Skip Navigation

DCMS talks rural and farms for BDUK projects again
Tuesday 24 September 2013 17:55:38 by Andrew Ferguson

The carefully crafted illusion that the £530m of money from central Government is being spent on farms and rural areas continues with the latest progress update on the BDUK projects.

The reality of the BDUK project is that the national aim is to get 90% of the UK able to access a superfast broadband connection in 2015, i.e. building on the commercial level of superfast coverage which is sitting at 73%. This means that if one accepts Ofcom data where 14% of UK premises are considered rural, that while some truly rural areas will benefit the majority will be semi-urban, or in other words market towns and villages.

"The transformation of broadband in rural communities has begun and the coming months will see a rapid acceleration in the number of rural businesses and homes able to access superfast speeds. Average rural internet speeds are increasing at a tremendous rate and local businesses are already starting to benefit from all that superfast speeds have to offer."

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey

The fact that some 100,000 premises now have the option of access to a fibre based broadband service (hopefully at superfast speeds) was broke back in August, hence its inclusion in our Broadband factsheet, and the talk of the BDUK roll-out reaching 40,000 premises per week while encouraging still looks to be slower than the commercial roll-out.

The good news though is that unlike many procurement projects the projections are not decades over the original target which was the General Election in 2015. The magic 90% barrier is expected to be crossed by early 2016. The chart below shows what the National Audit Office projected, based on incomplete data from November 2012, with their estimate crossing the 90% line in May 2016.

Projection for progress of BDUK projects by NAO
Image taken from National Audit Office report earlier in 2012

The funny but slightly worrying part about the DCMS press release, is the picture of some nice Ethernet cables, which is described as a fibre optic cable. We wonder how long after pointing this out it will be before the DCMS find something more suitable (hint this is what fibre really looks like).


Posted by Br0kenTeleph0n3 over 3 years ago
The picture inadvertently reveals the truth about the BDUK project.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Which truth is that? The NAO based on November 2012 data is pretty close to the DCMS release.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
The truth is that it may be 'fibre based' but in reality its still copper broadband, and DCMS are to dim to see the truth. It isn't fibre broadband unless its fibre to the home, and dial up is fibre fed too. And 3 hours after you pointed out that the DCMS press release showed a picture of copper they still haven't changed it. That's because they all go home at 5pm. There is no way 'superfast' or even 2meg via copper can reach all the farms and rural areas without expensive bonding. Folk will stay analogue cos its easier and cheaper for them.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
too dim. too dim. sheesh me gramers gettin as bad as me spelin.
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
It is fibre broadband, just fibre to the cabinet not fibre to the premises. And quite honestly, could you see any realistic chance of installing that monstrosity that is a so-called street cabinet (more like small house") for B4RN in any volumes? I suspect it is a non-starter in cities, most towns, a fair number of villages and national parks.

Suggest comparing the cost per premise passed for B4RN and Openreach, and the time per premise passed to get a sense of the in viability of delivering a B4RN-like network at any sort of scale.
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
And nothing wrong with using bonding or satellite to reach isolated premises, there has to be some view on value for money. If rural businesses need more let them pay!
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
satellite connections for farms, you can't tell me that you cannot order goods/submit forms using satellite.

As for costs... it must cost peanuts compared to buying and running farm machinery.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.