The problem with any roll-out that requires something to be built is that it takes time to do the physical work, and while it is very frustrating for those in a county who do not see their area mentioned, the positive side is that at least there is progress being made.
The latest news from BDUK land, is that Shropshire has announced the next 18 areas to benefit from the project that should when it completes see improvements in broadband speeds for some 62,000 homes and businesses. The Connecting Shropshire website calls the locations rural or very rural, but we suspect people living in the locations may disagree.
Alberbury, Aston on Clun, Boningale, Clungunford, Cosford, Cross Lane Head, Halfway House, Little Brampton, Ploxgreen, Pontesford, Purslow, Quatford, Snailbeach, Stoke St. Milborough, Upton Magna, Westbury, Withington and YockletonNext wave of areas for fibre based broadband improvements from Spring 2014
In December the first area in the previously announced list went live, i.e. Montford Bridge, also cabinets have gone live in Harlescott and Bicton. The other early areas of Albrighton, Ford, Minsterley and Pontesbury are expected before the end of March 2014.
The Shropshire project is spending some £24.6m of which £16m is public money, which works out at a subsidy of £258 per property. The end result should be that 93% of properties will have access to a fibre based broadband connection by Spring 2016.
|Broadband Speeds For Shropshire|
|Council||Median Download||Median Upload||%'age < 2 Mbps||%'age > 30 Mbps|
|Rest of Shropshire||6.3 Mbps||0.66 Mbps||19.9%||11.4%|
|Telford and Wrekin (not part of project)||17.8 Mbps||1.85 Mbps||10.4%||39.6%|
We looked at the speeds of the two areas back in November 2013 (which was based on a September 2013 analysis) and it will be interesting to see if the Connecting Shropshire project is able to get closer to the performance of Telford and Wrekin which benefits from commercial FTTC and an extensive Virgin Media cable broadband coverage.