Ofcom expects the UK to reach a milestone of 50% coverage for full fibre broadband by next month.

New data shows that coverage will jump from 37% a year ago as further investment from network builders delivers ultrafast speeds to customers in central and hard-to-reach areas.

While the latest increase to 50% by March 2023 is a more conservative figure than Ofcom’s previous 55% prediction, the rollout of full fibre is gathering pace.

Just four years ago, in 2019, only 10% or 3m homes and businesses in the UK could connect to full fibre networks. There was then a jump to 28% in September 2021 before another increase to 42% or 12.4m premises a year later.

Ofcom now expects coverage to soar to 84% by March 2025.

When Virgin Media’s cable broadband is taken into account, which can also serve 1Gb speeds, coverage is set to hit 92% by that date.

Ofcom Group Director, Lindsey Fussell, said that while there is still work to do, the progress has been “rapid”.

She added: “Full-fibre broadband is better broadband. It’s more reliable and many times faster than the average ‘superfast’ connections people have largely used in recent years.”

The latest figures suggest the government’s ambitious Project Gigabit initiative is on course to meet its objective of 85% coverage before 2026.

A “nationwide” target by 2030 might be trickier due to the difficulty of reaching remote areas, but experts believe 97-99% coverage is feasible.

Telecom giant Openreach will play a significant role in achieving this with its £15bn rollout programme.