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Another Oxfordshire village gives up waiting for County Council
Monday 18 March 2013 15:53:12 by Andrew Ferguson

Oxfordshire is rapidly turning into a major broadband hotspot, with numerous projects delivering different types of service. The village of Binfield Heath which sits midway between Caversham and Henley on Thames has raised some £60,000 to get fibre twins added to the two street cabinets that cover the area of some 120 households.

This self subsidy of the Openreach roll-out is not new, Islip did similar earlier this year and The Telegraph coverage indicates the money was raised with a mixture of pledges and a generous pledge from the Phillimore Estate that owns properties in the area. The overall cost BT is talking about is £100,000 for the two cabinets which can be found here and here.

Spending £60,000 to serve 120 homes (£500 for each) when in theory there is a BDUK project running for Oxfordshire seems close to madness, but with Oxfordshire still to sign its contract there is no firm timeline for improvements, and the real possibility that 120 properties in the south east corner of Oxfordshire might be overlooked. Oxfordshire also has a number of villages already offering Gigabit broadband via Gigaclear, and also is home to Cotswold Broadband who are looking to build a FTTP network in the Chipping Norton area.

The Binfield Heath area is around 3.5 miles from the exchange in Caversham and appears to get speeds of around 2 Mbps currently, so the jump to something like 30 Mbps to 80 Mbps will be a significant improvement, and following on from there once Fibre on Demand is available businesses in the area (or home owners willing to pay connection fee) will have the option of adding Fibre on Demand with its current maximum speed of 330 Mbps.


Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Not sure I'd want to spend money in advance of the county announcing its intentions, would keep my £500 in the bank for now. But its their money, so fair enough.

As an aside, how does Gigaclear get away with describing its service as Gigabit when it is in fact only guaranteed to deliver 10Mbps? Saying it can "burst to 1Gbps" is totally unquantifiable (and possibly outside Ofcom's rules for advertising broadband?).
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Yeah if anything it should be described as up to. Some dodgy wording on the FAQ on their site for "How fast is the Gigaclear network?"
Posted by FTTH over 4 years ago
In fairness, if they provide a 1000BaseFx link it is as close as you can reasonably get to being Gigabit Ethernet on FTTP isn't it?

Looking at twitter this guy didn't seem to worried about not hitting 1Gbps.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
The ASA/BCAP rules (not Ofcom) on advertising have not been given a decent airing for FTTP networks, where users can buy a reserved bandwidth and burst higher.

You could sell ADSL2+ and FTTC services as 1 Mbps with burst to line speed, which would probably be close to the budget the ISP works to.
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
If at least 10% of their customers can achieve a speed then it's acceptable, I think that's what the rules say ?

To me that would suggest it needs to be in the 900s at best, as I doubt anyone will record 1000 on a speedtest. "Up to 850" might be a safe starting point.
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
The CIR on FTTC is 15 or 30M or sync speed if lower, IIRC. That's more than Gigaclear's 10M rate.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I wonder why they didn't approach Gigaclear if they are in the area, surely it would have made more sense.

Even if it is "up to 1Gb" if its relatively small amounts of users you should be able to get up to a 1Gb quite often.
Posted by KevG123 over 4 years ago
If I had the option of paying £500 or waiting (like I'm having to) for Norfolk CC to sort themselves out, I'd definitely pay the £500
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
I think you do have the choice like Binfield, but only if a decent number of like-minded neighbours are willing to pay too.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
£30,000 each? Interesting to get an itemisation against ISLIP, and IWADE at c£15k, simple overlay, new duct or overhead? how much of the route are they sharing? The need for a clear rate card for cab (per port)/plynth/duct/fibre overlay, power estimate, bt labour.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
value as advised previoulsy these are bespoke and take into account the indivudial community ask and reqwuirements - not sure where youge the number of premises from - as that not shared only the number of contributors -- those numers are not the same

Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
@GMAN99, Gigaclear are working over near Abingdon/Oxford, where as Binfield Heath is closer to Reading so the other side of the county and the village does not meet all of the Gigaclear requirements(see their website).

Posted by mervl over 4 years ago
I never cease to be amazed that the British default setting is to expect the state and its money to sort everything out, and to sneer at anyone who takes the initiative and helps themselves. Should be the other way around.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
ValueForMoney, if you look at the two cabinets that are in place already, they look like they will need reshelling as well. Another variable to take account of.
Posted by ribble over 4 years ago
They are both secondary cabinets . The main cabinet is about 1.5 miles away and has been FTTC'd alteady
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@ribble thank you, so assuming the duct in place, £1.20ametre to cable and insertion, £2,200, +c£8,000 for 92 port cab, +£400 for aplynth+ £2,000 for power + £2,000 for tieing PCP to VDSL cab. Why should villagers pay to repair a PCP shell? - Is BT contributing a £150 a premise past? Still struggling to get to £30k in this instance.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Reshelling needed when insufficient space for link cables.
Posted by ribble over 4 years ago
I would imagine considerable duct work will be required and power will be much more than £2000
Posted by mdar5 over 4 years ago

Any 'Civils' work on the ducts meaning traffic lights/coned off area cost a lot of money to do.

For comparison I was told by a BT man some years ago of a typical £2K+ bill for replacing a pole/JB/feed cable up side which had been damaged by a car accident - of which £600 was the pole purchase cost.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
May include a 1km dig which at £30 a metre would reconcile fag packet numbers back to the Iwade/Islip of c£15k for cabinet/path, which is consistent with Northern Ireland, but several quantums away from the BDUK subsidies.
Posted by keith969 over 4 years ago
"Oxfordshire is ... a major broadband hotspot". Err, no, rural Oxfordshire is digitally dead.

In Chinnor (a village with many more houses than Binfield Heath) you can't get anything but Edge for mobile; digital TV with a decent aerial only works for BBC1/BBC2, and ADSL is all we are likely to get for the foreseeable future. I guess we don't have a Lord Phillimore living in the area to stump up a big chunk of the money required.

I'd happly stump up £500 for a decent fibre service, but I can't see many of the neighbours doing the same alas.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
I said turning INTO, not is already :-)

Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
There is extensive work equired both from fibre to the 1st cab and major work between the 1st and 2nd cab inluding major new duct work there is also extensive amouth of copper rearrangement - as advised on a number of occasions these are bespoke and specifically tailored to the available infrastruture available or not in the community and each will be different depending on what has to be done
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@fastman how much is BT contributing here? 1km new duct is calculable, Cabs MSAN calculable? power is always trick,cabling and fibre will be standard. The copper arrangement looks turkney but in theory the copper repair should be in a different budget anyway.

Take out the 1Km dig and this looks ok, just need to understand the BT contribution. Can you publish the itemisation?
Posted by Zarjaz over 4 years ago
The main news item states that currently speeds of around 2000Kbps are possible, I can assure you they are not ! Just about the highest speed possible would be 512Kbps.

It is often found that where one premises can get service, the next door neighbour cannot. The big issue is the the aluminium cables between cab 19 at the bottom of the hill, and the secondaries.

As for reshelling, 19/2 near the post office has plenty of room, and power close by. 19/1 only holds two 100 pair strips, and on top of reshelling made need a relocation, as so close to a bend, as to be iffy to work at.

Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@ZArjaz, thanks for the insight, I have seen power as little as £300, averaging at £800, but some outlayers beyond £50k. I assumed 4G Mobile operator working with a Fixed Wireless operator would offer a county a choice to whether to spend on new duct and power or decide to contribute to 4G/FWA. Either way itemisation of costs are needed, Copper re-arrangement should not be presented as alumininium replacement if comunities are paying or state aid is being used.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
value there is far more work that bit of reshelling and aluminium replacement - there is no state aid as this is private funded - value there will be no breakdown of itemisation as this is bespoke work and has to be scheduled into the programme

Fibre will be deployed in duct between the cab 19 and both current 19/1 and 19/2 which will become PCP's in their own right each with their own DSLAM and not reliant on PCP 19 as current.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@fastman - thank you, does this mean LA's will get the itemisation? Why should communities not get itemisation?
Sorry - there is £1.4bn coming BT's way, so some itemisation will be needed. Let's hope Fujitsu do formally withdraw so it is easier to move to that itemisation.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
this is private funded outside of LA -(as exchange is enabled already) community understands what technically needs to be delivered and what benifit are expected and what timeframe those are to be achieved - and that this is sustainable and deliverable having spoke to a community where this has alread been delivered during 2012
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@fastman - thanks for the clarification.
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