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First cabinet in Oxfordshire BDUK project switched on
Saturday 21 December 2013 12:40:14 by Andrew Ferguson

Residents of Ewelme in Oxfordshire should now be able to order a FTTC based broadband service and improve their broadband speeds. The village has the distinction of hosting the first fibre cabinet for the Oxfordshire BDUK project.

"This is an important step forward, and something I am really excited to be involved in. Broadband is now seen almost as a utility like water or electricity, yet there are areas where access is non-existent or far too slow. However, we are now seeing the first results of our work to bring better broadband to Oxfordshire with the switching on of this cabinet. High-speed access to the internet has never been more important whether you are a businessperson wishing to build your company, a student carrying out research or a householder accessing on-line shopping and entertainment. In today’s rapidly moving world, fast and sophisticated communications are absolutely vital. They are an essential part of future success."

County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council

The cabinet looks to be linked to PCP 7 located at the junction of the High Street and Parson's Lane in Ewelme. Our estimates suggest that 24 premises should connect at 60 Mbps or faster, another 59 at 40 Mbps and 34 at 30 Mbps or faster, which covers the premises obviously in Ewelme. The Shepherds Hut Pub at the west end of the High Street is likely to connect at over 24 Mbps but under 30 Mbps. There are other cabinets in the area serving the properties off Clay Lane and Beggarsbush Hill so hopefully these will be enabled shortly. This is where a little knowledge would be useful so we can figure out where the very edge of the reach of PCP 7 is.

Update Sunday 22nd December: With the help from people in the area we now know about the location of cabinets 5, 7 and 18 and our estimate is now that with all three cabinets offering FTTC, 159 premises are estimated to get 60 Mbps or faster, 301 at 40 Mbps or faster, 135 at 30 Mbps or faster and 73 at 24 Mbps or faster. There may be another 50 premises with slower speeds, but some of these may be served by other cabinets in the area. Part of the RAF Benson base has an Exchange Only arrangement which should be rearranged at a later date to allow a fibre based service.

Current data for the area suggests that the average speed is only 1.25 Mbps, so this is clearly a case of one of the slower broadband areas getting a significant upgrade.

Comments

Posted by exPARC over 3 years ago
This has been a long project for the village and we're pretty delighted it has been achieved. We must now explore the reach of the several cabinets to see if more isolated subscribers can get a decent service. That's a challenge for every rural community, and the fringes may need some creative extra measures. See www.ewelme.info for contacts and ongoing news.
Posted by Zarjaz over 3 years ago
What a result, and happy days, even for the 100 or less punters who could get a very slow ADSL connection prior to this being done.

I think the estimates for the pub are way too low, it ain't that far from the bus shelter is it ?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Pub could well be faster, due to nice straight road for once. Challenge now is to see what speeds people post in the area :-)
Posted by Zarjaz over 3 years ago
I reckon about 750m from the cab, I've worked in there a couple of times :-)
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Checker says pub should get 72.7M clean.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
How far from the exchange was the village? Anyone know?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Not measured it, but the speeds from our tester and the Ofcom data point towards it being a very slow area i.e. most under 2 Mbps and some nothing.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
Just interested as I am in a similar position, a long way from the single cabinet the exchange has and have been told that its 'too expensive' for the BDUK project to provide Fibre to the 100 or so houses locally.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
6.8km.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
Cheers Somerset - any idea how the fibre was deployed over that distance?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
The fibre to the actual cabinets would have been over the usual methods, i.e. ducting.

Though your issue appears to be copper distance to the cabinet, if I am reading your post.
Posted by exPARC over 3 years ago
Cab 7 is about 5 km from the Wallingford exchange. It ran out of spare copper pairs several years ago. The current implementation used some creative rerouting, tapping into other fibre luckily near the cabinet. The primary school about 800m away had legacy fibre from the Oxfordshire Computing Network (OCN). It seems someone on Openreach did some smart engineering replanning. Similarly lucky with the electricity. Adjacent pole meant no more than 1 m to dig!
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
philcoates suggest yo look at Openreach FAQ's around prviate funding to see if you can do it that way -- there are a number of villages that have done that
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
did not use any of the school fibre but did get some smart and clever engineering plannng using some other fibre owned by openreach
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
I had been sceptical of the claims of re-use of OCN fibre, ducting being a lot simpler.
Posted by exPARC over 3 years ago
i defer to fastman. I mistakenly put 2&2 together wrongly. School fibre was reconfigured but into different trunk. I hear OCN contract is being terminated in mid 2014 so schools on it will have to find different access to fast broadband.
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