91% of UK will have full fibre by May 2026 – Ofcom

Regulator’s latest Connected Nations report reveals that if all network deployments are realised as planned, 27m UK properties will have full-fibre broadband by May 2026, up from 15.4m in May this year. 

Lightning fast, reliable broadband brings significant benefits to communities. People can live and work more flexibly, business can be more production and vital public services are better able to thrive. Regulator Ofcom is keen to promote the rollout of high-speed infrastructure across the UK. It does so by promoting competition between different companies and encouraging investment.

man in green jacket sitting on chair

Photo by Mika Baumeister

As we reported last month, a little over half of UK homes – 52% – have access to full-fibre services according to figures from May 2023, which is up 3% since 2017 when Ofcom proposed rules to boost full fibre rollout. That growth, it says, has been driven predominantly by the larger operators in the sector, but supported by smaller providers who tend to serve individual regions and communities. 

Ofcom has now collated data from UK broadband firms on their plans to rollout full fibre over the next three years. The result shows that just more than three quarters – 76% – of UK properties will be able to access gigabit-capable services from two or more providers by May 2026, which is more than double the figure of 30% from May this year. 

The regulator notes that much of this new infrastructure is expected to be built in urban and suburban centres but that rural areas will also see substantial network upgrades. If all the planned work is realised, 98% of urban properties will be able to access gigabit services by May 2026 – up from 81% this year. Some 75% of rural properties will also have this level of access, up from 42% in May 2023. 

For full details, see the Ofcom report Connected Nations – Planned Network Deployment (October 17, 2023). 

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