UK is just 53 in the world on fibre development

Analyst firm Omdia has published its Global Fiber Development 2022 Index and it reveals that many supposedly developed countries are lagging behind.

Omdia tracks 88 countries, which means the UK is in the bottom half when it comes to fibre rollout. To be fair to us, many of the countries near the top are much smaller and, in the case of the leader Singapore, almost entirely urbanized. But it’s still disappointing to see a country that has paid so much lip service to the importance of ubiquitous fire connectivity still lagging so significantly.

You can see a bar chart of all the countries covered, ranked by their index score. Again smaller, more urbanized countries like South Korea and Qatar do well but that generalization is contradicted by the presence of China at number three and Russia in the top 20. It’s also hard to make broad regional conclusions, with Romania the highest among European countries and a couple of Latin American ones in the top 20.

“Fiber investment is an essential metric for government institutions and other stakeholders to track,” said Omdia Research Director Michael Philpott. “As a broadband-access technology, optical fiber provides an optimized, highly sustainable, and future-proof quality service. This superior level of quality is essential for the development of future digital services and applications across all verticals.

“With increased efficiency stimulating greater innovation, high-speed broadband has been proven to drive not just consumer satisfaction but national economic indicators such as GDP and productivity. Only by maximizing investment in next-generation access can countries optimize their growth potential, and fiber-optic technology is key to that investment.

“Countries, such as the UK and the US, that are further down the list than many less developed countries, may need to consider policy reforms to ensure that it is easy to deploy infrastructure and that competition in the market remains high in light of mergers taking place.”

The US is still doing alright at 23rd on the list but it will presumably alarm some Americans to see China so near the top. Omdia bases its index mainly around fibre penetration to households, businesses, and macro cell sites. It also factors in some performance metrics from Ookla, who recently painted a similarly bleak picture of the UK broadband scene. As Philpott says, there must surely be more that can be done to promote infrastructure deployment.


Get the latest news straight to your inbox. Register for the newsletter here.

  • Cable Next-Gen Europe Digital Symposium


  1. Avatar Thlanglais 04/10/2022 @ 1:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing. One may observe though, that such quantitative measures should be combined with qualitative assessments to be meaningful. The premise that “fiber” means “future proof quality” is only valid if and when properly deployed. Recent report in France for instance shows that ~20% of the installed fiber was incorrectly laid down and requires rework – as numerous complaints from deceived customers illustrate, who in addition lose the DSL option once eligible to fiber. Cascades of incompetent subcontractors, not properly managed by operators solely focused on cost reduction, is the main accepted rootcause for such situation. It is hard to justify spending the money twice, yet poor quality and dysfunctional fiber is actually worse than copper…

  2. Avatar Unkind 10/10/2022 @ 8:57 am

    Absolutely right above. This chart means nothing without the quality assessment. I been through some of the top charted country and the way its fiber is deployed is literally a joke.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


There are no upcoming events.


Do you agree public funding should be used to support mobile operators to more broadly deploy Open RAN?

Loading ... Loading ...