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West Dorset District Council announces broadband investment
Wednesday 21 December 2011 12:09:58 by Andrew Ferguson

The various local authorities around the UK are slowly but surely indicating the size of the funding they are raising in addition to the funds allocated by the BDUK. Dorset is the latest area to indicate its Local Broadband Plan will be submitted to the BDUK by 31st December 2011, and if approved this will then release the £9.44m the BDUK has allocated to the county.

All the district councils and the county council are adding to the broadband fund, with West Dorset District Council announcing it will be contributing its share of the funding which is £1.3m. The expectation is that firms that bid for the actual contract, will also match fund meaning that there will be some £38m to meet the 2015 targets across the county. Details of the East Dorset contribution of £729,345 can be found in a report from 7th December 2011, this document also gives a lot more detail on the situation in the county.

Funding required from each council in Dorset
Funding allocations Premises Premises with < 2 Mbps Capital funding allocation
Tier 2 Authorities      
Christchurch BC 24,181 975 £100,044
East Dorset DC 40,688 7,108 £729,345
North Dorset DC 31,430 7,231 £741,966
Purbeck DC 22,904 3,418 £350,718
West Dorset DC 51,214 12,278 £1,259,834
Weymouth & Portland BC 31,244 1,492 £153,093
Sub-total 201,661 32,502 £3,335,000
Tier 1 Authorities      
Dorset County Council 201,661 32,502 £6,367,015
Borough of Poole 69,658 3,191 £227,490
Bournemouth Borough Council 86,361 878 £70,495
Total 357,680 36,571 £10,000,000

The aim for the Dorset scheme exceeds that of many counties as they are looking to deliver 100% superfast broadband coverage at the higher than usual speed of 30 Mbps. The appears to be to ensure they meet the 2020 EU targets earlier than 2020, rather than as some other areas will have to do, which is to have another round of spending between 2015 and 2020. While the goal is 100%, in the short term there is an acknowledgment that some premises may have to suffer just 2 Mbps in the short term, but an easily upgradeable solution will be used where possible. Some 172,670 premises look set to benefit from the project, which is lower than the total as some superfast broadband is being rolled out commercially in the more densely populated parts of Dorset.

"This is a once only opportunity and the success of the project relies entirely on an integrated approach from both local authorities and communities. We are very excited about the prospects of delivering this potential £38.88m project and the effects it will have for both businesses and residences.

Much of the business community in rural Dorset is made up of small to medium sized enterprises and inadequate broadband coverage inhibits growth and future employment. We want to support these businesses and keep them within communities in Dorset."

District Council Leader Robert Gould

Comments

Posted by WWWombat over 5 years ago
The East Dorset report gives an interesting timescale on the work: They expect to announce the vendor Q1 2013, with the rollout progressing from Q2 2013 to Q4 2014. i.e. in parallel with the tail of the BT Superfast project.

When all the BDUK funding was originally announced, I missed the fact that it required matching funding from the county, and then they expected the bidders to provide capital to match the total of both BDUK & county funding. I missed the county portion (plus the vendor's matching funds for that portion). It makes the total spend a little larger than I was expecting.
Posted by WWWombat over 5 years ago
Some other vital statistics:
185k premises covered by BT/Virgin etc
172k premises need BDUK funding
of which
136k will get access to 30Mb speeds
36k will be "tricky", but will get 2Mb minimum.

I assume the same 36k (10%) that will not get superfast are likely to be the same 36k that are listed in the table above as being "premises with < 2Mbps".
Posted by WWWombat over 5 years ago
Also interesting (from the ED report) is the statement that "BDUK funding is targeted on
getting Superfast Broadband deeper into communities. It will not fund the "final
mile” connection from the cabinet or community hub facility to the individual
premises; this remains the responsibility of the customer and internet service
provider (ISP)" and presumably this restriction goes for the matching funding too.

If anyone wants to install FTTP as part of the BDUK project, it will have to mean extra capital from the bidder for that final portion.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@wwwombat, maybe not extra capital, but the match funded part of the capital from the winning bidder.

What is the final mile is open to debate, with FTTC clearly the cabinet. With FTTH less clear, the fibre from last active component, or right up to the last splitter within 100m of property?
Posted by WWWombat over 5 years ago
Its debatable about the funding for FTTP: BDUK funds are only unlocked if the local council matches it, and then the bidder matches that total. I think BDUK would argue if a portion of the bidder's funding was targetted outside the remit of the BDUK portion.

Still, I guess it'll be this time next year before we have a really good feel for what the package is bring as a whole.
Posted by carverdoone43 over 5 years ago
To the layman this seems an awfull lot of tax payers money being spent on this broadband when in fact the ISP's manage the speed you receive, if you pay them a bit more for a different package you can get a faster speed without any changes to your equipment.
Tax payers money for broadband yet you pay the ISP for the service provided this does not make any sense, surely it is upto the ISP to provide the service not the user.
Posted by clive4 over 5 years ago
Am I being over-cautious? I'm on Virgin 2 Mbps for £15 a month but at least it works. BT offered me 40 Mbps FTTC for £18 with the first three months free as a sweetener which I haven't taken up even though Virgin advised me to as they could not possibly compete.
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