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Next wave of broadband improvements in Lancashire announced
Friday 02 August 2013 10:37:45 by Andrew Ferguson

Waiting for better broadband to arrive in your area is possibly more frustrating than waiting for a new gadget that you've ordered online but delivery is taking what seems forever. For some people waiting for faster broadband in Lancashire there is some good news, around 4,600 homes and businesses in Burscough, Carnforth, Bolton-le-Sands, Great Eccleston, Scarisbrick and Hurst Green (Lancashire) will have access to Fibre to the Cabinet services for the first time.

Additional work will take place in Accrington, Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Bamber Bridge, Higher Walton, Lostock Hall, Penwortham, Longridge, Nelson, Barrowford, Fence, Poulton and Staining to connect another 5,500 additional premises. This extra work we believe is enabling more cabinets on the exchanges mentioned.

This work comprises some 120 kilometres of fibre optic cable to connect up some 100 street cabinets. Obviously a lot more work will be needed to bring the coverage levels up to the target of 97% of premises having the ability to order a fibre optic connection of one type or another, and while there is bound to be lots of talk of speeds of 80 Mbps and 330 Mbps, people need to remember that for the cabinet based fibre solution only around 25% get faster than 65 Mbps. Based on information from other county projects, it is likely that over 90% will end up with a speed that qualifies as superfast broadband, though if you are someone annoyed at buffering when trying to watch Lovefilm on a 2 Mbps connection, any speed boost beyond 7 or 8 Mbps will be impressive.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
So basically the whole job will be to do again? If only 25% get the 65 now then how can we possibly get 100Mbps for all in the future? But this will tick a few boxes as statistically they will all have 'superfast'. You have to laugh. Because the service for the majority will improve, that will do. Let the rest eat cake. Apres this watch out for the deluge as the rest of the world moves to modern infrastructure and we stay on the tired old phone lines.
Posted by mitchja over 3 years ago
Many towns (mine included) in Lancashire still showing as a September RFS date for fibre...though I guess that will be unlikely now, as there's still no signs anywhere yet of any work or cabs appearing :(
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
As a way to increase the vast bulk in a short time frame and with limited money it makes sense.

£1.2 billion only goes so far if targeting 4.5 million properties
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Andrew - I am still puzzling over this vague definition that floats around:
"the target of 97% of premises connected to a fibre optic connection of one type or another"

What exactly is 'connected'? My understanding is that the D-side line only 'connects' to a 'fibre optic connection' when connected to the FTTC cabinet. So, unless the capacity of the FTTC cabinet is sufficient AND a line is connected to it then '97%' cannot be 'connected'? The 'definition' quoted here also appears to ignore any mention of HSB/minimum speed. >7/8mb is not HSB per se.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
@cyberdoyle

Who and how is your grandoise scheme going to be paid for?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@mikejp have reworded to try and make you happier.

Superfast = connection speeds of 30 Mbps and faster.

The 7/8 was just an illustration as generally that is more than fast enough for all current HD streaming services.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
^ Oh that's an easy one, power to the people, give the community the money and tools and let them create fibre rings and then work inwards, the private sector will take care of the rest.

All we need is fibre, moral and optic

(I think that's right anyway!)
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
I cannot see the original to comment, Andrew, but you are saying that Lancashire is defining HSB as >30mb? That's a bold step, indeed!

"all current HD streaming" - you of all people should know that 'current' is irrelevant. The schemes should at the very minimum be looking at the requirements for 2016 onwards.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
I believe the UK uses the term superfast broadband for 24Mbps+

Although they changed it a while back to confusingly match Europes 2020 aim of 30Mbps

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121204113822/http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/State_aid_Guidance_Overview_of_the_Scheme.pdf
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
See Andrew's post 3 above your's? One expects him to know.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Projects with any EU funding will have needed to use the EU definition and it makes sense to align with it.

I think current is very relevant to the person on the street, and note I did not say that 7 or 8 Mbps should be the target speed for this or any other project.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Looking at the funding, which includes ERDF money, it is apparent then that Lancashire is presumably defining HB at 30
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
I would say "Connected" means fed from a fibre fed cabinet and able to order a service if you so wish. Many won't, so 100% capacity is not required.

"Superfast" will be >24, >=24, >30 depending on project (I may have missed some). "Fibre based" means FTTx irrespective of speed.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
I think you are getting muddled here, herdwick
"I would say "Connected" means FED from a fibre fed cabinet" and
"the target of 97% of premises CONNECTED to a fibre optic connection of one type or another"

means 97% of all premises physically FED from an FTTC cabinet by your own definition ie wired to a port. Thus 97% 'capacity' in cabinets will be needed. Indeed, whether the premises actually take the service is by the by.

Lancashire is, as I say, >30mb
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Surely connected means imposing access on people?

That is never going to happen as many people are happy with £5 per month ADSL for whatever they do and don't want the expense of a more speedy sophisticated product...
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
@CD
Quote: Because the service for the majority will improve, that will do. Let the rest eat cake"

You have previously said that the BDUK money should only be spent on the final few %, that the rest will be provided by the market (eventually). Now you're objecting to providing something to the majority if a minority (less than 5% in some counties) miss out.

Amazingly inconsistent, even for you!
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
@CD
Quote "So basically the whole job will be to do again? If only 25% get the 65 now then how can we possibly get 100Mbps for all in the future?"

So you're assuming no benefit from vectoring G.fast etc? How odd!

You're also assuming we will need 100Mbps, evidence? Or are you basing it on the now defunct EU prononcement that was dead in the water when all the funding wsa withdrawn?

We could always cut the Common Agricultural Policy subsidy and spend the money on something useful instead if this is important.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
@mikejp - to be completely precise I meant fed from a PCP that is connected to an FTTC cabinet. Only a tool would advocate providing ports for lines that were never going to use them. The target is without doubt availability, we don't have a fascist regime forcing people to take services they don't want. Nobody is going to deliver 97% connected when broadband takeup is a mile short of that.

What world do you live in ?
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
The cost of FTTC is about the same as the interest of the cost of FTTP. So it makes economic sense to do FTTC as we'll save money on interest payments not made in the years between FTTC going in and FTTP truly becoming a necessity (or perhaps economic).
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
On www.superfastlancashire.com the number 30 only appears with a £ sign next to it - £30/month.

Lancashire.gov.uk says "Superfast Lancashire is a county wide programme designed to ensure than 97% of the county can receive superfast broadband (SFBB) by 2015. At a base level, SFBB refers to broadband access in excess of 24Mbps speed delivered to businesses and residential users. "
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
herdwick "to be completely precise I meant fed from a PCP that is connected to an FTTC cabinet" - actually makes a big difference.

Quote Andrew:"Projects with any EU funding will have needed to use the EU definition and it makes sense to align with it."

No sure where Andrew found that, but Lancashire is expecting money from the ERDF so I suspect they will have to move their sights. Of course, Andrew could be wrong.........
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/news/press_releases/y/m/release.asp?id=201201&r=PR12/0035

To give people something else to dismantle
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Thanks Andrew - I think we can leave this one 'mantled' - at 30mb. Interesting to read their Final Broadplan plan of Dec 2011 which was aiming for 100% at 2mb+ and 85% at 50mb.
Posted by BoundlessComms over 3 years ago
30Mbps is the current government definition for superfast. We have installed 24 masts in Lancashire for FTTM and cover over 500 sq miles at 30Mbps+ in order to meet as many compliance criteria as possible. However;
a) We don't seem to qualify for any public funding, so built it all ourselves, and
b) BT, using public money, are still allowed to overbuild to their heart's content.

Based on the technology that is being publicly funded, I remain convinced that after 97% of premises get their superfast broadband, at least 14% will still not be able to watch iPlayer! ;-)
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
@BoundlessComms
What public money did you bid for and not get? Did you respond to the county's Open Market Review? If not, then the fixed network contract will ignore your presence.

Out of interest do you deliver 30Mbps to each device when the network is loaded, anywhere in your coverage area? Or does the speed depend on distance from the mast and/or the number of simultaneous users?
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Boundless - your website seems to top out at 20mb/sec - does it need updating? At 20 you would not, I think, 'qualify' for inclusion in the County OMR.
Posted by BoundlessComms over 3 years ago
This is a speedtest from a wireless connection running our standard point to multipoint service in Lancashire. We shape traffic down to the customer subscription level, but average speeds across all client connections are just over 100Mbps.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/button/13759815648197021811-mini.png
Posted by BoundlessComms over 3 years ago
We did submit our details to the open market review, but at first the council said we didn't qualify, then they said they didn't receive the response, then Analysys Mason found it but were told not to include it by the council.

My guess is that they wanted to create the largest possible 'white' areas so that they could get maximum public funding for BT, who are their IT support contractor.
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