Hampshire published its first phase map a week or two ago and has now published a map covering the whole County, and indicating which areas are considered to be in the commercial footprint, part of the Superfast Broadband programme for 2015 and under evaluation for the 95% by 2017 target.
Unless you are know Hampshire extremely well the map needs to be zoomed in to read the smaller place names clearly, but many may be surprised to see the great swathes of yellow that are outside the current superfast programme, but are being investigated for inclusion in the 95% with access to superfast for 2017.
We looked at one part of the yellow areas, a that reaches from the edge of Winchester to around 8 miles away, and while the land mass if large, there was only 47 postcodes with one third of them clustered around the village of Owslebury (SO21 1LP). In the Ofcom data from 2012, some 26 of these postcodes had so few premises Ofcom has no estimated speed, and 13 had ADSL/ADSL2+ line speed estimates of 2 Mbps or slower.
The current political debate around the BDUK projects is focussed on defining the areas outside the larger BDUK projects reach, and this map would appear to do that for Hampshire, but there is a massive caveat, the £250m of spending announced in June 2013 for the period 2015 to 2017 across the UK will make it difficult for any RCBF type project to know where they should or should not decide to operate. Another problem is hidden away in the notes for the maps, that the existing superfast project may re-assess areas if costs are less than expected or take-up is higher than expected. So it seems the only way forward for RCBF schemes is to get agreement on how the countryside will be sliced and diced.
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