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Derbyshire to spend £27.67m to improve broadband in County
Saturday 10 August 2013 10:34:32 by Andrew Ferguson

Derbyshire County Council is the latest county to sign on the dotted line for its BDUK project, which should allow planning to start and more information on coverage appear at a later date. The project is aiming to complete by 2016, and has the aim of delivering a mainly FTTC based service to 95% of homes in the county.

"Today’s contract signing is without doubt the most important step of the Digital Derbyshire project so far. Residents and businesses have told us in their thousands that they want a better broadband service in Derbyshire – we’ve listened and are making it happen.

A fast and reliable broadband service is as important as good road and rail links for businesses in the modern day and that’s why we’ve made it one of our priorities. It’s vital that our businesses – including those in rural locations – are at least on a level playing field with other areas of the UK and further afield to be able to maintain and create jobs in a thriving Derbyshire economy."

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Anne Western

Those not connected to a fibre based connection should see a minimum speed of 2 Mbps as the project is aiming to see the final 5% get an uplift in speed to 2 Mbps and better where possible.

We have avoided the use of the word superfast so far, as the press release does not give a breakdown of the percentage that will be get superfast speeds (whether that be >24 Mbps or >30 Mbps). Based on announcements from other counties we would expect the percentage able to get superfast type speeds to be in the 91 to 92% area. We are aware that Ed Vaizey said "This is brilliant news for Derbyshire homes and businesses and will see 95 per cent of the county able to access superfast speeds by the end of 2016.", but without confirmation from BT or the council themselves we suspect the ministers comments may be not unlike previous USO/USC mix-ups.

The project is set to benefit some 88,000 premises (there are around 245,000 households in Derbyshire). Our own speed test data for the county gives a median download speed of 8.8 Mbps and an upload of 0.9 Mbps, with 25% currently seeing speeds exceeding 25 Mbps (down) and 2.8 Mbps (up).

Funding wise, the project is built up of £7.4m from the BDUK, £4.9m County Council, £2.5m from EU ERDF and £12.87m from BT. While FTTC is the main technology an unknown amount of FTTP will be deployed, and fibre on demand will be available in FTTC areas. Hopefully once roll-out starts in 2014 we will have more information on technologies for each area.


Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
More taxpayer’s money going to a private monopoly company for no ROI.
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
Sad man.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
The ROI is the benefit to the taxpayers of Derbyshire.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
@neuhoff plenty of taxpayers money goes to real waste where there is no benefit at the end and are written off... at least here many, many people will experience a significant improvement in their connection...let's call it a majority solution...but you appear against such forms of solution.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@Somerset: Only BT and its shareholders will financially benefit from it. While it is true that some BDUK areas will be able to get VDSL, they'll still have to pay a full price on a monthly basis for the VDSL.

Subsidies should only be provided as longterm investment loan, and this for proper fibre broadband, not transitional VDSL copper. For example, BT's Q2-2013 reported operating profits topped £659m, hence BT is not a poor charity, it does not need taxpayer's donations.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
'Some areas', please explain. Won't Sky and TalkTalk etc. benefit?

What subsidy/loan would be needed to roll out 'proper fibre' to 100% of the UK?
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
errr... no.... any company that offers VULA OR VDSL products will benefit too. if there was no profit they wouldn't be selling it...

BT may not be a charity, neither are any off the other large ISPs. if there was a market in low viability areas then these ISPs would have jumped in, but there isn't. so why should BT specifically take the hit?
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
and don't say this monopoly nonsense... the prices and wholesale rules are regulated so much by OFCOM that BT is not in the same position as Jersey telecom, where there is no competition or wholesale and they get all the ROI. hence it makes sense to fibre the whole island
Posted by Gadget over 4 years ago
At least gap-funding model is a one-off, with a contractual claw-back...... what about the subsidies for rural bus services? We don't end up owning the vehicles, and that is a continual annual payment!
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
There is no need for gap-funding BT, just look at its current operating profits. The network infrastructure should be treated as a vital utility. Just make BT subject a to stricter regulation forcing it to use at least some portionn of its operating profits to fund further fibre-optic broadband rollouts, or take away its operating license for areas where BT refuses in invest within the next 2 years or so.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Are you saying USO like other utilities?
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
These rules aren't even applied to essential utilities... gas, electric and water are not forced to spend profits building out their networks to those without... hence why people still have to use fuel oil. USO is applied and the customer picks up the bill too there.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
Talking about money for proper fibre broadband: Was always there! For example, there's the £152m for exclusive coverage of the rugby premiership, £736m for 38 football Premier League matches and a vast TV studio in the Olympic Park. Totting up the bill for all this across BT's channels, sportswriters arrive at a round figure of more than billion pounds gamble. BTs reported operating profits topped £659m. BT is not a poor charity, but needs much tougher regulation and not the taxpayer's money for no ROI.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - how much money is needed for 'proper fibre' across 100% of the UK? Please tell us.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
But, you are being inconsistent. You don't like the partial monopoly they have, yet the basis of your arguments are to maintain the monopoly by forcing them to roll out their network... when the reality is others should be encouraged to compete by removing the barriers to fair competition.
Irrespective of how much profit BT makes, they are a private company and can choose to invest as they wish. Nothing is stopping any other super rich telecoms company from rolling out a network... e.g. Fujitsu which only made a $11B profit last year.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

He would like BT to treble their debt in such a way that they collapse much like NTL/Telewest did...
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff: "Talking about money for proper fibre broadband: Was always there!"

BT has money - true. And can borrow money - true.

But it only spends money - from either source - when it has a viable business doing so. You should understand this, as a businessman.

As for the ROI to county councils - the return is a service being offered to those in the parishes. In this case, they'd rather get more-widespread service than get a financial return - which is a trade-off they have *chosen*
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@WWWombat: True, they may get a service (copper VDSL), but it is not free, each user has to pay on a monthly basis for it, though it was funded in part by taxpayer's money. BT would have eventually delivered VDSL to most BDUK areas anyway, without taxpayer's involvement, especially when being forced to do so by stricter regulation which would prevent BT embarking on non-telecom adventures such as sports or Sainsbury vouchers etc., and which would force BT to publish details of where it plans to invest in copper VDSL or fibre.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

So you think to make a BT only do only telecoms or still allow them media? Because the profitable bit is media. If as you say telcoms is strictly regulated, what if a new form of telecoms comes in that is not defined... OFCOM takes ages to define and approve anything... does that mean the UK falls behind because of strict regulation.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Additionally, preventing BT from marketing in the same way that other telecoms/ISPs operate... are you really saying that for real? Because, this is another level of how you fail to understand business models and operation... This would just shareholders so much ammo for a big easy sueball to get your Tax Payers money from UKgov. Instead of £520m from BDUK it would be the loss of market cap of the company - so billions.
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