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Wandsworth council looking for partner to provide fibre broadband
Monday 12 November 2012 18:26:29 by Andrew Ferguson

Wandsworth council has announced a possible plan that could see it partnering with a commercial operator to get fibre optic broadband installed into properties it owns across the borough.

"As part of its Wandsworth Connected campaign, the council wants to ensure estate tenants can get online as easily as the rest of the borough. Currently 85 per cent of Wandsworth residents have some form of internet access - up from 74 per cent in 2007 - but the figure falls to around two thirds among council tenants.

Currently there is nothing to stop tenants subscribing to broadband, but in blocks of flats this has traditionally been via copper wire. This means they had to pay line rental and delivery speeds are not always as fast as advertised."

Wandsworth council driving social inclusion

This is at a very early stage and it appears will only go forward if the housing committee agrees to proceed at a meeting on November 14th. Interestingly the small amount of information released so far indicates there would be no charge to the council, though it is not clear if this is just referring to monthly subscriptions rather than including the cost of installing fibre optic cabling direct to every flat in a building. We suspect that the delivery would be fibre to a cabinet inside the building, and then ethernet cabling to each flat, if full fibre is delivered to each individual flat this pushes the cost up.

The low take-up among council tenants may not just be a factor of cost, and while the need to pay voice line rental for telephone delivered broadband can raise the cost, when you can obtain a broadband service for a monthly fee as low as £13.99 (Primus Saver 20GB) or £16.68 (Plusnet Value 10GB + Primus Saver line rental) then price may not be the issue, perhaps other factors like contract length, credit checks and other factors are coming into play. How a commerical fibre operator will be able to install and cover its installation costs while also under cutting this sort of pricing in London will make for interesting reading.

Interestingly the council appears to see the improved broadband service as being a way to finally rid themselves of building mounted satellite dishes, which suggests that the there might be new rules stopping tenants from mounting a satellite dish under the belief TV content that is delivered by a satellite can be viewed online just as easily.


Posted by fibrebunny over 4 years ago
This assumes the individual concerned would be up to speed with the best offers and that they all have a computer of some description. Line rental would require a credit check, which may in turn require some form of deposit. Even assuming no install costs, a lengthy contract potential failed credit check and costs of equipment may not be such a high priority for those struggling. Particularly in comparison to a pay-as-you-go mobile.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Which makes me wonder how a fibre provider will be able to avoid these problems and make a commercial go of the service, unless looking at a 20 to 30 year pay back if ever.

Will be interesting to see what they come up with for sure.
Posted by jchamier over 4 years ago
Interesting idea on satellite but local councils are essentially overridden by central govt planning rule changes on sat dishes. Circa 2002. Lots of blocks of flats in my area used to force only one dish per block - until regs changed to one dish per dwelling.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
"There's also the potential to extend the high-speed fibre optic link to local businesses, helping them to flourish, and it should see the end of the last remaining unsightly satellite dishes on the side of buildings."

Not my idea - the councils idea.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 4 years ago
Wandsworth council better provide the parking permits, the red-route patrol will cost any contractor more then their bringing in.
Posted by fibrebunny over 4 years ago
It will be fascinating to see what they can come up with as I cannot see how it could work without subsidy of some form. I also cannot understand the notion of replacing dishes for internet connectivity. As anyone with a subscription to tv channels surely wont be able to access those online. Even if they could it would require further hardware to replace the sat box.
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