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Sunderland aspire to offer ubiquitous superfast broadband
Friday 11 November 2011 14:46:02 by John Hunt

Sunderland will be the first city to have blank superfast broadband connectivity Sunderland City Council has announced. BT is to deploy it's superfast broadband including fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) products across the city, reaching 90% of homes and businesses.

"Sunderland is committed to regenerating and securing its future economic prosperity. The City Council is investing in Sunderland’s infrastructure, ensuring the city is the easiest place in the UK to do business - whether you’re a small to medium-size enterprise, or an international manufacturing giant.

Being able to announce that Sunderland will be the first city in Britain to offer wall to wall access to superfast broadband is the result of our vision, ambition and commitment. I’m proud of our city and what we have achieved. This is a step in the right direction towards our long-term vision for Sunderland. The City Council recognises that superfast city-wide broadband infrastructure is a vital ingredient for economic growth in the city."

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader Sunderland City Council

The council will likely be putting forward some money, including funding from BDUK towards BT's deployment of the service throughout the city. This will be necessary to increase the coverage as there would otherwise be areas that are not economical to upgrade. The remaining 10% of the city not met through BT's plans is expected to be met through other providers and potential further expansion plans of the BT roll-out in partnership with the council.


Posted by timmay over 5 years ago
This is simply a case of BT not wanting to do it because they know they can get extra cash from BDUK if they don't do 10%.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Are you basing that on anything in particular ?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
O dear. another one bites the dust. Wall to wall hype. some near cabinets will be faster. Others stay the same and 10% get 'alternative technology'. The digital divide is growing.
The council should put the money into the 10% and run a fibre ring round the old copper network and work inwards to the heart of the city. The same fibre ring could reach out to rural areas. Patching up the cabinets is a waste of public money.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Depends if you mean that Sunderland will use it's BDUK cash to infill and upgrade the last 3 out 10 exchanges that aren't already active or slated for upgrade. Looks very much to be a final third infill from available info.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
@CD, you have no concept of money at all do you?

Please tell us where the cash required for you dream network is? We'd all love to know!
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
cd = do you really know what you mean by a fibre ring?
Posted by dustofnations over 5 years ago
@cyberdoyle - Oh please.

It certainly seems more important for immediate economic reasons to have areas densely populated by companies to have decent access to fast (and cheap) broadband.

At any rate most of the rural areas you are speculating about would not come under the auspices of Sunderland anyway. Probably Durham, Northumberland and so forth.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
As commented on ISPReview, it would be great if you could indicate where the funding will come from for your FTTH utopia. Remember that the government is only offering £530m through to 2015, who would you leave out in the final third so that a few get FTTH?

What is wrong with using a mix of technologies instead to get the best value depending on circumstances, allowing a much bigger % of the final third to benefit?
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago

Despite your reservations FTTC is delivering fast broadband to a large number of people, will see speeds rise next year, with an upgrade path to 200Mbps using Profile 30a and vectoring, which also extends reach.

Vectoring with Profile 17a could give 100Mbps at 600m, over 40Mbps at 1km, which covers 90% of the populaion. Not bad for an obsolete technology!
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Just glad CD is in farming and not designing networks :)
Posted by jumpmum over 5 years ago
It funny but 2 articles on here lately already quote Cities with ubiquitous Superfast BB. says Londonderry has all cabinets enabled, so should exceed sunderlands 90%. and from OFCOM says Luton has 100% SFBB availability.

So how can Sunderland be first with 90%?

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Sunderland has a mixture of FTTC/P so that may be the difference.

All cabinets does not equal all phone lines, as some may be direct exchange line (DEL).

Suspect similar for the Ofcom data, and if I recall there was little clarity.

There is a race to get places mentioned, and a lot depends on the definition of the city. i.e. BT Exchange areas, or part of the city in terms of council services.
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
well spotted theman stan using www.samknows to look at the location of the exchanges is you will notice that most of them are already announced and 4 of them will be live my march 2012 -- a large majority of this is actually being delivered now
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
This is just PR from the council.
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
be very surpised about luton --- Derry is very specifc as is part of deployment of the Northern Ireland roll out
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
somerset PR it may be -- Fact it is
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
somerset if an operator was going to provide 90% of your area without your money / or state being involved wouldnt you shoult about it
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
themandstan and newlondoner, as stated on the website, b4rn isn't funded, it will be built by community shares, and if the community don't buy the shares it won't be built I guess. The business plan has the costs all worked out.
And luckily there is a good network design not of my making ;)
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
I'd love b4rn to be a success.

1) So you finally get the broadband you want
2) So it can hopefully be replicated elsewhere

But in reality I really do think a spade will not have hit the ground by this time next year never mind this December.

As you say its based on people buying shares, lots and lots of shares. And this year and the coming years after are the worst possible time in the last 20+yrs to ask people to take a punt with their cash.

Even if the economy wasn't in the mess it is I'm still not sure if there'd be enough cash to do it.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
I wasn't thinking about B4RN specifically as you repeatedly urge people to refuse to accept anything other than FTTP.

The £530m could fund a good deal of the final third using a range of technologies or very little using FTTP only. So either more money is needed (from where?) or many people will get nothing (who?).

It would be good to understand whether you'r eproposing much more restricted coverage so teh few get FTTP or additional funding? Depending on your answer, who would miss out or who could fund the gap?
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