The issue of FTTC giving variable speeds due to impact of distance on VDSL2 has had a good many critics of the awarding of the BDUK contracts to BT a field day in the last couple of years and some are convinced that speed targets will not be met. Well with the hard work of Richard Brown (@wispame a redacted copy of a BDUK contract is now out in the wild.
"5.3.2 that Broadband Coverage is achieved throughout the Contract Intervention Area by 30th June 2016 and in any event by the Drop Dead Date, as follows:
- a minimum of ninety per cent (90%) of all Premises in the Contract Intervention Area are capable of having access to broadband services at a minimum of 30 Mbps PPIR with 2 Mbps CIR;
- a minimum of ninety five per cent (95%) of all Premises in the Contract Intervention Area are capable of having access to broadband services at a minimum of 24 Mbps PPIR with 0.5 Mbps CIR; and
- a minimum of forty per cent (40%) of all Premises in the Contract Intervention Area are capable of having access to broadband services at a minimum of 100 Mbps PPIR with 10 Mbps CIR."Extract from Welsh BDUK Contract
The original announcement in July 2012 did not spell things out as clearly as this. For those now wondering what the acronyms mean:
What is new is the requirement for 40% of premises to have a minimum connection speed of 100 Mbps, some may think this means 40% of the project having FTTP, but the reality is more mundane, we expect by 2016 that vectoring will be in the wold and so VDSL2 could hit this target, though some FTTP is expected. The real key word is CAPABLE in theory once FTTP on Demand is available across the UK every telephone line with a fibre twin at its green cabinet can order a 330 Mbps service.
The CIR figures will look very small, but are not far off what we all work with every day and is still vastly better than the days when Tiscali used to fit a 2 Mbps backhaul line to an exchange and populate it with one hundred 1 Mbps or 0.5 Mbps customers.
The question really is what about those premises in the final few percent of Wales, i.e. those that are most rural, and that is where not just in Wales but across the UK that a lot of the criticism is coming. In theory the Government has waved its hands and said superfast will hit 98% in the 2018 timeframe, but the big question is whether these continued improvements to the superfast coverage are delaying improvements that might bring the most rural parts of the UK up to speeds of 2 Mbps and more.