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 PenkethAreas 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.