While a lot of bits and bytes are being spent discussing the finer points of what people believe the BDUK projects will or will not deliver, the signing process continues. The latest area is Merseyside, with the £15.9 million project being a partnership between BT, Liverpool City Council, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral councils.
The funding split is unusual as there appears to be no money from the councils, £5.46 million from the BDUK, £4.4m from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £6 million from BT. The aim is to bring fibre based broadband to 98% of Merseyside businesses and homes, building on the existing commercial roll-out in the area, which means an extra 43,000 premises connected to a fibre based network by the end of July 2016.
"Superfast broadband will help local businesses improve performance and create and safeguard jobs. It will provide a major boost to the Merseyside economy and the North West European Regional Development Fund programme is pleased to be supporting it financially"Cllr Phil Davies, Merseyside Representative on the North West European Regional Development Fund Local Management Committee
The technology mix is the usual mainly FTTC, with some native FTTP, plus the FTTP on Demand option once its rolled out to more parts of the UK. The physical work to get people connected is expected to start in summer 2014 after the planning phases have got far enough to be relatively firm.
The press release does not appear to mention the fate of the 2% outside the fibre network area, which is a bit of a gift to the critics of the BDUK process who are complaining that the councils, BT and the BDUK are not doing enough to identify the worst served areas so that alternate solutions can be sought.
In terms of the speed people in the area should receive, if the 43,000 premises were all connected to a FTTC based solution and the cabinet line lengths match the national profile you arrive at:
|Connection Speed||%'age of premises||Number of premises|
|< 15 Mbps||2%||860|