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Surrey County Council sign superfast broadband deal with BT
Wednesday 12 September 2012 13:34:34 by Andrew Ferguson

Surrey County Council in a signing ceremony at County Hall has signed a deal with BT to supply superfast broadband the parts of the County where commercial operators have indicated they have no intention to commercially deploy services in the next three years.

The council raised £20m of its own money for the contract, with just £1.3m from the BDUK, BT as the winning contractor will be investing £11.8m into the project, giving a fund of £33m for rolling out superfast broadband services. While the national aim is for local authorities to run schemes that see 90% receiving a superfast service, the Surrey project is going beyond this and is described as delivering within a whisker of 100% fibre broadband availability. The project should deliver a service to some 90,000 properties.

The deployment will feature what must be a universal enabling of all existing BT street cabinets for FTTC services, and also extra work to enable FTTC for exchange only lines, if the use of the words "within a whisker of 100% fibre broadband" are to become true. FTTC services offer up to 80 Mbps downloads and up to 20 Mbps uploads, but of course your distance from the street cabinet is the key, some estimates of speeds at various distance are included in our fibre guide.

We have asked BT to clarify whether any pure FTTP will be deployed as part of the project, it is possible that for some exchange only line clusters that this is cheaper than a new FTTC cabinet. In 2013, the anticipated launch of Fibre on Demand will bring the Openreach full fibre 330 Mbps products to those businesses and home owners willing to pay a higher than normal activation fee.

Of course actual delivery of anything via this funding is subject to approval from the European Commission due to EU State Aid rules, but in the mean time we hope that BT and the Council can start planning roll-out, and inform the public of timescales for different parts of the counties. The general feeling on our user forums, is that most care little about who implements the service, so long as their provider sells it, and most importantly when can they order the service.


Posted by bezuk about 1 year ago
As a flat owner (in a new build block) in a Surrey town centre which also happens to be an EO line, I'll be very interested to hear what type of technology they plan to use to service my block.
Posted by mjn2002uk about 1 year ago
As someone connected to a PCP that BT has determined not to be commercially viable, this seems to be really good news. I hope that the EU don't take ages confirming the plans are okay, so that we can then get to finding out the rollout plan as soon as possible.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@mjn2002uk On projects in some EU countries what has happened is that commercial investors have gone ahead, risking the wider project not getting approval.

If the state aid drags on, then I would hope BT will look at spending some its set aside investment to fill in the various holes at least. One can hope.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago

EO lines - plans are install a FTTC. So line becomes not EO - mainly ideal for larger blocks of lines. Or if the numbers stack up do a FTTP deployment.

Flats if you can get the landlord on board it helps.
Posted by chrish16 about 1 year ago

That fibre guide you link to, i think it needs updating to show that FTTC is now up to 80Mbps not 40Mbps.

Quote: How fast is fibre broadband?
FTTC broadband offers a downstream line speed of 40meg (40Mbps), but the actual maximum speed of the service will be slightly lower than this at around 39Mbps. Different upstream speeds are available at either 2Mbps or 10Mbps.
Posted by bezuk about 1 year ago

It's a large block with 300 apartments. If they intend to build a new FTTC cabinet for us, where it's located will be critical. Even though it's an EO line, it's not that close to the exchange so FTTC speeds would be poor if the cabinet is built right at the exchange end of the current line.
Posted by Michael_Chare about 1 year ago
I just hope that Kent CC will develop similar plans. I have sent my County Councillor a copy of the announcement!

It will be interesting to see how far Surrey CC goes towards paying for FTTP connections for those where FTTC is not really viable. i.e. would offer a connection speed less than 5mbps.
Posted by herdwick about 1 year ago
@bezuk sounds like you need an FTTB solution with VDSL2 kit on site.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
If putting in a cab for a block of EO lines, then location is more likely to be closer to the premises end, than the exchange end.

With FTTB you would usually do ethernet to the flats, ala Hyperoptic.

But if space in basement and close to existing phone entry point to building, a FTTC cab in building might be feasible, 24 hour access etc
Posted by bezuk about 1 year ago
The owners are interested (we have "right to manage") but the landlord (freeholder) only exists to make money from our ground rent. I doubt they'd object provided they don't have to pay or do anything but they do not answer any communication I send on the subject.
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