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Ed Vaizey still confident on meeting the 90% superfast target in 2015
Friday 01 November 2013 14:18:55 by Andrew Ferguson

While the BDUK process was roundly slated by the Public Accounts Committee and a National Audit Office report created many a headline claiming the project would be two years late in delivering, the reality is a lot more uncertain and as always headlines tend to avoid the nitty gritty detail.

The NAO report estimated that while a General Election 2015 date was going to be missed with respect to the 90% superfast coverage target, by the end of 2015 a target of 88% was still achievable. Ed Vaizey talking at the Parliament and the Internet Conference this week highlighted that he is still hopeful of hitting the 90% coverage target by the end of 2015.

Certainly there is a distinct danger that with all the doom-mongering in the press that the general public could be given the idea that superfast broadband is a mythical beast available to only a handful, and thus not bother looking at upgrades or ignoring upgrade offers from providers assuming they have got their coverage information wrong. A good many people may not upgrade to superfast services as soon as it is available, and our own projection for actual take-up and speeds in 2015 takes this into account.

Independently verifying whether the 90% target has been met in 2015, rather than it being 88% will be a difficult task, but while those without access will still be asking when and where, as coverage increases we expect to see less questions about ADSL2+ and a lot more about the fibre based services.

Comments

Posted by csimon over 3 years ago
I don't know how anyone can make any sort of projection or estimate at all when Openreach won't release any planning information and no-one, not even BDUK and Superfast Cymru, has any idea when individual areas are going to get fibre-enabled services. Or perhaps they do know but just won't release the information to the public.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
See the Kent mapping article - where they have information on the various phases of the roll-out.
Posted by UKNetizen over 3 years ago
"...ignoring upgrade offers from providers assuming they have got their coverage information wrong."

You can blame Virgin Media for that. They must waste a lot of money posting thick advertising materials to houses in streets that don't have cable. It's inexplicable as they're perfectly positioned to know which properties can get it and which can't.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
"You can blame Virgin Media for that" and BT too - we get offers of BT infinity when they cannot even provide a basic broadband service.
Posted by mdar5 over 3 years ago
@Csimon
For a given county I can assure you BT/HMG/BDUK know exactly what they are going to upgrade at each stage of the proposed BDUK roll out over the next few years.

They even know and have plans for what they will do for the next stages beyond that. This is the "final 10%" - those who will get nothing under the current funding - if sufficient extra money is forthcoming from government/councils at some time in the future.

But they are not releasing any of this data to the public.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
'They' do appear to be kicking the 2mbps for all can down the road.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
mdar5 "For a given county I can assure you BT/HMG/BDUK know exactly what they are going to upgrade at each stage of the proposed BDUK roll out over the next few years" - credit to you for your confidence in the madhouse, but every OR man I talk to in this rural area says they have NO comprehensive idea of who is connected to what and how, so that belief is indeed impressive. OR say they work on 'logic', a road map and a 'open a cabinet and suck-it-and-see' policy.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
My understanding is the although Openreach know the radial distances the actual line route is often only known to the local engineers.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
Then how can CPs query Openreach line data through dialogue services both individually and in bulk for the lines that they "own"?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
What do you mean by "query"?
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
The BT line data is flawed anyway. We have a group of houses 9km from an ADSL2+ exchange (5km from their cabinet) 'promised' 'up to 4.5mb' with ADSL2+ by the BT wholesale 'checker'. All they get is 28kb dial-up. Re-assured?

I wonder - will they be assessed as '>2mb'? Michael_Chare - maybe they will just fudge the data? Quieter than 'kicking the can' and less likely to be noticed.
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
mikejp at tat distalce thats all you would get - so not quite suire what the Checker is suggesting. There is no ADSL2 beneift at greater than around a mile or so from exchange so a 9km distance is only ever goint to get s sub 1 meg copper service
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
mikejp the local enginerring man you speak to on the streetr may not but the modellers and Designers do as each line has a indicator or a cal value that shows how far the dp is from the cab (there may be challenges where the premies is then a long way from the DP
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
@mikejp - not talking about BTWholesale but Openreach.

@gerarda - information is available from Openreach to CPs via a portal. nothing to do with estimated speeds but line characteristics and length
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
Poor Ed. He's found himself between a rock and a hard spot. He'll now have to keep covering his back until after the next election. He's made his bed. He now has to lie in it. And its going to get more and more uncomfortable when everyone realises digital britain is not gonna happen. There is not much time left before people will realise the emperor has no clothes.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Please define 'digital britain'.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@ gadget - you mean the information that means an Openreach engineer (or three) turns up and says "I don't know why I am here you will never get a service this far out"
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@Michael_Chare BTOfcom are already fudging the data. According to them any line connected to a fibre enabled cabinet already has superfast. Magically the final 10% disappears.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
@gerarda - where does it say any line on a fibre cabinet has superfast?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@somerset
In the postcode data attached to Ofcom's infrastructure report published last week.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Superfast Broadband Available(Y/N) - This field indicates whether Virgin Media or Openreach are able to provide superfast broadband services to one or more premises in the postcode. Note, not all premises will necessarily be able to order the service and, for fibre to the cabinet technologies, not all connections will necessarily be able to achieve superfast speeds.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
Yes but the first sentence does not stand up to analysis. It includes postcodes where no premises are able to receive a superfast service, and even BT's own line checker gives only a up to 1mb result.
Posted by ahockings over 3 years ago
My Exchange (Totnes) is partially activated now. My Village (Harberton) is connected to Totnes way out of town and ADSL2 speeds are awful (0.5-2 meg). Luckily Cab 21 is in the village and we had started a campaign to get it activated only to find last week that Harlequin have put a planning notice to up to install a FTTC cab.. Wayhey! Well done BT.. for once :) We're going from 1 meg to 70 meg soon it seems! I'm on a differnt line though 5km from a different cab so I'm going 4G (when it get here, before March I hope).
Posted by 21again over 3 years ago
Vaizey is an MP so his view on targets getting reached at a specific are about as much good as a chocolate teapot in hell.
Expenses however could well be his forte if what you read in the press is kosha ;)

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/features/columnists/10489062.print/
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
fastman - "mikejp at tat distalce thats all you would get - so not quite suire what the Checker is suggesting. There is no ADSL2 beneift at greater than around a mile or so from exchange so a 9km distance is only ever goint to get s sub 1 meg copper service" - I think everyone except BT and Vaizey will agree with that?
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Michael_Chare -"'They' do appear to be kicking the 2mbps for all can down the road." I may have missed something, Michael - although I will readily beleeive you, do you have any 'substance' for this 'feeling'. We are already seeing the 'super-fast broadband (24mb+) can on its way.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
@mikejp. Ed Vaizey is not reported as having mentioned it. In the past it was always one of the sated objectives.

The NAO report link above refers to completing the rural programme by Dec 2016 (Perhaps not exactly the same thing.)
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
As Andrew said "Independently verifying whether the 90% target has been met in 2015, rather than it being 88% will be a difficult task" let alone verifying the >2mb band! A month-long correspondence with BDUK indicates that they have little (or no) interest in establishing a reliable speed delivery assessment and have 'passed' my 'enquiry' to OfCom. I'll pull up a deckchair.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@mikejp Ofcom confirmed that the 2mb USC has also been put back to 2017. So we have gone from an initial, still unfulfilled, promise of broadband for all by 2005, to a 2009 promise of 2mb by 2012, which in 3 years of the current Government has been put back 5 years. So a target 4 years in the future is farther away now than it has ever been
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
@gerarda
Surely since FTTC/P was not launched in 2005 then the promise had to be about the ADSL(& 2+) plus cable.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@gadget yes it was. Its a sort of variation on xeno's paradox where instead of achilles getting closer to the hare he gets farther away at each step.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
"There is no ADSL2 beneift at greater than around a mile or so from exchange" - yes there is, at 2.5km I got an extra 3M. Elsewhere at >70 dB the difference is a few hundred k ( ie doubles the speed).
Posted by SimonWindsor over 3 years ago
I am still bemused that we have TWO national 4G data licenses (BT and UK Broadband) that can deploy and cover much of the country yest have failed to do so!

Why have neither of these being used to provide stop gap coverage in many areas?
Posted by michaels_perry over 3 years ago
It seems the driver for FTTC or FTTP is commercial gain and not customer benefit. Those in most towns are rather more likely to gain benefits from ADSL2+ systems due to relatively shorter lines (but not all) whereas rural properties will gain most from fibre - but are last to be considered, if at all.
Politicians are the last people to listen to as they are not technically minded and struggle to understand simple logic and arithmetic.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
@michaels_perry. I suspect that politicians have promised >2mbps for all without taking into consideration as to how this might be provided, and the possible costs involved. Now we are getting closer to the original promised delivery date they are finding difficulties in meeting their promises.
Posted by 21again over 3 years ago
> Now we are getting closer to the original promised delivery date they are finding difficulties in meeting their promises.

Don't worry I'm sure they'll find a suitable scapegoat,wonder who it will be t?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
Just a little comment for herdwick... not every home or ISP has someone like you, who is prepared to tweak and modify to get the very last gasp out of a copper pair. BT would have to employ thousands more engineers to provide your level of support. The people have what they are given, and in many homes yes the speed could be doubled to 2 or 3 meg with a few hours work, but these places are already at the wrong side of the digital divide tha knows?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
A few minutes in most cases e.g. http://www.thinkbroadband.com/videos/iplate-installation.html
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