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East Sussex signs fibre broadband deal with BT for 97% coverage
Friday 31 May 2013 12:24:37 by John Hunt

East Sussex is the latest county to sign a deal with BT for fibre broadband deployment. £35.44 million is being spent to bring fibre broadband coverage to 66,500 rural homes and businesses, with 96% of these homes and businesses in the county expected to receive speeds over 24Mbps. The rollout is expected to be completed by the beginning of summer 2016. The original plans were to deploy to 100% of the county by 2017 but this now looks like only 99% will have access to fibre services. The funding split is £9.6 million from BT, £10.64m from BDUK and £15 million from East Sussex County Council.

"It's absolutely vital this broadband technology is made available to all our residents and small businesses. We want everyone in East Sussex to have access to reliable and faster broadband within the next three years and I'm delighted by this announcement as it's a major step forward in the project.

We know how many residents and businesses are frustrated by slow or no broadband access in East Sussex, especially in rural areas, it's one of the biggest issues facing our county."

Cllr Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council

The main technology being deployed will be FTTC with FTTP being used in some locations. With BT's fibre on-demand product, this will make FTTP available across the whole fibre network to those willing to pay the installation costs.

The go e-sussex websites has more details about fibre broadband in East Sussex.

Comments

Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
96 or even 97% Lucky Essex. Having spoken recently to BT I was told that they expect coverage in London to reach at best 80% by the end of the commercial roll-out and that to go beyond that will require considerable 3rd party contribution. Unfortunately London, like the other large urban cities, doesn't have access to BDUK or similar funding.
Posted by mazadillon over 4 years ago
@MCM999 Essex? Interesting abbreviation of East Sussex; but could be a little confusing.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Do any of these "high target percentage" BDUK projects (95%+) make use of any technology tricks to get to their target?

For example, aim to make use of extended reach through vectoring or bonding of FTTC?

Or are they targets using vanilla technology available today?
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
@MCM999 Who at BT told you that they would only reach 80% of London by end of next year?
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
So who gets FTTP without paying the BT on-demand installation costs? Can these people also benefit from the FTTC running costs?
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@dandodex. Sorry I I'm not free to say however the information was given to me as part of a conversation with BT earlier this week. We were discussing possible ways for BT to provide nga access to the development where I live where there are approaching 100 EO lines 2km from the WRVAUX exchange in Kennington.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
cont.. The 80% figure for London was said to be due to the significant number of EO lines together with non commercially viable cabinets.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
On the native FTTP i.e. only super fast option areas yes GEA 40/10 and 80/20 speed price points at the same install and monthly price as FTTC services are available.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
WWWombat - I fear we will never know until we learn the final tally - it is all shrouded under the cloak of 'NDA'.

I just hope it is not just Broadband Bill 'crooning' the love songs in their ears that they 'want' to hear.
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
@MCM999
If what they told you is accurate then the plan for 90% superfast broadband by end of 2015 has already failed as there is no BDUK subsidy for London and with London at 80% it is impossible for the UK to reach 90%.

Something does not add up as the government would have already discussed with BT before setting up the 90% UK 2015 target.
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
Also, most of the UK minus London at 95% (seems to be around this figure from most BDUK announcements) and London at 80%? Doubtful (not saying you weren't told that though)
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
"Nine out of 10 homes and businesses in every county in the UK should have access to superfast broadband by 2015, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today."

Notice there is no mention of "except for counties in London".
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
dandolex. And precisely what funds has Hunt made available to enable BT to uprgrade EO and non commercially viable cabinets in London? Until such funds are available then the figure for London will remain 80% plus, that part of the 20% not covered by BT's commercial roll-out that might have access to VM (which we do not). As it is I prefer to believe my source from BT than your apparent presumption that he was possibly lying.
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
If my figures are correct he's budgeted around £0. A politician lying? Surely not :-) My hope is that this was the result of a discussion with BT. If BT had come back with 80% for London, Hunt could have very happily announced 80% instead of 90% for each and every county.

Just for clarification, I'm in the same boat, EC1V postcode in London, EO line, no VM, surrounded by upgraded cabinets from CLKXX‎ (Kings Cross exchange).
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
"A politician lying? Surely not :-)" - but WERE his lips moving at the time?
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
In theory installing in the sticks should be easier than London as the councils I assume are letting them dig up the road (for free or thereabouts?) and not as many cabinets would be needed since the sticks is less dense than ubran centers?
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
urban*
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@MCM999
The BDUK funding allocation document from 2011 gives £0 to Greater London, reasoning "presumed covered by private sector".

In the same document, their model gave 34,877 premises in white areas (but doesn't specify whether that is white-NGA, white-Basic, or both) out of a total of 3,326,470 - or 1%.

So the question about that 20%... is that just 20% who won't get NGA from BT, or 20% who won't get NGA from *any* source (incl Virgin, Hyperoptic, etc)? How much does Virgin's territory overlap with the EO lines?

If the model is right, it must be 19%.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Back to East Sussex for a mo...

The funding for this project brings the total for all contracts signed so far to £1.3bn, not including Cornwall or Northern Ireland.

That makes it about half the size of the commercial rollout, so far...
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@dandodex. Remember that BT have never said anything about 95% coverage or even 80%. What BT has said publicly is that they expect around 65% nga coverage nationally by the end of the commercial roll-out which would mean that with 80% London would be in front of the game. The big difference is that with 0% BDUK funding London will have much greater difficult in reaching the government's (rather than BT's) 95% figure.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@WWWombat Re London. The 34,877 premises mentioned has to be white-Basic rather than white-NGA. There are large areas without VM and there are vastly more than 34K EO lines. I have no problem in accepting BT's statement that they expect to reach no more than 80% of London residents by the end of their commercially funded NGA roll-out. If it were larger I am sure that they would have given a higher figure.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@MCM999
Your first post referenced "other large urban cities" not having access to BDUK or similar funding.

Actually, all other cities *do* have funding options from BDUK, except Bristol, Hull, S Yorks (DR) and Tyneside (covered without).

Bristol aims to use UBF to infill SFBB, while KC are quietly (but slowly) putting fibre down in Hull.

London citizens should probably start complaining to the councils that their UBF is focussed in the wrong place...
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@MCM999 - I kinda agree. That 80% seems a valid figure for London's EO lines - but are we talking the densest populated areas (with lots of flats), or relatively sparse suburbia? Or just all over?

My gut would tell me that the densest areas are the ones most likely to turn direct to FTTP, so perhaps this is a casualty of BT scaling back their native FTTP ambitions.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
MCM999 -"Unfortunately London, like the other large urban cities, doesn't have access to BDUK or similar funding." This does not fit with the THEORY of the BDUK funding since decisions SHOULD be down to postcode level ie you could,as I understand it, have a postcode in London that is 'NGA white' in the middle of a sea of black and thus 'eligible'. This is certainly the case in Crawley, West Sussex, where there are such. Speak to your council.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Greater London was never allocated a chunk of money in the original BDUK funding allocations in 2011. Considered covered by commercial operations.

As such there is no project like what West Sussex will be running.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
Thanks - just seen WWW's post too. Was this challenged at the outset?
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Who/what was there to challenge?

Bedfordshire, with 34k properties, got £1m for a rural area.

Birmingham, with 95k properties, only got £630k for a denser area.

London, densest, with 34k properties, may only have got £200k, with a lot of separate councils to fight for it. So little money, hardly worth a challenge.

But 20% of London - 700k properties - would have been worth challenging for. The report did say "further due diligence needed" for London, so perhaps they did check further.

London did get £25m from UBF, but seems not to have chosen to spend it on infill.
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
@andrew Andrew, you have the contacts, it would be great if you could pose the question directly to your contacts at Openreach to know what is going to happen to London at the end of the commercial rollout (no superfast for EO lines? which percentage of EO lines?) and what are they going to do in London post Spring 2014 when their commercial rollout ends as they are not being subsidised to do anything else in London so is that it?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
BT has no obligation to provide superfast, the commercial project was aiming at 2/3rds across the whole UK. So question really is why should London deserve more BT money than other areas?

If sales of superfast services improve of course what is considered commercially viable may change and more EO lines get the hybrid fttc treatment.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
I guess the question is really for those in charge of London's local broadband plan.

Why didn't they push for BDUK funding? Why didn't they challenge the DCMS assumption that the capital would be covered by private endeavour?

Why, when the UBF came along, didn't they spend any of it on SFBB infill (or even infill with UFBB).

Someone, somewhere, has the plan that brought the £25m funds in - that is where the question belongs.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
"Gigabit Bristol" plans to spend £3m of their fund on SFBB infill city-wide, to match BDUK targets. They then plan on £4m to do gigabit in a central zone and £2m wifi in business zones.

Leeds/Bradford aren't focused on SFBB at all. They are aiming the money at UFBB in specific areas, and will pay for infill (of UFBB) in those areas. They say it is a precursor to making UFBB more widespread across the cities - though no mention of funding it.

Each city has a different idea, and there seems to be little public consultation about whether the plebs agree with it or not!
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
@andrew I was not saying BT should spend money where it is not commercially viable as that does not make sense. I wanted to know what their plans were. They have some plans, and they may be happy to disclose a certain part of them.

If they say that they think they will have most of London covered by FTTC and FTTP within 3-4 years as it would be reasonably cheap compared to the rest of the country then I am happy. If they say they only plan to enable 80% then I will have to contact my MP to ask why my taxes are subsidising the rest of the country.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@dandodex
Didn't MCM999 give you that information?

That London would be 80% done, at best, at the end of the commercial rollout.

Your MP won't be much help though. He'd have the same answer if I ask why my taxes are paying for Crossrail.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
wwwombat - "Who/what was there to challenge?" - well, I'd probably start with the lack of any money! Why HMG decided that London 'NGA white' postcodes were different to the rest of UK I cannot understand.
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
@WWWombat
I was hoping Andrew would get something slightly more official as he's always been pretty good at getting the latest from BT and publishing it here before other websites.

Not looking to get into a tax redistribution argument here. Rich regions will always subsidise services in poorer areas and London has always rightly done so. But if I am told that my taxes will pay for 90% of every county to have superfast then I should have grounds to question why the plan shows an end result of around 95% for most counties and 80% for mine.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@dandodex
Your "county" did get a bunch of money - £25 million, out of UBF.

In BDUK, the biggest counties (each targeting 250k properties), N Yorks & Cumbria, each got £17 million. Devon & Somerset are getting nearly the same each, but run in a joint project, targeting 500k properties. All got zero out of UBF.

On balance, then, London got a rather large amount. About the same as 1.5 of the biggest, most broadband-deprived counties in England.

Your problem is that the "council" decided to spend it on a roundabout in the east end, rather than on the wider population of London.
Posted by dandodex over 4 years ago
@WWWombat
I was being told that I didn't have grounds to complain. You are telling me that I do, which is what I was saying. In any case £25MM for London must be the lowest level of subsidy per citizen of all counties.

Until BT explains what they plan for London I don't know if there is anything for me to complain about. Plans are slowly being drawn for all counties down to postcode level (even if not all of them have been published at that level yet). But for London there appears to be no plan.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@dandodex It isn't BT's responsibility to draw up a plan for London. BT have disclosed their commercial intentions and whilst there may still be changes to that it is for the non-existent, for now, fund providers to say what they intend doing to reduce the nga-white numbers.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@WWWombat, Whilst I'm sure your figures are correct I am somewhat surprised that, taking Cumbria as an example, with a population of roughly 500K, 250K properties were considered to be white-basic. white-nga I can well understand but 250k white-basic suggests virtually no decent ADSL anywhere in the county and little or no cable in which case they deserved every penny of BDUK funding they managed to attract.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
I think what many people don't understand is that there is no proper universal service obligation for NGA broadband. You will see whole towns being left out in the UK, forcing many businesses to move. Lots of opportunities and technologial innovation missed here.

There is no long-term vision of setting up a proper fibre network in the UK. It is an infrastructure project which should have been planned and implemented a long time ago.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff. Details please. Whilst BT's commercial roll-out has omitted some towns which of those towns are not covered by BDUK funding? I suspect very few if any.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@MCM999: Our town of nearly ten thousand is one of them, we are definately planning to move because of that. We want to grow our business, and this can't be done without proper telecom services.
Posted by Gadget over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff: I sympathise with your situation but arguably "proper telecom services" in the context of a business would be something like telephony with SLA and SLGs and if the need is there then a business grade Ethernet circuit, also with SLA and SLG. Are these not available?
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff. Details, details, details a complete lack off. Which town and why is it excluded from BDUK funding. Is this because the town council has shown no interest given that funding was available for all areas with the exception of London where UBF & SCCP funding is available albeit not being used for the same purposes as BDUK funding elsewhere. However as business I would not really expect you to use xDSL unless a very small player.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - Details of the Essex scheme have been given to you before.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 4 years ago
All talk of percentage coverage for superfast is meaningless unless someone can say how local authorities will measure what is delivered.
Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
Agreed cooperfarncombe. I'm in East Sussex and for the life of me with all the EO lines and cabs serving big areas, I can't see how you get to the 96% 24 figure without installing many thousands of FTTP lines or putting in lots of new cabs out there and re engineering great chunks of the network. But as you say, who is checking !
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@Somerset: I am aware of the Essex BDUK project, that's one of the sources which made us aware of the fact that our town won't be covered.

@Plankton1066: I very much doubt that 97% coverage figure. I wouldn't even call VDSL copper superfast all the times, still too many long copper wires, and unresolved issues with the many EO lines. You really need to get in touch with your local council on this!
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 4 years ago
Many local authorities need to answer many questions. Unfortunately when they are asked they give no reply or hide behind non disclosure agreements. As others on here say, the high percentages targeted for greater than 24Mbps do not seem credible given the known speed and coverage shortcomings of the commercial deployment of VDSL.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff: If you are in a 'white' area why will you not get SFB?
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff Your post makes no sense and still lacks detail. Which Essex town without commercially provided nga access(BT or VM) has been ignored by the Essex BDUK project? I can see NGA black grey and white areas on the Essex map. Are you saying that Essex has deliberately chosen to ignore a town that is nga white?
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff
Just how were you informed that Brightlingsea wasn't included in the BDUK project for Essex? What makes you believe that person was representative of the true status?

As far as I can see, the whole town is marked in the Essex broadband plan as a grey area for basic broadband, and a white area for NGA. That means you are eligible for consideration by the BDUK project for NGA work, but not for basic broadband.

Yet Essex hasn't awarded the contract to anyone, so there is no detailed plan for the white areas of the county at all.

We don't know what is in or out.
...cont>
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
<cont...
The exchange is market 2, and serves 4,000 premises. It already has 21CN, and high speeds in most of the town.

In North Yorkshire (one of the harder counties to cover) there were no exchanges that large left untouched. In fact, only 6 exchanges out of 140 were left out, totalling less than 2,000 lines. As an example, Pateley Bridge is going live in the next few months with 1,500 premises, and is far from small.
...cont>
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
<cont...
In Essex, your exchange is the 38th largest out of 125 - in the top third. The 4,000 premises there amount to >5% of the premises in Essex, so are a lot to leave out - yet there are far more remote places than yours.

There is no way it is being left out entirely.

Or perhaps you feel the town or district don't want SFBB to arrive?

Yet the Town Council, in a meeting on 13th December 2012 "agreed that a letter from the Council should be sent to the providers explaining that we need this to go ahead." They also encouraged businesses to make direct contact.
...cont>
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
<cont...
Tendring District Council has the following policy in their local plan, drafted at the end of last year: "The Council will work with the telecommunications industry to maximise access to super fast broadband [...] for all residents and businesses the Tendring District, assisting them in delivering their investment plans and securing funding to address any infrastructure deficiencies or barriers. "

There's even a story on TBB about Tendring encouraging SFBB coverage in Manningtree.

I'm pretty sure all 3 layers want SFBB.

On the whole, then, I doubt the veracity of your story.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
Brightlingsea will absolutely have been white under the ESSEX OMR -- think you have been misinfomred that it wiuyld not be available for coverage under the intervention -- wehther essex what to spend any money there is another coversation altogethr
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
somerset - "@JNeuhoff: If you are in a 'white' area why will you not get SFB?" - was that a serious question? Do you believe that all customers in an NGA white area will get 'SFB' (that is 24mb+, being kind)? If so, why?
Posted by Hyperoptic over 4 years ago
@MCM999 With reference to London, while BT may only reach 80% of homes, Hyperoptic is fully committed (and funded) to bring 1Gbps speeds to 250k-350k homes in London.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@WWWombat:
"We don't know what is in or out." That nicely summarises the Essex BDUK and many of Essex local district councils. We have had several replies form the local council, they all confirm there are no plans for fibre-optic broadband available in our town, not even copper VDSL, only WiFi for some business parks. Hence our moving office elsewhere.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@mikejp:
There is absolutely no guarantee that NGA white areas will ever get SFB, let alone fibre-optic services. Gte in touch with your local council to find out what your local situation really is. And be prepared to move if NGA broadband is important to you and you can't get it in nyour local area!
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
There won't be plans because Essex haven't signed anyone yet. However they say:

'In more remote places like smaller towns, villages and hamlets, it currently isn’t and it is in these areas that the majority of the investment will be made.'
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Your town council is probably right - there are no plans to include your town yet.

And I think you are misunderstanding that position, and assuming it means that BDUK will not do anything for your town over the next few years.

The detailed BDUK plans will only come out in the 6 months after the contract has been signed. And deployed in the 24 months after that.

That's when you can start complaining.

In the meantime, everything points to the fact that all your councils want to be included.

Essex even aspires to 95% coverage, and it can't do that by leaving out your town en-mass.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@Hyperoptic. I am well Hyperoptic are prepared to provide FTTB. I have a Hyperoptic quote for provision of FTTB to this development on my desk as I write. The one problem being the amount you want from our development to provide the service. Drop the price and you might get a new customer site.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
Correction. "I am well AWARE THAT Hyperoptic ..."
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@WWWomba: Thanks for the clarifications on Essex BDUK. It may or may not be available in our town in 2 or 3 years town then, and we have no details on what the plans are for EO lines (there are loads of EO lines in our town).

However, our local district council has sent us a list of all the fibre-cabinet locations from other towns in their area where FTTC services are available. This will help us with our office move, and hopefully reduce the postcode lottery gamble with regards to broadband provision.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
The Essex local broadband plan even mentions the challenge of ensuring "that exchange only lines are also upgraded where possible, particularly in the Tendring district area as this has been identified as an ongoing concern"

That's good info from the council for the move though - it should help you find locations, and you can still do the postcode lookup steps to check actual speed.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@WWWombat: The same source also admits: "67% of businesses surveyed noted that lack of broadband was hindering their business potential in a Business Survey carried out in 2010 for the Essex Economic Assessment." It also talks about the need "to address the ongoing market failure".

Really says it all, how wrong UK broadband policy has gone over the past decade.

Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
In residential telecoms, there really is only a decent market when there are *masses* of people. That's true of all utility services, but is especially true of broadband. The technology that makes it viable at all is the same tech that makes it only viable at certain distances.

The issue that limits the future of UK broadband is that current broadband service is sold at too low a price.

Is that a failure of UK broadband policy? The low cost is being touted as a very successful aspect of UK broadband policy, and we've all taken advantage of it.

Low cost and heavy investment don't coexist.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
As in 'Tesco Broadband with Unlimited downloads – quote code 4OFF - £2 per month for 12 months'
Posted by Hyperoptic over 3 years ago
@MCM999 We'd happy to review, please email sunita.sharma@hyperoptic.com and I shall escalate forthwith!
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