The debate over whether to build from the edge inwards, or the core outwards is back into the frame as Anne McIntosh the MP for Thirsk and Malton has expressed her outrage that after the current North Yorkshire BDUK project completes later this year some 22% of her constituency will be left with no superfast broadband coverage.
This is another of the joy of statistics and the problems of working with a fixed budget, i.e. you need to plan the roll-out in such a way that you can be pretty sure of hitting your target without exceeding the budget and anyone will tell you the way to do this is to go for the low hanging fruit first and hope that these are cheaper to harvest so that you can reach further later.
There may be a little posturing in the outburst in the Yorkshire Post, as North Yorks has been given an extra £3m of funding by the BDUK, which is likely to take superfast coverage to 93%, i.e. benefit an extra 11,370 homes if initial estimates are correct.
We think the real question about this BDUK project and others is what is happening on the USC front, everyone was promised a 2 Mbps connection or faster but the race to extend projects to hit a nice 95% superfast coverage figure for 2017 may actually mean that this minimum speed is delayed as councils want to avoid deploying something in 2015, that they will replace in 2017.
North Yorkshire apparently has over half the telephone cabinets offering a FTTC based service now, and 90% of premises should have access by October 2014. The state of play in terms of what our speed test is showing for councils across North Yorkshire is shown below:
|Broadband Speeds Across North Yorkshire|
|District Council||Median Download||Median Upload||%'age < 2 Mbps||%'age > 30 Mbps|
|Craven District Council||6.5 Mbps||0.68 Mbps||17.2%||7.5%|
|Hambleton District Council||8.9 Mbps||0.86 Mbps||16.1%||16.1%|
|Harrogate Borough Council||10.5 Mbps||0.99 Mbps||9.6%||22.1%|
|Richmondshire District Council||5.2 Mbps||0.62 Mbps||23.5%||3.7%|
|Ryedale District Council||6.5 Mbps||0.83 Mbps||22.7%||15.1%|
|Scarborough Borough Council||11.4 Mbps||0.91 Mbps||8.7%||20.2%|
|Selby District Council||9.0 Mbps||0.89 Mbps||15.8%||17.5%|
|York City Council (outside BDUK project area)||10.4 Mbps||0.98 Mbps||9.9%||26.4%|