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First areas of Cheshire to benefit from better broadband announced
Friday 06 December 2013 11:55:17 by Andrew Ferguson

A month ago the Connecting Cheshire project published a rough map of its roll-out and as promised the first areas to benefit have now been announced. The first phase which should see some 15,000 homes benefit across 30 communities from access to a fibre based (FTTC) service should see people starting to connect at the end of March 2014.

Cheshire East Council; Acton, Alderley Edge, Allostock, Aston, Brereton Green, Cranage, Hough, Peover, Plumley, Twemlow Green, Warmingham, Wrenbury and Wybunbury

Cheshire West & Chester Council; Acton Bridge, Barton, Christleton, Clutton, Davenham, Great Mollington, Guilden Sutton, Kelsall, Lach, Dennis, Norley, Tarporley, Tarvin, Tattenhall, Weaverham and Wincham

Halton Borough Council; Halebank and Weston

Warrington Borough Council; Dallam, Westwood and Winwick

The following areas already have some fibre based services, but will see additional roll-out to cover more of the community.

Central Chester, Central Runcorn, Central Warrington, East of Crewe, Great Sankey, Holmes Chapel, Nantwich and Penketh

Areas to benefit in the first phase roll-out

For those chasing the figures, rather than panicking about when they will get a service, some interesting figures have been announced, the project has a total fund of £28.5 million (£13.6m ERDF, £9m BT, £4m BDUK and £1.85m from councils) and estimates are that some 400 fibre cabinets will be installed along with 875 miles of fibre optic cable utilising a team of 100 engineers and planners.

The presence of places like Chester, Warringon and Runcorn shows how daft it is to see people constantly referring to the BDUK projects as a rural broadband scheme, the reality is that the projects are building out from the existing commercial footprint, and to ensure the best value for money are enabling many areas that an outsider would consider urban. If one was to search out an endearing image for the BDUK projects, a business park on the edge of a town, or that estate that is on the fringes of a large town are probably more representative in terms of the numbers helped than a lone person holding a tablet in a large field.


Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
Thanks, so £70k per cabs/paths, with public sector paying c£48k, consistent with NAO at an average of subsidy of c£47k. This was rubbished by BT Sean Williams at PAC who said he recognised £28,900 (cabinet only)not the higher number. Much to answer given c£14k was the subsidy per cabinet/path in Northern Ireland, less if we exclude greater Belfast.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
£70k/cab calc ignores the money going towards the smaller amount of FTTP in original announcement, cost of fibre aggregation nodes and the small matter of new GEA Handover nodes. Also the reshelling of PSTN cabs if needed, and work to convert EO lines.

Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@Andrew all of the above apart from FTTP prep was included in the NI subsidy. Re-shelling of PSTN cabs ought to be PSTN capital - minor point. The numbers remain an order of magnitude above where they should be. Much much more FTTP could be enabled if an appropriate level of cost transparency was demanded and enforced. Openreach could do an even better job future proofing our networks if this matter is given the attention it deserves. HOP are not L2 Ethernet switching -cheap, not a £1m system X from 1980's.
FTTP targets should be set and costed. Thanks for reporting on the matter.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
And BT will say its future proof as the aggregation node paid for in BDUK roll-out supports GPON in the future and is the FTTPoD enabler which is where the ERDF money may largely go, i.e. better speeds for businesses not close to the cabinet.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
Why should re-shelling PSTN cab in order to provide FTTC be a PSTN capital charge?
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@gadget the name provides a hint. So lots of pstn repairs get done, fine but lets the allocate appropriately.

@Andrew - we can do better than this. If you put push fibre to a manifold on several poles you would not need the cabinet, or you would not do both in many cases given the low density of users and the cost of power.

The lack of transparency or even white papers on these matters means we need to speculate. FTTPoD enabler? Splitter or manifold? No detail published yet huge costs being allocated.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
I'd love the time to sit down and re-cost a county and its roll-out, it is possible but just needs lots of time and spreadsheets and visits to confirm likely costs for the various elements involved.
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
biggest problem is the cost of a cab will be the reasonably constistent the biggest problem will be duct / no duct and the distance from that cab to get the spine to it or power to servie it that could increase the cost of deploying to that from the nearest fibre node -The more rural you get (rural i mean no duct) the greater the cost of doing each cab will be
Posted by csimon over 3 years ago
Yeah, I'm a little fed up with the comments that I always get about "choosing" to live in an idyllic rural settings. It's nothing to do with rural or urban, it's about decisions that have been made in the past about where to site exchanges.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Reshelling is only done for FTTC, so part of those costs. And not for every cabinet.
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
csimon regardless of where the exchange is, you could have a rural exchage which no duct to the street boxes - that will be really hard and expensve and the cost per premise woill be very high and there normally over the cost cost cap that the county may be working to -
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