Mbps package, and around three times quicker than the 362Mbps package. 

As the advertised speed of the broadband package increases, so does the gap between median and mean download speeds. Virgin’s 108Mbps service, while being the slowest of the five broadband deals, also had the smallest variance between median and mean average download speeds (just 2.6Mbps), compared to 20.4Mbps for 516Mbps broadband. 

This trend reverses slightly for the highest package, with the gap between mean and median speeds standing at 13.2Mbps for Virgin’s 1.13Gbps connection.

A breakdown of UK fibre broadband download speed statistics by FTTP broadband provider and package

A box plot showing a breakdown of UK fibre optic broadband download speed statistics by FTTP broadband provider and package

In terms of FTTP fibre broadband packages, BT’s 900Mbps service registered the fastest median and mean download times (891.6Mbps and 925.7Mbps, respectively). 

However, the difference of 34.1Mbps was greater than any other package in Ofcom’s analysis from March 2023, suggesting customers with this deal could experience some inconsistency in their actual download speeds. 

Conversely, BT’s next fastest FTTP connection–the BT broadband deal offering 300Mbps–had median (304.2Mbps) and mean (301.5Mbps) average download speed results that were much closer together (just 2.6Mbps), suggesting a greater consistency for its customers.

A breakdown of mean average fibre broadband download speed statistics in the UK by broadband provider and package

A bar chart showing a breakdown of mean average fibre optic broadband download speed statistics in the UK by broadband provider and package

According to Ofcom’s recent fibre broadband statistics report, Virgin Media’s 1.13Gbps service registered the highest median and mean average 24-hour download speeds, from those providers analysed in March 2023.  

At 1,137.1Mbps, Virgin Media’s 1.13Gbps service recorded download speeds that were almost a quarter (23%) quicker than the BT broadband deal offering 900Mbps (the fastest FTTP package with a median average download speed of 925.7Mbps). This was also 17 times quicker than the fastest FTTC connection, BT’s 67Mbps package, at a median average of 67.1Mbps. 

Around half of the customers on the Virgin Media cable service advertising speeds of 1.13Gbps will receive actual download speeds of 1,137.1Mbps (the median average). However, with a lower mean average value of 1,123.9Mbps, this indicates that some customers will not receive such speeds.

Average fibre broadband upload speed statistics by broadband provider and package

For FTTC fibre broadband, the quickest average upload speeds were from TalkTalk’s 250Mbps G.fast service, with a median speed of 50.1Mbps and a mean of 46.8Mbps. 

TalkTalk’s equivalent 150Mbps service had the next fastest upload speeds with a median speed of 30.7Mbps–around 38% slower than the 250Mbps service.

A breakdown of average UK fibre broadband upload speed statistics by FTTC broadband provider and package

 Box style plot diagram showing the average fibre optic broadband upload speed statistics by broadband provider and package.

BT’s 67Mbps service had the quickest upload speeds outside of TalkTalk’s G.fast packages, with a median of 18.5Mbps and a mean of 16.7Mbps. This means that BT customers on the 67Mbps service can expect upload speeds around three times faster than those on their 36Mbps package.

A breakdown of average UK fibre broadband upload speed statistics by cable broadband provider and package

Box plot diagram showing a breakdown of average UK fibre optic broadband upload speed statistics by cable broadband provider and package

The fastest cable service in Ofcom’s study from March 2023 for upload speeds was from Virgin (1.13Gbps). 

With a median average upload speed of 51.2Mbps, and a mean average upload speed of 52.1Mbps, this was around 42%% quicker than both the 362Mbps and 516Mbps cable fibre broadband packages available from Virgin Media. 

The 1.13Gbps service also had the smallest difference between mean and median speeds, suggesting customers on this plan can expect greater consistency with their upload times.

A breakdown of average UK fibre broadband upload speed statistics by FTTP broadband provider and package

Box plot diagram showing a breakdown of average UK fibre optic broadband upload speed statistics by FTTP broadband provider and package

In terms of FTTP fibre broadband packages, Gigaclear’s 300Mbps service provided the fastest average upload speeds in Ofcom’s study, at between 313.7-336.5Mbps. This was around three times faster than the next quickest FTTC service. However, this was the largest variation (22.8Mbps) between the four packages included in Ofcom’s 2023 study. 

By contrast, BT’s 900Mbps plan (the next quickest service) only had a variation of 1Mbps between mean and median speeds, with speeds of 109Mbps and 110Mbps, respectively. 

Both BT’s 300Mbps and Sky’s 145Mbps deals recorded variations of less than 1Mbps between upper and lower recordings, while BT’s 74Mbps package only registered a difference of 0.4Mbps. This suggests customers of these services should experience greater consistency in the actual upload speeds they receive.

A breakdown of mean UK fibre upload speed statistics by broadband provider and package

Bar graph showing the mean fibre optic upload speeds by provider and package.

As of March 2023, Gigaclear’s 300Mbps FTTP full fibre broadband package had the highest median and mean average upload speeds, at 336.5Mbps and 313.7Mbps, respectively. This was more than 15 times faster than the slowest FTTP service (BT 74Mbps) in Ofcom’s analysis, with an average median speed of 20.5Mbps, and mean average of 20.1Mbps.

Average fibre broadband latency statistics by broadband provider and package

Of the packages included in Ofcom’s research, Gigaclear’s 300Mbps full fibre service had the lowest median average for 24-hour latency recorded in March 2023, at 4.9ms. This makes Gigaclear’s package the only service with median latency speeds below 6ms.

Latency speed refers to the time taken for data to travel to a third-party server, and back again. 

Most online activities require a response time of less than 100ms to provide a satisfactory experience. A broadband connection with low latency will make certain tasks, such as web browsing and video-calling, but especially online gaming, feel more responsive. In fact, according to recent online gaming statistics, some apps do require a response time of less than 50ms, in order to achieve optimal functionality.

A breakdown of average UK fibre broadband latency speed statistics by broadband provider and package

A breakdown of average UK fibre broadband latency speed statistics by broadband provider and package

Sky’s 145Mbps and 500Mbps services had the next shortest median latency speeds, at 6.6ms – around a third (34%) longer than Gigaclear’s service. 

FTTP packages generally performed better in this experiment, compared to providers of FTTC and cable fibre broadband. In terms of having the least delays, the best FTTC broadband service was Plusnet’s 66Mbps package, with median average latency speeds of 10.1ms followed by BT’s 67Mbps deal at 10.2ms. 

Conversely, for cable broadband, Virgin's 516Mbps service produced the lowest latency speeds, with a median average of 12.5ms–almost three times the median average latency speed for the best-performing package in Ofcom’s 2023 study (Gigabit’s 300Mbps FTTP fibre broadband). 

A breakdown of mean average fibre broadband latency statistics in the UK by broadband provider and package

Bar chart showing the mean fibre broadband latency statistics by provider and package.

In terms of mean average latency speeds, the best-performing package from Ofcom’s 2023 analysis was Gigabit’s 300Mbps service, at just 5.4ms, followed by Sky’s 500Mbps package at 7ms. 

Generally, FTTP fibre broadband produced less latency compared to FTTC and cable broadband, with all seven packages registering less than 9ms. 

Mean average latency speeds for FTTC ranged from 11.1ms (Plusnet 66Mbps) up to 13.6ms (Vodafone 67Mbps). Cable broadband services had a smaller variation between its packages and providers, yet registered some of the slowest latency speeds in this study.

Virgin’s 516Mbps deal recorded the fastest mean average latency speed for cable broadband (13.1ms) compared to 15ms for their 1.13Gbps package –more than three times as slow as the best-performing service in Ofcom’s study. 

Which UK region has the fastest average fibre broadband speeds?

Northern Ireland recorded the highest average download speed across the UK for  65-67Mbps FTTC broadband services. Their average of 73.8Mbps for March 2023 was nearly 2Mbps higher than London and Wales in joint-second place (71.6Mbps). 

Average UK regional fibre broadband download speed statistics

The vast majority of the UK registered average download speeds between 70-72Mbps for 63-67Mbps FTTC broadband, with the lowest speeds found in the North East (69.8Mbps).

A breakdown of average fibre broadband download speed statistics by UK region  

undefined63-67Mbps FTTC300-330Mbps FTTP1.13Gbps cable
London71.6304.61,130
South East71.2303.31,120
West Midlands70.9303.41,130
South West70.8303.81,120
East Midlands71.4304.41,130
Yorkshire and the Humber70.8304.11,130
Wales71.6304.11,120
North West70.7305.11,130
North East69.8No data1,120
Scotland70.8304.81,130
Northern Ireland73.8305.21,130
East of England71.4303.11,130

(Source: Ofcom) 

For 300-330Mbps FTTP broadband, Northern Ireland again recorded the fastest average download speeds at 305.2.6Mbps, followed by the North West at 305.1Mbps. By contrast, the slowest speeds, on average, were registered in the East of England (303.1Mbps), with the rest of the UK falling somewhere between 303-305Mbps. 

In terms of 1.13Gbps cable broadband, every region recorded an average speed of either 1,130Mbps or 1,120Mbps.

Check out how the UK’s regional broadband statistics compare to the USA in our recent US broadband index.

Average UK regional fibre broadband upload speed statistics

Cable broadband services with an advertised download speed of 1.13Gbps experienced the fastest average peak-time upload speeds across all types of broadband packages surveyed by Ofcom in March 2023. 

Almost every region recorded an average speed of either 52.2Mbps or 52.3Mbps, with only London recording a marginally lower speed (52.1Mbps).

Those with a 1.13Gbps cable package saw less variation across the UK in terms of average upload speeds between 8pm and 10pm. These ranged from 52.33Mbps in North West, down to 52.13Mbps in London.

A breakdown of average fibre broadband upload speed statistics by UK region

undefined63-67Mbps FTTC300-330Mbps FTTP1.13Gbps cable
London18.650.552.1
South East18.651.552.3
West Midlands18.651.552.2
South West18.650.652.3
East Midlands18.651.452.2
Yorkshire and the Humber18.651.652.3
Wales18.65152.3
North West18.650.552.3
North East18.6No data52.3
Scotland18.651.452.3
Northern Ireland18.651.452.3
East of England18.651.652.2

(Source: Ofcom) 

FTTC broadband offering 65-67Mbps provided the slowest average upload speeds across the country. However, all parts of the UK registered average upload speeds of either 18.57Mbps or 18.58Mbps between 8pm and 10pm. 

According to Think Broadband’s study from 2023, when broken down to street level, residents of Moriston Close in Watford, were only able to manage average speeds of 0.6Mbps. By contrast, those in Meadway, Northampton, were able to obtain an average of 896.3Mbps (3,567 times faster than Wistaston Road).

For the full results of our study into residential, check out our guide into UK streets with the slowest broadband speeds.

Reliability of UK fibre broadband

UK fibre outage statistics   

Fibre broadband stats from Ofcom surrounding UK broadband outages show that, in March 2023, those with a 516Mbps connection had the least amount of disruption. 

The distribution of average daily disconnections lasting 30 seconds or more shows that more than a quarter (27%) of those with 516Mbps cable broadband reported no disruptions at all–the highest percentage in the study. This is contrasted by less than 1% for 33-38Mbps FTTC services and 145-160Mbps FTTP plans.

That said, the overwhelming majority of disconnections for 145-160Mbps FTTC were reported on just one occasion (95%) during March 2023, and 90% for 33-38Mbps FTTC. 

Conversely, just under three-quarters (72%) of users with a 516Mbps cable connection experienced a single outage lasting at least 30 seconds during the month, which is the lowest percentage reported for number of disruptions. 

A breakdown of UK fibre broadband outages by connection type and speed

Stacked bar chart showing UK fibre broadband outages by connection type and speed

At the other end of the scale, 362Mbps cable and 300-330Mbps full fibre broadband both registered more than three disconnections lasting 30 seconds or more on 4% of occasions. Despite this being less than half the amount compared to ADSL broadband (10%), it was double the amount compared to most other forms of fibre internet connection. 

Contrastingly, 63-67Mbps FTTC, 362Mbps cable, and 66-74Mbps full fibre broadband all registered 0% for three or more 30-second-plus outages during March 2023. The latter also registered 0% for >2 to 3 disruptions in the same month, making it one of the most reliable types of broadband in the UK for this given period.

If you’re experiencing outages and issues with your internet connection, then you could be entitled to some money back. Check out our guide on how to claim compensation when your broadband services are down.

Alternatives to fibre broadband - 5G home broadband statistics 

5G home broadband is a form of ultrafast broadband connection for your home without the need for a fixed cable or landline connection. This means, instead of fibre or copper cables, you’re using a 5G signal to connect to the internet. 

However, rather than a mobile device, a 5G SIM card is planted inside a Wi-Fi router within your home, providing internet on a much higher frequency. This can provide much faster internet connection speeds than a traditional 4G internet connection too. 

The long-term plan will be to provide UK homes with gigabit wireless broadband, which would mean even faster speeds than 5G can currently support, yet still without the need for cables to transmit data to your home.

5G home broadband speed statistics 

Currently, 4G in the UK has average speeds of 24Mbps, contrasted by 100-300Mbps for the UK’s current fastest 5G speed – making it more than 12 times faster by comparison.  

Vodafone claims that UK customers can expect average 5G speeds of between 150-200Mbps, whereas advertised EE deals range from 130-240Mbps.

A mini infographic comparing the average speeds of 4G and 5G in the UK

A report by Opensignal in September 2023 indicated that between 1 July and 29 August 2023, Three registered the fastest download speeds in the country, with a score of 205.5Mbps. This was 91.1Mbps (77%) faster than second-placed EE (116.4Mbps). 

However, both Three and EE’s scores are down from the last report recorded between December 2022 and February 2023, with declines of 32.2Mbps (-13.6%) and 22.8Mbps (-18.7%), respectively.

A breakdown of 5G statistics for outdoor premises (buildings) covered by at least one operator

Comparative box plot showing the percentage of outdoor premises in the UK covered by at least one 5G operator.

Coverage of 5G in the UK from at least one mobile network operator (MNO) ranges from 76% to 85% of UK outdoor premises, as of April 2023. This was a significant increase from 54%-69% in May 2022.

5G connectivity from at least one provider was greatest in England (79-88%)–up 3% from January 2023. The lowest levels were felt in Northern Ireland, with coverage levels between 54% and 60% of premises. Nevertheless, this represents a significant rise of 26% since May 2022.

A breakdown of 5G statistics for outdoor premises covered by all operators

Comparative box plot showing the percentage of outdoor premises in the UK covered by at all 5G operators.

When considering all operators, UK 5G statistics reveal that between 12-22% of UK premises are covered by all operators, with this figure rising to 14-24% in England alone. 

Between 8-19% of Scottish outdoor premises are currently connected to all 5G providers–a 2% increase since January 2023. Corresponding figures for Northern Ireland and Wales stand at 5-12% and 4-8%, respectively.

Alternatives to fibre broadband - satellite broadband statistics

Satellite broadband is an alternative way of getting internet into your home, much in the same way as homes that receive satellite TV. 

While older satellites can only manage average broadband speeds of around 10Mbps, companies like SpaceX and OneWeb are revolutionising the technology market. Their satellites are capable of providing internet speeds of up to 300Mbps—almost five times as fast as the UK’s average speed (69.4Mbps).

A mini infographic comparing the broadband speeds of old satellites against modern satellite providers.

300Mbps is comparable to speeds from a fixed-line full fibre broadband network, and could be a potential solution for those premises located in some of the UK’s hardest-to-reach places. 

Starlink’s high-speed low-latency broadband internet costs around £75 per month, with a one-time hardware cost of £460. 

To find out if Starlink is available in your area, put your address into the Starlink availability checker.  

As an alternative, OneWeb is a UK-based satellite internet brand that has, so far, launched 648 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, compared to more than 2,000 from Starlink. 

Partly owned by the UK Government, the company is still building a constellation of satellites, therefore, as of 2022, is currently not publicly available. It’s believed that OneWeb satellite internet packages will become available from 2023, but will be sold via partnerships with telecoms, broadband providers, and governments, rather than directly to the consumer.

Reasons why people get fibre broadband

One of the main benefits of having fibre broadband in your property or premises is the associated faster, more efficient speeds that come with it, and the reasonable prices that some superfast fibre deals are now available for. 

The best broadband for streaming will provide somewhere between 1.5Mbps and 25Mbps, depending on the picture quality you are watching your content in. This is also per device, so speeds will need to account for multiple users streaming on different devices in the same household.

On the other hand, broadband for gaming may require a larger minimum bandwidth and faster speeds, in order to achieve better performance in competitive multiplayer modes and avoid loading issues such as lagging and latency. 

In addition, according to our TV streaming report, over a quarter (26%) of UK households in our survey stated they only watched online TV, and almost half (44%) admitted they subscribed to more than one service.

Mini infographic showing survey statistics about online user habits

The global streaming index indicates that subscribers can access over 15,000 titles in the UK alone from Netflix and Amazon Prime, making them one of the best value streaming services in the country. 

This is another reason why people get fibre broadband, with its ability to serve multiple users, platforms, and devices at once without affecting the user experience.

Are you frequently working from home and finding your broadband is not as reliable as it could be? Check out our guide on working from home and how to get the most out of your broadband.  

Average download and upload speed statistics for different online activities (exclusive data)

Our data shows an expected increase in average download speeds for faster, more modern fibre broadband options. 

The biggest percentage increase in average download speeds is between FTTP (330Mbps) and FTTP (1,000Mbps), which nearly tripled from 287.45Mbps to 785.53Mbps. This increase is further evidence of the profound impact gigabit broadband is likely to wield on average download speeds, as it becomes more accessible throughout the UK.

A breakdown of average download and upload speed statistics across different Fibre broadband options

undefinedFTTC (38Mbps)FTTC (52Mbps)FTTC (76Mbps)FTTP (160Mbps)FTTP (330Mbps)FTTP (1,000Mbps)Cable (200Mbps)Cable (350Mbps)Cable (600Mbps)
Average download speed (Mbps)28.3445.1158.2146.35287.45785.53212.36371.56595.12
Average upload speed (Mbps)6.28.2615.3529.7747.76751.8520.5435.3541.11

(Source: Uswitch via Ofcom)

While none of the cable connections in this study could match the average download speeds of gigabit broadband, the speeds recorded by the two fastest cable connections (350Mbps and 600Mbps) were faster than all other FTTP connections.

After a drop-down to 212.36Mbps for the first cable connection in our study (200Mbps), average download speeds would rise by a third to 317.56Mbps for the 350Mbps cable connection. This was followed by a jump of almost 50% to 596.12Mbps for the 600Mbps cable connection.

Unsure on which fibre broadband package to get? Check out our guide to find out which broadband is best for you and your internet needs. 

The trajectory of average upload speeds mirrors the download rankings, with average speeds sharply rising with every fibre connection, before peaking with FTTP (1,000Mbps) at over 750Mbps. These figures reduce slightly with the introduction of cable connections. The fact that some providers offer ‘symmetrical’ upload and download speeds, that provide the same speed for both services, may have been a factor in these results.

Upload speeds for FTTC fibre broadband peak with the 76Mbps package, at 15.35Mbps—almost 50 times slower than FTTP (1,000Mbps) broadband. By comparison, the fastest upload speeds for cable fibre broadband are with the 600Mbps package, at 41.11Mbps (18 times slower than FTTP 1,000Mbps).  

Comparatively, the biggest increases in upload speeds could be found from FTTP (330Mbps) to FTTP (1,000Mbps) where speeds increased by over 1,500%. This indicates the significant impact that gigabit broadband has had on upload speeds since the introduction of fibre broadband.

Check out our download time calculator to discover how long it will take you to download a file of any size on your current internet download speed.

A breakdown of download times for different online activities across different types of fibre broadband

Type of broadbandDownload two-hour film (1080p) (2.6GB)Download two-hour film (4K) (42GB)Download video game - God of War: Ragnarok for PS5 (84.1GB)Upload 100 photos (200MB)Download 100 songs (720MB)Download iOS update (263MB)
FTTC (38 Mbps)0:12:143:17:366:35:400:04:180:15:290:05:39
FTTC (52Mbps)0:07:412:04:084:08:350:03:140:11:370:04:15
FTTC (76 Mbps)0:05:571:36:133:12:400:01:440:06:150:02:17
FTTP (160Mps)0:02:220:38:161:16:370:00:540:03:130:01:11
FTTP (330Mbps)0:01:120:19:290:39:010:00:340:02:010:00:44
FTTP (1.000Mbps)0:00:260:07:080:14:160:00:020:00:080:00:03
Cable (200Mbps)0:01:380:26:220:52:480:01:180:04:400:01:42
Cable (350Mbps)0:00:560:15:040:30:110:00:450:02:430:01:00
Cable (600Mbps)0:00:350:09:240:18:490:00:390:02:200:00:51

(Source: Uswitch via Ofcom)

According to our study, the average download and upload speeds are reflected in the average time it takes to complete various online activities. Everything from film and game downloads, to uploading photos, are characterised by sharp increases in speeds that peak with the FTTP (1,000Mbps), before reducing with the introduction of cable connections. 

These specified lists also provide further evidence of the power of gigabit broadband, with the average time for a two-hour film download (4K) more than halving from 0:19:29 to 0:07:08. The time taken to download 100 songs dropped hugely too, from over two minutes to just eight seconds. 

Other key findings from our study show that, when compared to FTTC, having an FTTP fibre broadband connection means that:

  • Downloading a two-hour movie (either 1080p or 4K) or a video game = almost 14 times faster. 

  • Uploading 100 photos = 52 times faster.  

  • Downloading 100 songs = almost 47 times faster. 

  • Downloading an iOS update = more than 45 times faster. 

Video game download data also suggests that there is significant variation between games, with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War taking, on average, around four-and-a-half hours, compared to just over an hour for FIFA 23.  

Find out how long it will take you to download a file of any size with our download time calculator.

Average download times by region (exclusive data)

Our full fibre broadband statistics for download speeds by region found that London had the fastest download speeds compared to anywhere else in the UK. 

With average download speeds of 148.77Mbps, the capital was found to be more than 10% faster than the next fastest region (the North East), and more than 30% faster than Wales—the slowest region of the UK for download speeds. 

London was followed by the North East and West Midlands, who recorded the second and third fastest average download speeds, respectively. This suggests that high-speed internet connections are common across the whole of England and not just in the south.

This increased speed is reflected in the film and game download statistics, with a download time of 37 minutes and 38 seconds for a 4K movie—five minutes faster than the next quickest region, the North East, at just over 42 minutes.

A regional breakdown of the average download times for various online activities

RegionAverage download speed (Mbps)Time to download a 4K film (hours)Time to download a video game (God of War: Ragnarok on PS5)
East Midlands126.830:44:091:28:25
East of England119.670:46:481:33:42
London148.770:37:381:15:22
North East131.350:42:381:25:22
North West118.090:47:251:34:57
Northern Ireland123.710:45:161:30:39
Scotland114.150:49:031:38:14
South East121.460:46:061:32:19
South West105.690:52:591:46:06
Wales92.711:00:242:00:57
West Midlands129.780:43:091:26:24
Yorkshire and The Humber1170:47:521:35:50

(Source: Uswitch, via Ookla and ONS)

By contrast, it would take just, on average, just over 75 minutes to download God of War: Ragnorak on PS5 in London, compared to a little more than 85 minutes in the North East, and around 86 minutes in the West Midlands. 

Wales and Scotland recorded the lowest and third-lowest average download speeds across the UK, respectively. Wales’ average video game download time is over two hours—almost fifteen minutes slower than any other region—and 45 minutes slower than London (the fastest region). 

This suggests that more work is needed in these countries to bring internet speeds up to the same levels enjoyed by much of England and Northern Ireland.

To find out more about which broadband providers are considered the best, check out our broadband customer survey 2022, to see how UK consumers rated theirs.

Setting up broadband when moving home

For those moving home, sorting out an internet connection isn’t always top of the priority list. Changing your broadband when moving house is now easier than ever, but there is always an associated delay while your provider sets up your service in your new home. 

In 2020, we found that one million Brits who recently moved had to wait an average of eight days for their broadband to be connected. In addition, one in three were forced to use up all of their mobile data allowance while they waited to be connected. 

A breakdown of UK broadband providers and the average number of days customers went without a connection (exclusive data)

ProviderAverage days without a connection
Plusnet9.9
TalkTalk9.4
BT8.6
EE8.1
Sky Broadband7.7
Vodafone7.3
Virgin Media6.6

(Source: Uswitch) 

According to our research, virtually all of the major UK broadband providers had customers waiting at least a week until they were connected. 

Virgin Media provided the best service, at an average of 6.6 days without a connection, whereas Plusnet took the longest time, at almost 10 days. 

Changing your internet provider can also be a challenging time, partly because there are a number of myths with switching your broadband. One of these is the time it takes and the associated hassle. However, Ofcom found that 93% of customer broadband orders were completed on time, taking an average of 15 days to complete a switch. 

Many are also worried about the additional cost associated with swapping your broadband provider. However, thanks to the UK’s ever-developing superfast broadband infrastructure, many fibre broadband deals are becoming available to the market, from around £23 a month.  

Check out our broadband provider reviews, as we take an in-depth look into the services and products offered by different UK broadband providers.  

According to our research, broadband customers usually experience a price hike when their contract ends. Most broadband contracts last between 12-18 months, after which the average price rise is 62% for existing customers, with some increasing by 82%. 

This works out around £162 a year more if you stay with your current provider once your contract ends. New regulation means that broadband providers are obliged to inform you when your contract is coming to an end, so that you can either negotiate a new contract with your current provider, or seek an alternative option with another company, thus saving you money on your broadband bill.

If you are not happy with the service from your internet company, then check out our guide on how to complain to your broadband provider

What are the benefits of fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is now available to more than 97% of UK households, yet only around 60% of those with access have signed up for this service. 

In a 2021 Businessnews.org survey of 4,000 broadband customers, 25% said they still have standard ADSL broadband, while 75% have chosen to upgrade to a fibre broadband package.  

A breakdown of a broadband customer survey results about the benefits of fibre broadband 

A breakdown of a broadband customer survey results about the benefits of fibre broadband

When these 3,000 fibre customers were asked about the benefits of fibre broadband:  

  • More than three-quarters (78%) observed an improvement in their connection after they switched to fibre broadband. 

  • Almost two-thirds (63%) noticed that their fibre service was faster than standard ADSL broadband.

  • Half (50%) stated it was quicker to download and upload files by using fibre. 

  • Less than half (45%) reported that their fibre connection was more reliable, with fewer dropouts. 

  • Less than half (43%) of fibre broadband customers had a smoother streaming experience with less glitches/lagging. 

  • Just over a third (36%) had fewer outages since moving to a fibre connection. 

So, not only is fibre broadband faster and more reliable, it’s less prone to dropouts and less likely to suffer from interference. Standard ADSL broadband uses copper wires, which are susceptible to interference from extreme weather. Also, the longer the line, the slower the connection speed, which is why those in rural settings tend to suffer from slower broadband connections. 

You can also choose broadband only deals without line rental, meaning it’s possible for you to receive broadband without a landline to your premises. 

Choosing your broadband package and provider will largely depend on what service you are looking for, your intended internet usage, and the speed you require. 

Fibre broadband primarily offers you faster speeds, ranging from 30Mbps up to 512Mbps for partial-fibre broadband. Compared to ADSL, the best you can expect is 24Mbps—although in reality, it is normally closer to 10Mbps. full fibre broadband deals can now offer speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (or 1Gbps). 

An additional bonus is that Openreach’s superfast fibre broadband now covers most UK providers on the market. This means, unless you’re changing the type of broadband at your premises, you’ll likely be able to switch broadband providers without an engineer visit and self-install your broadband.

If you opt for a basic ADSL broadband package, chances are you’ll receive a basic router that simply connects you to the internet. However, if you sign up for fibre broadband, then you can expect a higher end, wireless router with more features, such as a greater range of Wi-Fi signals, faster speeds, and multi-devices use.  

The benefits of faster fibre broadband include: 

  • Higher-quality streaming: Platforms like YouTube and Netflix will often automatically adjust their streaming quality based on your broadband connection speed. 

  • Better video calls: The better upload and download speeds result in improved video and audio quality with fewer dropouts. 

  • Multiple devices can be connected at once: Having a faster connection means you can have more smart home devices (such as virtual assistants, security measures, household appliances, and entertainment systems) simultaneously connected to your network. 

  • Large files can be downloaded quicker: Saving you time and bandwidth for other activities. 

Benefits of business fibre broadband 

Business broadband is a dedicated broadband connection that is set up for an office or workspace that has a higher demand for the internet than a standard home. 

It’s usually designed for an environment where 10 or more people will be accessing the internet at the same time.

Mini infographic showing the speed of Virgin Media business broadband

With fibre connections, average speeds are usually around 76Mbps, with some services offering up to 1Gbps. Virgin Media business broadband runs its own advanced cable broadband network, providing speeds of up to 500Mbps wherever your office premises are located in the UK. 

When considering business broadband vs home broadband, the former is supplied with a more powerful router, which provides coverage across 1,500-2,000 square feet, as well as over multiple storeys. Business broadband is also regarded as a safer option, with higher levels of security, including a VPN server, firewall, and filter content. 

Impact of fibre broadband on the UK property market 

The Guardian recently reported that access to reliable, fast broadband was one of the key priorities for UK homeowners, as working from home has become a more permanent arrangement for many people up and down the country. 

Four in 10 (41%) homeowners ranked internet speed as an important priority when purchasing a property—more important than proximity to schools, or being close to pubs and restaurants. 

Two-thirds of people also think fast broadband is more important than having access to the outdoors, being near a tube station, or having the ability to extend their property.

 mini infographic showing the percentage of homeowners who ranked internet speed as a priority when purchasing a property.

According to the UK Government, their UK-wide superfast broadband programme will improve broadband speeds for around 5.5 million homes across the country. The £2.6 billion government scheme—which sees superfast broadband rolled out to ‘commercially unviable’ parts of the UK—sparked a surge in house values of up to £3,500 between 2012 and 2019. This equated to a rise of 1.16% in house prices, worth an additional £1.52 billion for home sellers. 

Back in 2020, a survey of potential buyers found that, should they come across a property with poor broadband, they would expect the house price to be reduced by 16%, on average. Half of buyers said they would avoid the area completely, if the broadband speeds were insufficient. 

A good internet connection was listed by more than half (51%) as one of their top priorities when looking for a house. One in seven potential home buyers stated they would be willing to give up a bath in their future property in exchange for good broadband. 15% claimed they would give up a garden, if it meant a more reliable internet connection. 

Timeline of UK fibre broadband statistics 2023

The history of broadband has taken many steps in its development since the inception of dial-up internet in the 1990s. Broadband only became available in the UK in 2000, and since then the country’s infrastructure has continued to grow and develop. 

2020 saw a global pandemic which forced millions of people to work from home, yet highlighted the number of households who didn’t have proper access to the web. 

During 2022, the UK Government has continued to pledge billions of pounds to help expand the UK’s full fibre broadband network.  This has led to significant increases in UK full fibre availability throughout 2023.

UK fibre broadband updates - September 2023

Ofcom’s Connected Nations report showed continued rises in full fibre access across Great Britain. The report found that around 15.4 million UK homes (52%) were fibre accessible as of May, an increase of approximately 3 million from September 2022.

UK fibre broadband updates - July 2023

London based alt-net Community Fibre surpassed the 1 million premises mark for full fibre connections provided in the capital. As a result, Community Fibre claimed to have overtaken Openreach in becoming “the largest 100% full-fibre provider in London”.

UK fibre broadband updates - April 2023

Think broadband announces that the UK has surpassed the 50% mark for full fibre access. As of the 12th April 2023, full fibre was available to 50.02% of premises, marking the first time that more than half of UK homes had access to the high-speed service.

UK fibre broadband updates - February 2023

The Welsh government stated it’s intention to join England in ensuring all new-build homes are built with Gigabit capability. The proposed plans would ensure all new-build homes in Wales would be installed with a Gigabit connection, subject to a £2,000 cost cap per dwelling. 

Should Gigabit not be feasible under this cost cap, then the next fastest conneciton would be installed.

UK fibre broadband updates - August 2022

The Scottish Government announced a £36 million expansion in the R100 project—a target to have 100% access to faster broadband across the country. The UK Government’s Project Gigabit will fund an additional £16 million worth of investment, with £20 million coming from the Scottish Government.  

UK fibre broadband updates - July 2022

The Welsh Government reached an agreement with Openreach to extend the Superfast Cymru Project to the end of March 2023. This will provide superfast broadband to more than 37,000 Welsh homes (slightly fewer than the proposed 39,000 target). 

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