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BT wins contract for South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire
Thursday 31 January 2013 09:52:48 by Andrew Ferguson

The Great Western Broadband programme can now get underway as the project has signed its contract with BT. The contract as a whole is worth £35.6 million and is expected to deliver superfast broadband to 94% of premises across the two counties, with the remainder getting a minimum speed of 2 Mbps.

The project aims to hit its target by March 2016 when some 104,000 premises should have benefited. Planning should commence now with the first roll-out starting in the autumn going live in spring 2014.

"The network has been designed to provide the greatest coverage for the investment. The most economical approach is to grow the network from a combination of rural and urban locations. This will involve building out from exchanges that have already been upgraded, then onto surrounding areas whilst also connecting the smaller exchanges and cabinets in these areas.

Other designs have been considered, for example connecting very rural areas first followed by larger villages and towns. However existing infrastructure requires that the work be completed in a specific sequence of events. Adopting this approach would result in a time consuming and costly project, reducing the number of premises that we can target."

Extract from South Gloucestershire announcement

The funding is based around a core of £4.6m from the BDUK, £2m South Gloucestershire Council, £15.5m Wiltshire Council, £0.74m from the European Regional Development Fund and £12.8 million from BT.

The project follows the tried and tested mix of FTTC and FTTP, but satellite and BET (Broadband Enhancing Technologies) get a mention. BET is rarely mentioned in the contract signings and we hope they are referring to the latest generation of extenders rather than the original BET product which had a top speed of 2 Mbps, the newer solutions can usually provide speeds in the 2 to 5 Mbps region.

A common topic on our forums is whether a property is in the project area, or whether commercial roll-outs are likely to serve the property in the next couple of years a 12MB PDF map of the intervention areas shows where the project is planning to improve services, if you are in an area where no intervention is planned and no there are no known plans for a service from a commercial operator we urge you to get in contact with the project.

Update July 2013: Changed link to the contract announcement as Council had moved original announcement.


Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Good to see that part of the Bristol Channel will be covered.
Posted by alwall over 4 years ago
A 12Mb pdf for those still on dialup? DOH!
Posted by BB4FABS over 4 years ago
£4.6m from the BDUK and £17.5m from the Council Tax payers of South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Sounds like the amount of money put aside for broadband infrastructure investment by central government is woefully inadequate. Would be interesting to see if this is the pattern across the whole country. Can provide some stats?
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
At 104,000 premises will translate to about 340 VDSL cabinets.

The challenge is not the BDUK funding but BT's attempts to claim about c£60k+ a path/cab.

KN Network Services in NI points to a subsidy of circa £15k per path/cab - duct will be present.

It will take a change in BT Undertakings to force the BT to reveal incrmental costs in situations where state aid is present.
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
AFAIK any state aid funded projects have to be auditable, although that doesn't mean that information disclosed during the audit needs to be placed into the public domain.

It's hardly surprising if costs are higher in the "final third", and especially high in the most rural counties. Also. Assuming a mix of technologies is to be used, I don't believe the information is available to look at the cost per Cabinet as the contract will also include FTTP and possibly wireless etc.
Posted by godsell4 over 2 years ago
After 12 months North Wilts have published almost no useful information, they do not reply to email anymore either.
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