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North Lincolnshire broadband roll-out not following the online plan
Monday 10 February 2014 18:12:24 by Andrew Ferguson

Catching up on some of the announcements on BDUK projects and its North Lincolnshire that is announcing the commencement of work and it looks like based on the areas announced that the original plan has had some changes. These changes seem to show that Grimsby which was shown as in Phase 4 (1 April 2015-30 June 2015) on the projects maps is to benefit from wider availability of FTTC during 2014.

The areas set to benefit are Winterton, Humberston, Waltham, Epworth, Saxby All Saints and Cleethorpes. Brigg, Scunthorpe, Barton-upon-Humber, Messingham, Grimsby, Healing and Scartho are described as getting additional roll-out to build on the existing Openreach roll-out in the area.

Cleethorpes is already widely covered by Virgin Media so one presumes the cabinets being enabled are outside the Virgin areas, or that the overlap is not substantial. Certainly enabling a cabinet where almost every property has access to a superfast provider already would break EU State Aid rules.

Waltham, Humberston that are mentioned as getting 'fibre broadband on the BT network for the first time' also appear to have extensive Virgin Media coverage and the BT press release has chosen its wording carefully, as they have avoided saying its the first time an area has had fibre based broadband.

Until we know exactly which cabinets are being enabled under the BDUK project it is hard to judge how much overlap there will be, people with more intimate local knowledge of cabinet locations and which ones have already been commercially rolled out will be able to better judge whether this is just catching low hanging fruit at minimal cost, or wasting public money on building where BT should have gone commercially.

Update Corrected mention of Winterton as having cable coverage, it is actually Waltham.

Comments

Posted by TavistockSFB01822 over 3 years ago
We are not fortunate enough to have the luxury of such advance roll-out information from Connecting Devon & Somerset. As for being concerned about EU State Rules - the EU are given as the reason for delaying roll-out delivery in UK funded areas for over 12 months.

If they were not bothered we are better out of Europe so we can bother about ourselves. We can also properly assist areas with roll-out not pussy foot round them...
Posted by mpellatt over 3 years ago
@TavistockSFB01822 - in or out of the EU, using public funds to subsidise a commercial operation would be wrong. I remain deeply concerned that this is exactly what BDUK money is now doing since BT became the only provider. That, and further bolstering their monopoly, locking out other providers - especially community-based provision.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
I am convinced this is happening in Rugeley, Staffordshire. Rugeley was in BTs commercial rollout. There are now extensive patches within the Rugeley footprint which are being fibre-enabled via BDUK. Considering all are adjacent to commercially funded areas its difficult to imagine they are all EO lines. Council simply brush away questions.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Nothing wrong if the projects are going adjacent to create a seamless wall of fibre based services.

If cabinets are appearing and live now most likely they are pure commercial ones.

Spotting the difference between a BDUK and a commercial cab is impossible they are the same.
Posted by mklinger over 3 years ago
If you happen to be directly connected to an exchange then you will not get superfast broadband. BT has stated that only those connected to a cabinet will be upgraded, exchange lines are not covered by the contract.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@mklinger Which county are you referring to?

Some BDUK projects are using funding to get EO lines converted. The extra cost may very often mean that EO lines are in the later phases of the project and will depend on what final coverage figure a county is looking at.
Posted by TavistockSFB01822 over 3 years ago
We are told that the bulk of the public money is excess (champagne reception) BBC TV Tax. Even the extra £250 million comes from that source (sauce). BT were privatised by the government 30 years ago from a state monopoly. You don't shake off that position easily as the infrastructure is there and is theirs now.

EO Lines are being addressed - Superfast Cornwall has examples apparently. I try and ignore what goes on there as it is an example what can be done with proper funding.
Posted by chilting over 3 years ago
Things are at last starting to move in West Sussex with 12 new exchanges listed to benefit from phase 1 of the BDUK roll out. No details on cabinets yet. WSCC have just posted a link through to "their" Openreach site from their news page. Work is already well advanced in some locations.
Posted by KarlAustin over 3 years ago
Scunthorpe has a VM presence in some areas, but Winterton doesn't have VM available to it. Diamond Cable never made it that far, the same as they managed to get ducts along the main road through Messingham, but never any service before they got borged.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
My mistake got my Winterton and Waltham mixed up. Used our maps with the VM layer and seeing actual virgin speed test results to confirm coverage.
Posted by Plankton1066 over 3 years ago
*** Chilting *** .... In East Sussex we've finalised our phase one roll out plan and they are busy building with a ready for orders spring/summerbut have no details of cabs. So don't hold your breath that West Sussex will tell you what the plan is. Best advice is stick your ear next to your huawei fttc cab when it arrives if it's humming look at the BT Wholesale ADSL checker.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
@andrew

Yes they are the same, I know! According to Superfast Staffordshire, the 'go-live' date for the Fibre service provided in Rugeley by BDUK funding is April this year i.e. about 7 weeks away. There is frenetic activity with 3 cabs appearing on the route I drive between yesterday and today. Call me paranoid but I cannot believe these are part of the commercial rollout. Also, why are they adjacent to areas in the town which are literally a street away from cabinets in the commercial rollout?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
If you can figure out the overlap with existing cable coverage then you can see if the spending is fair.

The openreach commercial roll-out has an edge to it, so one presumes these were just outside the commercial costings, and a little gap funding makes them feasible.

Remember BDUK is not about technical issues, it is about a little funding to get a commercial solution into more areas.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Chilting - are you reading the village website?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@PhilCoates
The commercial rollout is always going to have a boundary. Therefore there will always be BDUK cabinets on one side of the boundary, adjacent to commercial cabinets on the other side.

That boundary doesn't just surround towns, it will go through parts of it; exchanges will have a mix of both types of cabinets, as some cabinets within the town prove commercially unviable.

And that means, inevitably, that adjacent streets can be in the two different programmes. Even the same street.

It is called "infill".
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
@WWWombat

I appreciate that completely. My point is that Rugeley was in BTs commercial rollout.Why would they elect to add a Fibre cabinet in one street and not in another street on the same estate with the same number of houses and population density? Why is BDUK funding being used for infill when VM coverage is blanket anyway?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
"My point is that Rugeley was in BTs commercial rollout"

But you can't make such a definitive statement. Some parts of Rugeley (town or exchange) will almost certainly *not* be in the commercial rollout.

"Why would they elect to add a Fibre cabinet in one street and not in another street on the same estate with the same number of houses and population density?"

Either your assumptions are wrong (eg different number of houses), or some other cost is involved (eg supply of power)
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
"Why is BDUK funding being used for infill when VM coverage is blanket anyway?"

It certainly shouldn't, so you have to ask 2 fundamental questions:

How do you *know* that all the cabinets are BDUK ones? Some cabinets get put back to later phases in the commercial rollout, and there is nothing to stop BT from now deciding to roll delayed commercial cabinets at the same time as new BDUK ones.

Is VM coverage as blanket as you think? It doesn't look it on the Staffordshire where/when map.
Posted by chilting over 3 years ago
New FTTC cabinets that are being provided under the BDUK scheme only have space to run about 33% of the ADSL lines. I haven't seen any undertaking by BT to increase the availability to 100% or a time frame to increase availability as demand increases.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Chilting - I assume you are! The question the public need to ask the LAs is what about the 90%+ ('promised') less the 33% ('likely') that may well not be provided under the BDUK roll-out if this is indeed true.

I guess we are back to the 'homes passed' nonsense again.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
@WWWombat

'Is VM coverage as blanket as you think? It doesn't look it on the Staffordshire where/when map. '

It certainly does on the Thinkbroadband Broadband map with VM cabs enabled.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@chilting

"I haven't seen any undertaking by BT to increase the availability to 100% or a time frame to increase availability as demand increases."

No paperwork signed in CEO's blood, but they are adding extra cabinets to areas where the first gets filled up.
Posted by chilting over 3 years ago
@andrew
Yes, they have been adding new cabinets in commercial roll out areas but do you think that they will do the same in BDUK areas. If they do who will pick up the bill - BT or the LA.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
Surrey County Council have confirmed that their project provides the initial capacity based on expected demand and that any future increase to that capacity will be down to BT to fund on a commercial basis. Sounds like demand registration will need to be at cabinet level in the future!
Posted by chilting over 3 years ago
@cooperfarncombe
That makes a bit of a nonsense of the 90%+ coverage if the cabinets only have capacity for about a third of the lines. Not good!
Thank you.
Posted by Taylorguk over 3 years ago
Note that North Lincolnshire and North East Linclonshire are two entirely separate unitary authorities. Humberston, Waltham, Cleethorpes. Grimsby, Healing and Scartho are in NE Lincs. Winterton, Epworth, Saxby All Saints, Brigg, Scunthorpe, Barton-upon-Humber, Messingham are all in North Lincs.
What is the extent of 'Winterton'? does in include all the surrounding villages, e.g. Alkborough where I live which is 3 miles from our nearest exchange at Burton upon Stather, and my 'broadband' speed struggles to reach 1.7MB most of the day?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@chilting
Nah. Capacity and coverage are always two different bedfellows.

Back in old Strowger exchange days, there wasn't even enough equipment in the exchange to dial a number (you waited for dial tone to confirm that the exchange had switched in the equipment to listen to your dialling pulses), never mind enough trunks to call off-exchange.

Telecoms has always been about providing just enough equipment for demand now, not demand in 5 years time.
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