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Bath and North East Somerset approve broadband plan
Thursday 12 January 2012 09:02:26 by Andrew Ferguson

The opting out of the BDUK scheme by Bath and Somerset back in 2011 came at a time when it seemed the BDUK scheme was potentially starting to split at the seams. Now at the start of 2012 we learn that a new scheme (involving BDUK) has been given approval by council members in Bath and North East Somerset.

The council will now provide some £475,000 into the pot for the new scheme, which with its £1 becomes £4.70 in investment from other sources does appear much better than the £1 becomes £2.20 of the previous scheme. The scheme draws on private sector funding, BDUK and European Regional Development funding.

Interesting while the scheme appears to have better funding than some other plans, the targets look small if the information is correct, the 2 Mbps (Megabits per second) for all is standard, but the 20 Mbps for over 85% is below the usual definition of superfast broadband by the BDUK which is a speed of 25 Mbps or faster, and a target coverage of 90% at these speeds. A large number of councils are also using a 30 Mbps definition for superfast broadband.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Lets hope it doesn't get wasted on patching up solutions. Otherwise it will all be to do again. Get some fibre into the rural areas and let new community networks like B4RN give the incumbents a bit of competition.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
B4RN is doing 1,451 properties for £1.86m. The council will have around £2.5m to cover the 40,000 properties in its area, the sums don't stack up for a full FTTP.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
Article says 40,000 people...
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
If B4RN can do it for them let them at it!
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
Fair enough but probably best to wait and see if B4RN can deliver anything in Cumbria first! We've seen quite a few FTTP proposals that look good on paper fail to deliver in practice, as I'm sure people in Bournemouth, Dundee and elsewhere will confirm.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Of course... digging was supposed to start in January I believe but no routes have been agreed at present, what I meant was if B4RN can make a success of it and they think they can make a go of this with FTTH good luck to them :)
Posted by billyliar over 5 years ago
BT have dangled a carrot no doubt. Talked them in to accepting ADSL2+ for greater coverage rather than serve fewer with better. Please god let this not be the start. Govt money prop up old technology. BDUK money should not be used for this. If a council is silly enough to go down this route then let them use their own money. Very short sighted.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
How so Billy? (and presumably you mean VDSL2?)

£2.5m is not a lot of money in commercial terms, B4RN can only achieve what they have by DIY methodology which reduces costs significantly (almost 3 fold).

£2.5m will only fund ~700-800 properties at commercial cost levels. I assume that there would be a lottery of some description for the lucky very few?

£2.5m will cover ~7,200 properties by FTTC, economically it makes better sense. (Assumptions 50k for cabinet install + home installs, assume all cabs are small 144s).
Posted by billyliar over 5 years ago

VDSL is not available from exchanges, only cabinets. I mean ADSL2+ which BT sells as it's 20Mbps service. By all means use it but don't dress it up as 'superfast'. Yes, it will make the money go further (no. of premises) It is old technology so why should thy be using BDUK money which is for 'Next Generation' broadband which is specified as 25Mbps in the guidelines...
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Agreed on ADSL2.

However, the issue is providing improved services to rural locations is very costly... especially those on long lines and no cab. And who should foot the bill for social infrastructure improvements. Social improvements are normally the remit of gov. Successive govs have failed to come up with a plan or funds that adequately resolve all areas where commercial roll out is not viable by BT or VM or Fujitsu. Because these companies will not commit to any areas where there is no ROI.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Should gov make Superfast BB a USO, then the same rules as all other USO utilities will apply. That the customer must foot the bill for costs above £3.5k.
Posted by omnius over 5 years ago
slightly off topic but.....

Considering the con-dems want this broudband thing, exactly how much funds have they made available? (NOT includeing the bduk funds which where just what was left over from the digital tv) from everything ive seen they want private funds for everything! wheres our tax's going these days? i carnt belive its all spend on the new mellenium dome that is the olimpics...... on second thoughts....
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
To my mind there's a "grey area". The issue of rural broadband isn't unique to the UK, but some of the problems may be. Are there cheaper technological solutions being used elsewhere in the world not available to us because of "outdated" rules and regulations? We should, to my mind, be taking the best the RoW has to offer, and if the rules need changing, then change them. Our version of competition is too often confrontation where there should be co-operation. It's a job for the politicians.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Half the problem is that BT, VM and most large companies are poor at delivering bespoke solutions... which is more the norm in a rural setting than in urban.
However, the smaller ISPs lack the capital to give solutions to rural on the scale needed, mainly because of the longer ROI.
Larger companies have sufficient cash flow for the longer ROI, but there solutions are more costly because they use their standardised method (which is great for general national roll-out)... but pants for local rural solutions.
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