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Surrey County Council invites bids for 100% superfast broadband contract
Monday 06 June 2011 12:21:57 by John Hunt

Surrey County Council have committed to deploying 100% super-fast broadband to the county as it announces a tendering process. The council previously announced their aim for 100% broadband coverage whilst it undertook a survey of its 84 local councils to find broadband not-spots. BT is currently undertaking work to put in faster broadband mainly through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology which is expected to reach around 80% of the region. The final 20% will need help from the local council to ensure that they can gain access to faster speeds also.

"Fast and reliable internet access is vital for business and is central to our daily lives. Everyone should have access to this essential tool and we are committed to making sure that those in rural areas and other parts of Surrey where service is patchy are not left behind.

Poor broadband coverage and slow speeds hold back local businesses and put rural communities at a disadvantage. Unless we step in up to 20% of Surrey won’t feel the huge benefits of high-speed broadband in the near future."

Dr Andrew Porvey, (Leader) Surrey County Council

The contract is expected to be finalised by May 2012 and the council should then be on target to deliver the faster services by 2013. It will be interesting to see who actually bids for the contract. It could work out that subsidising further FTTC deployments of BT actually works out more economical than paying other companies to deploy new networks, but a range of technologies could be used, including wireless which is often seen as a cheaper solution to fixed-line broadband.


Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
Is the 100% defined as "with no exceptions" ? Is "high speed broadband" defined ?

FTTC - putting different electronics on the end of existing infrastructure - is bound to be cheapest where there's a cabinet and accessible ducts to feed it. VDSL from the exchange ?
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
i'm guessing that BT has actually shared all it's roll-out data with Surrey CC for the 80% figure to be used.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
BT really must be wringing its hands with glee at the thought of all of the millions of free money it is going to get handed by the government (aka us taxpayers!).
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
100% will get - 'Superfast broadband benefits include users being able to send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly. It allows a music album to be downloaded within 30 seconds and a feature length movie in about five minutes.'

Posted by doowles over 5 years ago
wireless has nothing to do with "superfast broadband". Its just not quick enough in its current state.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
How is it free money wirelesspacman? If its free it means they don't have to do anything when given the money or what they put in cost nothing.

Neither sound right to me?

Whoever wins the bid (doesn't have to be BT, I would like to see someone else do it) they aren't getting free money
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
Depends on the extent to which they would actually have done it anyway!

BT learnt a very important lesson during the adsl rollout days - they can get humungus amounts of money given to them by the government as long as they manage to con (sorry, pursuade) the powers that be that it is "uneconomic" for them to do it without a massive handout.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming BT at all for this. They are being perfectly sensible in protecting their shareholders' interests.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
It might not "have to be BT", but the way the process is being handled, it is very hard to see anyone else bidding successfully given the requirement for (so called, in BT's case) matched funding.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
I hope someone else gets it, just to see what goes in and how its handled, if done well by someone else it could snowball, we shouldn't be so reliant/expectant on BT doing this
Posted by donkey_hellfire over 5 years ago
I live in area that is made up of about 5 villages which have merged together overtime with a populous of about 5000 people. We are all served by one exchange (Market 1) located in one of the villages which hasn’t had any hardware last mile upgrade (ADSL) since 2003. The exchange was last upgraded in 2006 to ADSL Max (software). This is despite been located 4 miles from a town of 70,000 people and 12 miles from the nearest city. So my area can hardly be classed as rural.
Posted by donkey_hellfire over 5 years ago
I am lucky to live fairly close to the exchange and get a sync speed of 8128k down and 832k up by paying over the odds (£23.40 per month) for ADSL Max Premium provided by Pipex aka talktalk. I just performed (22:42) a speed test from the thinkbroadband site and achieved a paltry 764 Kbps down and 692 Kbps up. I have a sister who lives in the USA and regularly upload family videos in 1080P HD to YouTube (set as private) which often time out and take hours to upload.

So anyone who states that the current the ADSL technology is fine wants their head examining!
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
um... donkey_hellfire... but what you are describing is rural. 5 small villages combining to become a medium sized one. And as for being outside a town/city, well that's rural, distance having absolutely no consideration in the matter. I'm in a little village of 1,000 people just outside Oxford (500yds), we're rural.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
I'm wondering a bit about your speed, if you are fairly close to your exchange you should have far better speeds than that if you are less than 3 km to the exchange. How close are you? Have you samknows exchnage checker to get an ish distance?
Posted by Bob_s2 over 5 years ago
The way the government are doing this is just wasting money. Lots of tiny tenders being handed out by local authorities to dozens of small companies. It should be done on a UK basis with a single contract to achive the economies of scale as it is these schemes will go nowhere
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
"Lots of tiny tenders being handed out by local authorities to dozens of small companies"

If only that was true we might not be heading for the farce we are with those muppets at BDUK.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
How much was this massive amount of money BT got handed previously?
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Indeed Andrew, yes Wireless, how much and when was BT given wads of cash for ADSL roll-out by UK gov?
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
Last I heard BT funded the ADSL roll-out from it's own money for it's own reasons. Protecting the value of the local loop basically. It's doing the same thing with FTTC.
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
Sigh. And I do wish those apostrophes wouldn't keep inserting them where they are aren't wanted :(
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
don't know what the total ended up being, but iirc it ran to many millions of pounds.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
there were a number of regional projects where BT was handed over huge amounts of dosh to enable exchanges that they claimed were not economic to do otherwise. All done under the so-called open procurement rules of course, just that BT was essentially deemed to be the only viable bidder (and I suspect in most cases was indeed the only bidder, though that is only my suspicion).
Posted by donkey_hellfire over 5 years ago
As my downstream speed magically jumps up to about 6500 kbps around 2 am I presume that my poor speeds are down to insufficient backhaul from the exchange or talktalk contending the hell out of my business connection. I believe I should have a contention ratio of about 20:1 being an ADSL Max premium customer. I know the exchange was sub tended when ADSL was originally installed back in 2003.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 5 years ago
@themanstan 'little village' of about 1,000 people? :-)
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
We were smaller, but part of Littlemore Oxford that was outside the ring-road was passed over to Sandford and almost doubled its population. And given Oxfordshire has one of the largest viallges...Kidlington on the other side of Oxford a mere 14,000... bigger than some towns.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 5 years ago
Kidlington are in denial over their town status. It has its own airport for goodness sake!

Works well for the estate agents to describe a house as being in an Oxfordshire Village though.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
New Train station too with direct links to London, has added to the value of properties there... they have fibre scheduled too... lucky buggers!
Posted by bugbandit over 5 years ago
Will the 100% of Surrey include the part of GU15 1JG that has no cable connection?
Posted by dragon1945 over 5 years ago
My phone line comes in from Surrey even though I live in Berkshire. BT said some years back that I would never get BB speeds. Prince Porkie moved in up the road & had work done by BT and got BB. Fibre laid on ? Our phone line comes off his. Suddenly we had 512 kbps. BT said it would not get any better. I changed to Homecall and got 1.4 MB. Same old phone line, router etc. Then talktalk and got 1.9 MB. My contract with recently ran out so I checked with BT. They said my line could only attain 512 kbps. Chances of BT improving anything around here is zero.
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