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PAC and BDUK approves Cumbria broadband map
Thursday 06 March 2014 15:06:20 by Andrew Ferguson

Looking at the latest broadband map for Cumbria it is clear that those approving the latest map do not suffer from colour blindness, as the choice of green shades makes it difficult for those who do to discern the various areas.

ISPreview spotted the new Cumbria map but given its low resolution it is not worth reproducing in our news, so head over to Connecting Cumbria to take a look and hope you have good local knowledge to tell which areas are which.

  1. The level of detail provided on this map is as agreed with the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the Public Accounts Committee. No further detail will be provided.
  2. Planned coverage for all areas is subject to survey and may change.
  3. Coverage may change as new technology is introduced and with the project aim to extend coverage as far as possible. As this is a county wide deployment, it may be that coverage for individual postcodes increases or decreases as the deployment progresses.
  4. The map is not currently 100% compatible with mobiles and you may experience issues if viewing on a mobile device.
Connecting Cumbria Final Coverage Guide Details

For all the bluster during the PAC sessions, one has to question the value of the taxi fares for those giving evidence if this is the end result, as to be frank we are having difficulty telling this map apart from any other map a BDUK project has released. We have tried overlaying our usual postcode layers but the low resolution of what has been published by Connecting Cumbria makes it useless beyond confirming that there are very few postcodes in areas like Buttermere, Borrowdale and Wasdale.

The warning about the map not being compatible with mobiles is very odd, but we have checked and it appears that the Cumbria website is a responsive design and no-one asked the developer to make the map responsive too.

Cumbria is stating it is on track to take fibre based broadband to 93% of properties (no figure published for their estimate on superfast coverage) but previously they have talked of "project’s ambition is to bring superfast broadband to around 93 per cent of Cumbrian homes and businesses". It is not clear then whether there has been a downgrade in expectations or just clumsy wording when people are not aware of the significance of the statement, i.e. superfast implies a connection faster than 24 Mbps or 30 Mbps (UK versus EU definition) and fibre based simply means a line connected to a VDSL2 enabled cabinet and speed is irrelevant.


Posted by sbeck201 over 3 years ago
Not very clear at all. I have a CA4 postcode but am connected to Carlisle (CA1-CA3) with a current download speed of ~0.6Mb/s. Just wish they'd say "you're not getting superfast" and stop putting out vague promises.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
That is a rather special kind of map, devoid of roads, settlements and physical geographical features like lakes. It also appears to be a probability map and little else.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Did not cover this in the news, but there is an odd issue with their map, that the sea near Bardsea across to Carnforth is marked as dark green. So raises question mark on accuracy of the map.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
The sea being marked is probably due to the postcode boundary shape.

So we now have 'likely' and 'most likely'.
Posted by chilting over 3 years ago
Why don't they give a list of Cabinets to be upgraded on each exchange with an estimate of the order date for each cabinet. They must have this info available.
Posted by pehaw over 3 years ago
Since when was Kirkby north of Millom?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
The map for Essex suffers a similar problem: An area that some maps show as "sea" is coloured to show connectivity.

When looking at other maps, or satellite coverage, it seems that the area is intermediate, low-level sand & mud. Covered at high tide, but land at low tide.

Could this be the case here? Morecombe bay is notorious for the mud, sand, and fast-moving tide.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
I think I understand what is different about Cumbria from any other map.

It isn't that it is suddenly more detailed. It is that it is accompanied by the word "final", with no qualification of more phases.

Isn't it that aspect that makes it useful to altnet planners?
Posted by GrasmereBroadband over 3 years ago
After much soul searching at the PAC meetings, protracted discussions between CCC & BT and under the instructions of BDUK - this map is the laughable response that is offered to Communities and Parish Councils throughout Cumbria.

The reason why releasing this information is important is because without it communities and Parish councils cannot secure additional funding to cover the areas missed out of the project. CCC need to deliver “fit for purpose” information rather than meaningless “coloured areas” when responding to communities requests.
Posted by galacticz00 over 3 years ago
This map is a joke and for people living in Cumbria a very sorry one. As for the folks at CCC they probably don't know the subtleties of the information that they are putting out - they just issue whatever BT give them.
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