UK Internet update Q2 2023


A closer look at the UK: Europe’s fastest growing fibre market

In 2022, the UK was Europe’s fastest growing fibre market at 51% growth and rapid expansion is set to continue during the next few years. According to the latest FTTH Council Europe market panorama, the UK hit 42 % fibre coverage at the end of last year’s third quarter, up from just 28 % one year earlier. During that time, fibre had been delivered to 4.2m new premises.

Full fibre broadband continues to be rolled out widely across the UK, driven in part by ambitious government programmes. The £5 bn Project Gigabit programme aims to bring gigabit broadband to remote communities and an £8m fund is to support connectivity to 35,000 of the most difficult to reach premises, for example. The Unleashing Rural Opportunity action plan looks at ways of combining satellite, wireless and fixed line internet to connect remote areas. To boost 4G coverage and connectivity across the UK, the government has closed the £1bn Shared Rural Network deal with the four UK mobile network operators (EE, Three, VMO2 and Vodafone).

Although the number of households being connected is increasing rapidly, the UK continues to lag when it comes to penetration – and has quite a way to go. 50% of premises in 21 out of 28 countries ranked by the FTTH Council are equipped with fibre, but the UK comes in 22nd place with 42%. However, on a positive note, the UK continues to show a unique balance of efforts by incumbents and AltNets. Reports from Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) & Point Topic show AltNets had grown UK coverage by 50.18% in 2022 to 8.22 m premises in March 2023 (although rollout is slowing down). Openreach, the network activity of British fixed line incumbent BT Group, aims to deliver full-fibre connections to 25m homes and businesses by December 2026 and has passed 10m homes, businesses, and public services. In October 2022, AltNet CommunityFibre landed £985m in additional financing to fund FTTH rollouts in London and south-east England, and AltNet CityFibre recently secured enough land and property access agreements to connect over 1m homes owned by local authorities and housing associations to their gigabit FTTP network.


The FTTH Council expects the UK to rank second in Europe by 2024, with some 16.8 million homes passed - although Germany’s ambitious plans mean the UK may very likely be pushed back to third place in 2028!

  •  76% of UK premises can currently access a gigabit-capable connection.
  • More than 50% of UK premises are covered by a full-fibre network (up from 22% in April 2021)
Source: ThinkBroadband


 • In Q3 2022, 99.7% of UK homes had access to internet speeds of at least 10Mb/s
Source: Uswitch


  • There were 27.8m fixed broadband lines in the UK at end of Q3 2022—a 91,000 (0.3%) y-o-y increase.
  • Some 70% (19.4m) of these were predominantly FFTC or full fibre variants
Source: UK Government broadband access statistics


  • Median fixed internet connection speed at the start of 2023 was 73.21 Mbps.
  • Fixed internet connection speeds in the UK increased by 14.41 Mb/s (+24.5 %) during 2022.
  • Median mobile internet connection speed via cellular networks at the start of 2023 was 46.02 Mbps.
Source: Ookla