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DCMS throws a a few numbers out on superfast broadband
Thursday 05 December 2013 15:34:08 by Andrew Ferguson

Following on from the National Infrastructure Plan updates the DCMS has released some snippets of data on what progress has been made with the public money to increase coverage of superfast broadband beyond the commercially viable areas.

Table 1: Quarterly cumulative broadband data
Cumulative to end of: Premises with superfast broadband service made available BDUK funding (£) Number of premises covered per £million of broadband delivery programme expenditure
December 2012 254 £434,735 584
March 2013 16,638 £6,767,185 2,459
June 2013 38,343 £6,767,185 5,666
September 2013 111,968 £10,347,568 10,821

The list of caveats is large, but the key ones are that the premises numbers only includes those expected to get a service with a download speed above 24 Mbps, and this only covers the central BDUK funding, so any investment by the local authority, BT or ERDF are excluded, as are also any costs of running the BDUK. Additionally as cabinet level roll-outs do sometimes overlap with for example Virgin Media cable areas, those premises are excluded from the numbers.

Some may want to draw the conclusion that the first cabinet in North Yorkshire, which was the extent of the roll-out in December 2012 cost £434,735 to deliver, but as with many infrastructure projects the first element is more expensive, and as more infrastructure is deployed in an area the extended roll-out benefits from earlier work. Doing the basic sum, it seems that central Government is contributing £97 for every premise passed up to September 2013 (passed means connected to a green street cabinet that has a fibre twin and is able to order a superfast service at faster than 24 Mbps to avoid any doubt). It is our understanding that if a cabinet shows high take-up and is filled up that Openreach will then add a subsequent cabinet and as demand has been shown to be high this will most likely be done under commercial terms.

One of the reasons BT may have been the last horse standing in the race to the BDUK funds, was that projects do not pay out any money until receipts for work were produced and as far as we know no counties have paid any money to BT.

The small update on coverage levels and cost are welcome, but information on which postcodes had benefited would have been useful to help people understand what is being achieved. To do the analysis on premises passed it is clear that DCMS has this level of information.

Comments

Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
I am pleased to see that they claim to only be reporting premises able to ACTUALLY receive SFB. Presumably this is based on the BT checker which is known to be inaccurate, so we will have to see, although the use of the words "if their RESULTING speeds are below 24 Mbit/s," MIGHT SUGGEST a more relevant analysis............

What a shame the 'structural' BDUK costs are missing from the figures. I fancy they will put the "£97" up a touch.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
Is this just central BDUK funding, what about state funding from County Council's and EU?
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
"so any investment by the local authority, BT or ERDF are excluded, as are also any costs of running the BDUK."
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
I reckon the conclusion in the last para is wrong - about the postcodes.

The CSW project is at great pains to say that mapping is done at postcode level, but that the telco boundaries are different. They say that the project ultimately works at the individual property level.

To find the properties passed, it isn't enough for DCMS to just know the postcodes passed. They have to know the actual properties passed.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
So perhaps it should say DCMS has data to postcode level or better.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
Thanks for reporting this. The benchmark set in Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh was a total subsidy of c£70 a premise past for FTTC/BET/bonded copper. NAO found BT can bill up to more than £200 on average per premise passed if they can generate the bills off the BDUK contracts. The amount of FTTP could be very large indeed given the budgets, but we need far greater levels of transparency to be confident this could happen.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
@VFM

IS the billing based on the proportional funding for the area, e.g. 1/3 each BDUK, LocalGov, BT. SO a £200 bill per property would have required £600 of works per property overall?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
it is nice to see DCMS taking the trouble to find out actual speeds rather than using the "superfast includes superslow" definition that Ofcom and BT use.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
The central govt cost per premise passed should tend towards £50 at the bottom end (total divided by 1/3 of households).

Seems the 2M USC type work has got lost altogether.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@themanstan, the >£200 is the 77% payable (up to) by public sector (BDUK+LA), excludes the self accredited capital (labour+kit)23%, and the more elusive operational costs.

@hardwick thanks so 200 premises served by a PCP provides a budget of £30,000 for cabinet/path and connectivity. This is less than half identified by the NAO, but consistent with the itemised £25,000 Callflow provide to Kent using BT list prices for EADs and construction charges and cabinet costs at c£10-£14k.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@herdwick USC type work. I think it needs to be ignored or at least examined at the end. With these budgets I am certain the engineering community in Openreach would wish to run fibres out to manifolds on poles, especially if the power companies quote anything over £2000 for power. It is an immense opportunity if grasped.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
USC type work. This one of two purposes for the scheme. If it is to be ignored then the whole state subsidy for the roll out is illegal.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@gerada USC not so much ignored but largely superseded by pushing NGA further, and making better utilisation of the 4g coverage obligation.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@valueformoney 4G is not an option under the state aid guidelines.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
@ValueforMoney - perhaps the clue is that the copper cab needs to be reshelled to allow the FTTC upgrade to take place, in which case the cost is proper to the addition of FTTC and not day to day PSTN maintenance. Most common reason appears to be to make space for the additional tie-cables needed to connect to the FTTC cab, which clearly would not be needed to continue PSTN copper service. there was a mention of cab reshelling in an earlier post http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/fibre/4045964-cabinet-re-shell.html?fpart=all&vc=1
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@gadget thank you. We can agree it is a mix of reasons and should be split, the copper access network should be in a more stable condition after the intervention requiring fewer repairs. we cam also agree there is insufficient transparency.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@VFM
Swiss Telecom reckon that 80% of the cost of FTTH is in the final 200 metres.

And the oft-quoted figure is that FTTC is a fifth to a quarter of the cost of FTTH.

In which case you are right. For the current rollouts (both commercial 66% and subsidised 95%), you could spend the whole budget on getting fibre to the DP's, but no further.

Fibre would be within 200m of almost everyone, yet no-one would have superfast speeds, even after spending near £5bn. Is that really an immense opportunity to be grasped?
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
@VfM - the reshelling is totally for FTTC. It would not be done for any other reason.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
@vfm
what is the commercial justification for splitting the cost?
how does the pstn side benefit from a reshell over the existing shell? how is revenue maintained or improved by this reshell?
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Unless the 4G coverage obligation is 100% it is unlikely to address many of the USC notspots. Running ADSL from FTTC cabs might do more good.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Big ANFP issues with ADSL from a cabinet, if other lines in the cable bundle have exchange based ADSL. Could be solved, but big problems then for the ADSL2+ LLU crowd, and TalkTalk is available to all but 4% of the country
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
"Running ADSL from FTTC cabs might do more good." - exactly how do you do that? How much equipment in the FTTC cabinet is required, how much new cabling between old and new and how many lines can be serviced this way?
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@garada MIP is state aid approved.
@themanstan the repaired PCP will be valued as a PSTN, depreciated and cost recovered or at least should be.
@somerset a drooping or leaning PCP will could have more moisture and more rust on connections.
The network PSTN and Broadband Components will be in a better post intervention of state aid.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@wwwombat it worth a discussion at least. If as NAO/PAC state they have found the average subsidy per cab/path is £47k and this serves 200 premises then it must be worth a question.
As long as the service is orderable on line then the requirement is met.

BT are not acknowledging that number but neither have they denied it or the right to bill up to that amount.

What is orderable FTTP in Cornwall?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@value for money Only if there is a commitment to install fibre at a later date
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@gerarda ? orderable is visible on a wholesale ordering system, which is very demanding requirement of EMP.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
We are not tslking about drooping or leaning cabinets, just ones that need extra space for FTTC tie cables.
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