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Are the first cabinets as part of Superfast Cymru roll-out showing 19% take-up?
Wednesday 09 April 2014 15:49:59 by Andrew Ferguson

Take-up has been the long forgotten task with many broadband services, all too often you see a fancy ribbon cutting ceremony and a poster stuck on a cabinet but nothing more, hence the responses in our recent poll. John Davies from who chairs the Welsh advisory committee for the communications watchdog Ofcom is calling on the Superfast Cymru project to spend more on promoting the roll-out.

"We are at an early stage in the programme and the marketing activity.

Current take up figures for cabinets that have been in place for over one year are around 19%. This is where we would expect take up to be at this stage."

Mr Davies on take-up in Wales

The area that saw the first cabinets via the project was Bangor just over 12 months ago. This is important as we know many campaigners will take this 19% take-up within a year figure and use it illustrate that Openreach has rolled out its commercial service in the wrong areas. This is particularly the case when you look at the overall figures for the UK with 2.4 million FTTC users from a footprint of around 19 million premises. Bangor may not be urban for those who have only ever lived in Manchester and London but it is a long way from the rural idyll that people believe the projects are delivering to.

A good amount of the Superfast Cymru roll-out is in the North Wales area which interestingly saw a publically funded project FibreSpeed worth some £30m across the same area and if take-up of the FTTC services is as high as expected this seems to demonstrate that the £30m was wasted. eXwavia one of the wireless providers using the FibreSpeed backbone has also been highlighted recently with questions about the level of public money behind the firm.

The 19% take-up figure is good and if the Welsh contract has the standard 20% clawback clause in it, then a small push should see some money coming back to the project and this could perhaps be used to increase the 96% target for fibre based broadband and maybe increase the proportion of FTTP used in the roll-out particularly in those areas where FTTC speeds will be lower. We have seen some evidence of FTTP deployment in the Welsh project just a case of those areas now going live.


Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
"A good amount of the Superfast Cymru roll-out is in the North Wales area"..
..apart from two of the largest population centres Llandudno and Conwy which are apparently being ignored.
Posted by abbyh over 3 years ago
Mr Davies is simply being part of the PR build up around WG's forthcoming initiative on Demand Stimulation. Which clearly, we're happy to be a part of.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
Lol, and now I'm doing it. That should have been 'Colwyn' not 'Conwy' :)
Posted by jumpmum over 3 years ago
First people complain about BT doing the population centres first then they complain about doing the rural areas first looks like a lose / lose situation. :-) If you were in Gwynedd or Anglesey you would be much happier. I believe the Welsh assembly pick the order the (council) areas are to be done. (Did you vote the wrong way last time !)
Posted by BREWERDAVE over 3 years ago
Our "village" is in the midst of the upgrade -the cabinets have been installed and the roads dug for power but no go live dates are available.HOWEVER, about 3 months ago, 21CN finally reached us and we(myself plus several of my neighbours) ,are very pleased with the 16Mb+ speeds we are now getting. Initially, can't see many of us paying the premium for FTTC.
Posted by Unknown101 over 3 years ago
@BREWERDAVE 21cn is the first phase, when a exchange is 21cn it will be quicker for FTTC role out to progress.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
21CN is not the first phase and is in no way required for FTTC to progress, the two are completely different programmes operated by different divisions of BT.

Cabinets in an exchange without 21CN will usually go back to a larger exchange with the necessary Openreach equipment in it to terminate them, and 21CN present due to the larger exchange size.
Posted by AlanPot over 3 years ago
There is evidence of FTTP on my exchange (Brynsiencyn) but it seems that we are in for a very long wait. Rollout due Dec 13, moved to March14 then to June14 and in the space of 6 days was moved to Dec14. The SuperFast Cymru web site is a farce, still showing areas due for roll out Sept. 13 (Trearddur Bay) yet no work is in progress.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
@jumpmum: Actually neither, I live in south northants and have had FTTC for two years now. But my Dad lives in Llandudno and I continue to be puzzled by the telecoms strategy for that area. C'Bay and Llandudno are both large towns and possibly the two most important towns between Bangor and Chester and yet they are continually being ignored.

Last I checked (a couple of weeks ago) neither exchange even has a predicted date.
Posted by AlanPot over 3 years ago
@AndrueC. SuperfastCymru are due to announce more information about the roll-out between March and June 2015 at the end of June but I would not hold your breath. The enabled exchanges on Anglesey have very few live cabs. Once the exchange is live they move on to other areas. Bangor has been up and running for well over a year now and there are still areas with no live cabs. The Anglesey map on the Superfast Cymru web site shows areas due for roll-out March 2014 (Bodorgan & Rhosneigr), I can assure that this has not occurred.
Posted by BREWERDAVE over 3 years ago
The point I was trying to make is that subscribers like myself, now getting decent speeds ,as a result of 21CN "conversion", are now not as likely to take up FTTC -haven't seen an overwhelmimg case for a home bb connection faster than my current 16Mb anyway.
Posted by csimon over 3 years ago
The very first cab enabled in a blaze of publicity was in the middle of Bangor High Street, in the city centre, in fact just a few hundred yards from where I work. Many people there have already said they're happy with the existing ADSL service and won't be upgrading to fibre. No suprise there then. Meanwhile, a friend of mine went to look at a house only a mile away, still in Bangor (and at the opposite end of the High Street - the longest in Wales/UK apparently) but fibre is not available at that location.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 3 years ago
There would be more if they actually wanted to give more coverage. They aren't botherng with us so I am having an FTTP installed due to the connectionvouchers scheme. Funny how they aren't interested in connecting me to the FTTC cab the other side of the road but when I wave a £3000 goverment paid for voucher in their face they fall over themselves to give me one of their precious fibres lines

Yes I have to pay for it monthly - it's 6 months min commitment and to be fair not bad at all for the prices I have been quoted.
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