Altnets offer the best broadband speeds in much of the UK

According to data from Ookla, altnets are providing the top fixed broadband speeds in London, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester, as well as a number of counties.

A new report by the network intelligence provider, which takes a general look at the state of the broadband market in the UK, says that fixed broadband internet reached 86% of households at the end of 2021, most customers have access to speeds of at least 30 Mbps, and altnets are providing the top speeds in key areas of the UK.

In Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester Hyperoptic had the fastest fixed broadband speeds, representing download and upload speeds in excess of 150 Mbps during Q1-Q2 2022, while in London CFL offered the fastest speeds. The report predicts that altnets will pass 30 million premises by 2025 and will spend around £12 billion in the process.

The study looked at 146 British counties and the data shows that VMO2 had the fastest median download speeds in 71% of those counties, while BT came a distant second, and Vodafone led in five counties. Fibrus and Gigaclear each claimed the top speeds in four counties, TrueSpeed led in two counties, and other providers led in one county.

However according to its figures in August 2022, the UK ranked only 55th globally, with a median fixed broadband download speed of 66.22 Mbps and 18.25 Mbps upload. In terms of the rankings within the UK, Northern Ireland came first for fastest median download speed at 65.21 Mbps, followed by England (62.40 Mbps), Scotland (57.13 Mbps), and Wales (49.71 Mbps).

There is no shortage of fibre investment money sloshing around the UK at the present moment, which has helped bring about the situation where there are a very large amount of players in the sector – Ookla estimates there is around 300 ISPs operating in the UK. It also says that all the provider’s planned rollouts together exceed 31 million premises in the UK, meaning there will be some level of overbuild, particularly in more densely populated areas. How sustainable this is, and whether or not the market is on the verge of a series of consolidations, remains to be seen.


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