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CLA express doubts over UK hitting BDUK 2015 targets
Tuesday 03 July 2012 10:30:35 by Andrew Ferguson

The Government has remained confident over hitting its broadband targets of having the Best Broadband in Europe by May 2015, with the scoring system announced in January 2012, though as yet we are unaware of any baseline figures to allow us to see how the UK is progressing.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has expressed doubts about whether the broadband speed and coverage targets will be met, and if their press release wording is taken at its word, then we would agree. The CLA have interpreted the target as 90% of rural areas getting broadband faster than 24 Mbps, when in reality the target is 90% of the UK. These two figures are vastly different, as DEFRA defines 80% of the UK as urban, and 20% as rural, thus the BDUK projects only need to get superfast broadband to half the rural areas to meet that goal, if all the urban areas see 100% coverage. The 2 Mbps USC is actually the easy target, as the more difficult areas can be offered the option of live with what you have now, or take a voucher for a subsidised satellite connection.

"The BDUK process is too bureaucratic and the allocation of the £530million funding too slow. It would be much simpler if the funding was allocated centrally rather than giving it directly to local authorities because they do not have the resource to plan for a superfast broadband network.

An over-reliance on fibre optic is also a factor in the Government's poor chance of meeting these deadlines. The CLA advocates a patchwork quilt model that uses the most appropriate technologies for a certain area, rather than using a single technology, so everyone can benefit from broadband."

CLA President Harry Cotterell

The press release from the CLA falls into a very common trap with the BDUK projects, that the final third solution is to fix a rural problem, when the reality is very different in that it crosses the rural/urban divide. Figures on the BDUK website show that even in urban areas there are significant gaps in receiving 2 Mbps currently.

Local Authority % receiving less than 2 Mbps Total dwellings
Milton Keynes 29.7% 100,360
Wakefield 20% 146,180
Barnsley 18.7% 103,810
Sunderland 18% 122,660
Sheffield 16.4% 235,800
Doncaster 16% 126,720
Cardiff 16% 141,171
Rotherham 15.6% 110,800
Leeds 14.1% 335,190
Top 10 urban areas receiving less than 2 Mbps

While the BDUK process has been annoyingly slow, procurement works like this to try and avoid authorities short cutting the process and handing money to the usual local suspect. If BT and Fujitsu is clever in areas where coverage is harder to achieve, they will sub-tender to providers who already offer fixed wireless or other solutions. One hurdle that needs to be cleared is the EU State Aid one, and the European Commission has made it clear that 30 Mbps should be the target speed where at all possible.

While the CLA and NFU engaging in a national wayleave broadband agreement is worthy, in its attempt to encourage infrastructure providers, the UK seems to have a dearth of these, and as soon as the BDUK project was announced in 2009/2010, many potential large commercial investors vanished. A wayleave agreement may help community interest solutions operating in the final 1 to 2% of the UK, but it is perhaps five years too late at helping competitors to BT create a network that reaches beyond the 20 to 50 major points of presence that the current UK fibre backbone networks reach.

Comments

Posted by otester over 4 years ago
Some issues you need to take into account affecting speed:

1. BRAS profiling.
2. Poor wiring.
3. With a **** ISP like BT.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@otester

1. On WBC exchanges this is fully dynamic now
2. FTTC - engineer visit should avoid this
3. Thats personal opinion, and while not perfect, in that respect no ISP is perfect.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
Only one flaw in this plan - the EU will not allow State aid for fixed wireless!

"If BT and Fujitsu is clever in areas where coverage is harder to achieve, they will sub-tender to providers who already offer fixed wireless or other solutions. "

Your move!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Shh - some authorities might just ignore it.
Posted by camieabz over 4 years ago
"The BDUK process is too bureaucratic and the allocation of the £530million funding too slow. It would be much simpler if the funding was allocated centrally rather than giving it directly to local authorities because they do not have the resource to plan for a superfast broadband network."

How true. They can hardly plan a rubbish collection network.
Posted by desouzr over 4 years ago
BDUK project here in North Yorkshire should be the first of the pilot projects off the ground with an official announcement in the next couple of weeks about who the tender has been awarded to with work to begin in the autumn.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
hahahaah too true camieabz I still find it amazing when our bin collectors don't turn up on a Saturday sometimes, no explanation nothing just.. don't bother.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
30% in MK? Ouch. The irony for Milton Keynes is that it's a major national network hub :-/
Posted by zhango over 4 years ago
What surprised me is that even in London there is 7.9% which is 3,300,460 properties less than 2Mbps.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@zhango its not 3.3m properties, but rather 7.9% of 3.3m (around 290,000 properties) that are affected.
Posted by zhango over 4 years ago
@andrew: Ok thanks - still a lot though?
Posted by broughtondon over 4 years ago
Milton Keynes is number one...

Not the table I was hoping for though.

My download speed in 1.5mbps, on a brand new build estate where the arguments over who has the legal right to access the new ducts and my cabinet just 200m away is considered "uneconomic"...

Posted by RobFlet over 4 years ago
Interesting that 9 of the top 10 are int'North.

Doesn't surprise me now everything during this recession has become London-centic again.

I know people who are lucky to get even a sniff at 512k out in the country up here.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Digital Region covers Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
Posted by RobFlet over 4 years ago
Sorry, can't count ... 8 out of 10 ... but yes, DR does cover that area ... will be interesting to see how it all pans out ...


The folk I know are out in the North York Moors.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
Well you know what the locals say. "Stay on the road, Keep clear of the moors and beware the moon".

Maybe BT are just scared :)
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
@andrew

1. That's good to know.
2. This also includes aluminum lines as well.
3. Of course TB has to remain neutral but I cite review sites as my source for that opinion :)
Posted by broughtondon over 4 years ago
I guess Milton Keynes is in the north....it's north of Watford....

Comparison, my brother in the centre of MK can now get infinity of up to 77mbps, and here's me on 1.5mbps...seems the older parts of MK are better off than the new...
Posted by broughtondon over 4 years ago
And there are people with speeds of more than half what I'm getting elsewhere in MK.

[URL=http://www.speedtest.net][IMG]http://www.speedtest.net/result/2050644436.png[/IMG][/URL]
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