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Bath and North East Somerset Council opt out of BDUK
Thursday 17 November 2011 11:48:04 by Andrew Ferguson

Bath and North East Somerset Council is to eschew the BDUK part funded drive towards a goal of 90% with superfast broadband and everyone else getting 2 Mbps or better.The Keynsham People carries the news that the council believes the current plan on offer which would see the council spending £1 million of its own money on top of perhaps £670,000 BDUK funding is too expensive.

One stumbling block mentioned was the requirement for a survey to find out how many had computers, something that many councils seem to be doing without much trouble. SurveyMonkey which some councils have used allows unlimited questions and responses for £299 a year.

The council is not giving up on broadband but is investing £25,000 to look at other ways to improve internet access across the area.

Bath has FTTC available from Kingsmead exchange in the city centre, and south of the River Avon Virgin Media provides coverage, people connected to Combe Down exchange are restricted to ADSL2+ from O2 and TalkTalk. Saltford has Virgin Media cable services as does Keynsham which also has ADSL2+ from TalkTalk. So while a large number of residents have superfast available from Virgin Media, if your property is not served by cable TV already then it is not likely to be coming to you.

There are a number of people in the village here who work from home and they need a reliable broadband connection.

We are not out in the sticks, we are right next to Bath and we have people here who are grateful when they manage to negotiate 0.1 Mbps to 0.5 Mbps.

What we are left with now is a gulf between the people in rural areas and those in urban areas.

We have got great swathes of B&NES which are absolutely pitiful and my concern is that this study is not going to be able to address that situation."

David Batho, chair of Claverton Parish Council

The above quote sums up the situation that many people around the UK will be used to experiencing, the danger for any council is that as other nearby areas upgrade infrastructure, home owners and more importantly businesses will not consider the area to move to, and even worse businesses may relocate to areas with better infrastructure.


Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
What will £25k find out?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
No idea, a hint in Mr Batho's comments, that it may be a study of some sort. Probably setting out the risks that business taxes may drop with poor broadband, empty shops in small villages will remain empty as niche stores that trade online will not move into the area.

A lot of information is available free, e.g. our maps, not spots, and surveys are cheap to run as I pointed out.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
It's not newsworthy as it's not BDUK, but two local District Councils near me have used grants (in the order of £30K I believe) to bring a fixed wireless solution to their rural lowspots. Seems to take about 6 months.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
If £25k can get Fixed Wireless that ensures 2 Mbps to all the properties outside current superfast access then great, but the topography of the area suggests it may not be easily done in that area.

Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
Topography is the big problem, but 12Mbps/6Mbps, or double that is, I think, a bit better than 2Mbps. But I may be in a minority amongst the posters here!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Which fixed wireless are we talking?

Kent was looking at £1m for fixed wireless at those and a little better speeds.

While B&NES is smaller I don't think it is 1/40th the size of Kent.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
£25k buys 25 days consultancy at £1000/day.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Which I'm sure will result in "You should have gone for the BDUK deal" ;)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
sounds like they are in between a rock and a hard place. If they take the bduk funding they end up wasting most of it in admin and procurement and still have to spend their own money anyway just to give it to BT. I don't blame them, but they will still get the flak whatever they do. I feel really sorry for all these councils. They don't even need a survey, the simple fact is if you live near a cab or an exchange you will get something. If you don't you have to jfdi yourself.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@cyberdoyle Give to BT, so Fujitsu's plan is not worth considering in your view?

Posted by FenTar over 5 years ago
Combe Down not Coombe Down.
I can see over 18 wireless signals in my area alone, so multiple by x and they have their answer.
Kingsmead serves over 31,000 residential premises and almost 2,500 non residential.
Posted by neils58 over 5 years ago
Sounds good to me, more BDUK money to go round the rest of Somerset!

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Fixed the Coombe Down type
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