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 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.