How does UK's full fibre broadband compare to other countries?

Figures suggest the UK is one of the worst places in Europe for access to full-fibre broadband, as Labour announced plans to provide the technology to every home and business in the UK by 2030.

The party has announced it would bring parts of BT into public ownership under plans which it said will result in a massive upgrade in the UK’s internet infrastructure.

While the UK is among the best-performing EU countries for broadband coverage generally, it lags behind most other EU nations when it comes to full-fibre coverage.

According to the most recent figures from Ofcom, full-fibre broadband availability in the UK stands at 8%, with around 2.5 million properties covered.

This is significantly lower than many other parts of the EU – where only Belgium, Cyprus and Greece have lower levels of full-fibre coverage than the UK, according to figures from the European Commission from 2018 which were published earlier this year.

The figures indicate that those countries are joined by the UK and Germany as the only EU nations with full-fibre coverage under 10%.

In contrast, the figures show that full-fibre coverage in Latvia stands at just under 90%, while Spain, Portugal and Sweden have coverage of 70% or higher.

Further afield, countries such as Japan and South Korea both have full-fibre coverage of over 95%.

  • What is full fibre broadband?

Full fibre broadband uses a fibre optic cable to connect from the local telephone exchange to your house without the use of any copper cable.

Currently, there are some internet connections which use copper lines, which deliver a slower connection.

Full fibre broadband could offer speeds of 1000Mbps - 20 times faster than the UK average.