22,299 premises in the Isle of Man had been “passed”1 by Ultrafast broadband as of the end of September. This represents just almost 46% of premises2 in the Isle of Man, significantly behind the Government’s advertised target of 50% by the end of July 2021.
In his capacity as the Minister for Enterprise, Howard Quayle reported in July that 20,578 premises had access to ultrafast broadband, and 5,676 of these premises (28%) had connected to ultrafast broadband. The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise has published equivalent numbers for the end of August and end of September on their website.
Intervention and non-intervention zones
The Isle of Man’s National Broadband Plan identified nine intervention zones with a total of 12,3453 premises to benefit from taxpayer subsidies for claimed “commercially unviable” ultrafast broadband installations. Of the 12,345 intervention premises, Mr Quayle reported to Tynwald in July that 3,338 (27%) premises now had ultrafast broadband. Of those 3,338 premises with broadband, just 577 (17%) had connected to the network, with a further 494 (15%) having pending installations.
According to the data shared in July, there were 17,240 non-intervention premises which had been passed by ultrafast broadband, of which 5,099 premises had connected to broadband – a connection rate of 30%, with a further 1,322 premises pending connection (8%).
This reveals that intervention zones have had noticeable lower connection rates, even accounting for the larger number of pending installations in intervention zones.
August 2021 update
The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise claimed that at the end of August 2021, 3,888 intervention premises were passed by fibre. This was an increase of 550 from 3,338 from Mr Quayle’s July figures.
Amongst non-intervention premises, the period from Mr Quayle’s July statement to the end of August saw just 453 new premises “passed” by ultrafast broadband, taking the total of non-intervention premises to 17,693.
September 2021 Update
The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise claimed that at the end of September 2021, there were 4,077 intervention premises. This was an increase of just 189 from the previous month.
Amongst non-intervention premises, September saw 529 new premises “passed” by ultrafast broadband, taking the total of non-intervention premises to 18,222.
A note about premises
The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise wrongly claims that there are “42,500 premises – business and residential” on the Isle of Man. The Department for Enterprise provides no underlying source for their wrong claims.
By using a wrong number of premises on the Isle of Man, the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise is able to inflate their figures for the percentage of properties passed by high-speed broadband. For example, for the end of September 2021, the Department for Enterprise falsely claims that 52.46% of premises have been passed by broadband (22,299 divided by 42,5004). In reality, just 45.68% of premises have been passed by broadband (22,299 divided by 48,821).
The Isle of Man Economic Affairs Division publishes an annual summary of key Isle of Man numbers, called “Isle of Man in Numbers“.
Page 69 of the Isle of Man in Numbers document reports the number of premises to receive electricity, being 43,092 domestic customers, 5,411 commercial customers, and 318 industrial customers, for a total of 48,821 premises on the Isle of Man.
Further, Isle of Man Post Office offers a “Door 2 Door” delivery service to 43,591 “residential and business delivery points”. Isle of Man Post Office makes no claims that its residential and business delivery points represents all premises on the Isle of Man, and anecdotal reports suggests there are more premises than postal delivery points on the Isle of Man.
Data on the number of passed and connected properties comes from the Hansard record of the July sitting of Tynwald:
- The word “passed” is not specifically defined by the Isle of Man’s National Telecommunications Strategy document of October 2018 which introduced the term. Instead, we have used “passed” to mean that fibre broadband has physically passed the premises. In many cases, especially in the case of apartments, properties which have “passed” by fibre broadband might not be available to each premises. Best to contact the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise if you are aggrieved by this.
- The total number of Isle of Man premises comes from page 69 of Isle of Man in Numbers 2021. The number of Manx Utilities Authority customers (premises to receive electricity) is used a proxy for the total number of Isle of Man premises here. There were reported to be 43,092 domestic customers, 5,411 commercial customers, and 318 industrial customers, for a total of 48,821 premises on the Isle of Man. See “A note about premises” above for more discussion of this.
- This is not a joke: 12,345 is the actual number
- The DfE made a rounding error – the correct number should be 52.47%