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North Yorkshire accepts extra £3m from BDUK
Friday 01 November 2013 08:50:20 by Andrew Ferguson

North Yorkshire which was one of the original BDUK pilot projects and is set to finish its original delivery target by the end of 2014 was recently offered £3m of extra funding from the BDUK (not all BDUK money was handed out from the original £530m) and also £2.275m was on offer from the EU via the ERDF (this fund is focused on helping small business activity).

At a meeting of the North Yorkshire County Council executive on Tuesday 29th, the broadband project for the county and this extra funding was debated and the eventual decision was made to accept the extra funding and the council would match fund with £3.1m from the Corporate Miscellaneous account within the 2013/2014 budget. This is pending a report to confirm that value for money would be achieved if the money were spent with BT.

"John Moore, Director Strategic Projects, said that the issue before the Executive was whether further funding should be invested through BT or whether improved value for money might be achieved by making those investments through an alternative provider. The options provided by BT would be subjected to a value for money test, together with options provided by other providers. He said that he was conscious that many of the 10% who were unlikely to obtain 25Mbs service would be happy to have a service provided from BT, but that could leave many people without a significantly improved service and alternative provision mechanisms might be able to satisfy more of that 10%. Discussions would be held with BT, but also with others offering other options.

County Councillor Arthur Barker said he was pleased to hear that discussions were not being held exclusively with BT and asked whether this applied in the intervention area only. In response, John Moore said that BT provision was cost effective in delivering from point to point, but that other technologies could flood wide areas and that could provide greater flexibility in improving services for the remaining 10%.

County Councillor Clare Wood said that she felt she must make the point that discussions about Superfast North Yorkshire were becoming increasingly fraught in rural areas. She said she hoped that the needs of such areas would be taken into account and that a consistent message about what could realistically be provided would be given to those living in rural areas. In response John Moore said he noted the comments which had been made but said that he could not provide an answer which everyone would find suitable. He believed the main question was how far efforts to deliver services to the remaining 10% of the population should continue with BT, and how far improvements could also be obtained for all residents through other providers. He said it would be necessary for decisions on these matters to be made in the coming months.

County Councillor Gareth Dadd said that he broadly welcomed the report and stressed that value for money was important. He noted that the County Council had, to date, made no capital contribution to the current phase of broadband roll out but stressed that the authority had invested quite substantially in terms of staff time and money. John Moore responded saying that the County Council had chosen to make the costs explicit through NYnet and he believed that other authorities were having to make similar commitments, in addition to capital contributions."

Extract from NYCC Executive minutes

So while it is possible that BT will see all of the additional money and no indications are available yet of what extra funding they may provide the council is aware that alternative solutions may suit the final 10%. What is the best solution all comes down to the geographic spread of people and the topography involved e.g. a valley with 100 homes spread across a few miles may be best served by a wireless service but a cluster of 20 buildings around a remote farm might be a good FTTP proposition.

In terms of value for money the big question mark that the council needs to decide on is whether to use the extra money to give 3 or 4% in the final 10% superfast broadband, or boost everyone's speed beyond the 2 Mbps mark to ensure a lower but more useful speed of for example 15 Mbps.


Posted by jabuzzard over 3 years ago
When will those in charge realize that anything other that FTTP is a stop gap. While FTTC has value in that it pushes the fibre further out in the network, wireless and other solutions don't and are long term money completely down the drain. Consequently if you cannot be reached via FTTC, the solution is FTTP now.
Posted by gmoorc over 3 years ago
There is a post code checker on their site but I have to question its accuracy.

For CT187P it is saying Phase 2, work to commence between 04/14 and 09/14 however all but 2 of the cabinets are already installed and powered and one of those is being done this week.
Posted by gmoorc over 3 years ago
Was also informed by email from KCC a few weeks ago that planned go live date for the exchange is QTR 1 2014.
Posted by gmoorc over 3 years ago
Oops. Posted to the wrong news story. Should be Kent!
Posted by MCM999 over 3 years ago
"solution is FTTP now." I'm sure that's true but how do you suggest this be funded? With the funds available should just a few get everything they need and more or far more see an improvement on what they have already?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
North Yorkshire, of all the initial pilots, was the one who seemed most favourable to non-standard solutions and to a non-BT vendor.

It isn't a surprise to see that they will consider other solutions here - particularly as the 4G rollout stands a chance of being a contender.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
And what timeframe on a FTTP roll-out, everywhere now?

FTTP for everyone will be 15 years or so, nationally. Of course, it can be done faster but then it will cost more, a lot more.

Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
I think the attraction of alternative vendors may be diminished slightly after the recent problems in Rutland, where there are complaints about a single choice of provider.

I'm not sure if John Moore is alluding to that with his comment that many of the 10% would be happy to have a service provided by BT. He might mean BT Retail, BT Wholesale, or Openreach.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
If I were planning FTTP strategically rather than commercially, I'd follow this plan:
- Set a 25Mbps threshold
- Get FTTC to supply this to around 90%
- Rely on vectoring to extend the range, covering perhaps 94-95%
- Use satellite to cover the final 1%-2%
- Plan for a technology update in the gap between these two groups, eg FTTP or FTTC micronodes.

Then my strategy would be to increase the 25Mbps threshold annually, to maybe reach 50-60Mbps after a decade. Everyone who was below the threshold would become a target for a technology update
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
The commercial strategies, I'm sure, would work in parallel, bringing FTTP, FoD or FTTdp to the viable areas.

Overall result would match you - FTTP almost everywhere in 15-20 years or so.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Indeed, and please the majority in a far more equitable manner than a have or have not if plumping for a FTTP sole solution.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Hmmph the usual nonsense. The solution is FTTP just the small issue of paying for it.

Lets rollout FTTP to 10% of the country as that is our budget and the rest can whistle and stay on ADSL2+ for the next 10yrs

Nice move....
Posted by rjohnloader over 3 years ago
Living in N Yorkshire and 3km from the about to be installed cabinet we may be able to get faster speeds bu NYCC has already said it would use wireless to reach the hard to serve by FTTC areas. BT could serve our village vy a line of sight microwave as we can see the exchange 6km away but if it isn't FTTC or FTTP then they seem not to want to know
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
Get some dark fibre and light up a few valleys, won't be long before neighbouring towns see the light and make it very profitable. Competition will drive BT to provide better service before the altnets take over. More bang for your buck.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
And the cost of installing FTTP in these towns?
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