For those waiting on improved roll-out of superfast broadband in the Isle of Wight some news has appeared on the first areas to be covered, though as yet it appears to be on various news sites, but is missing from what is believed to be the projects official website.
The first phase includes Shalfleet, Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone, Shorwell and Merstone. The project aims to complete in late 2015 and should have made better broadband available to some extra 20,000 properties on the island, on top of the 49,000 where BT has commercially rolled out its FTTC service. We don't know how many properties are covered by WightFibre who offer a cable broadband (and some wireless and maybe a little FTTP) but am sure if the gap funded project roll-out impinges on their coverage there will be lots of arguing.
The original conditions set on the BT project require something like 99% of properties passed by an NGA type service, and within the areas enabled by the project 87% to get 24 Mbps or faster connection speeds and once you include the commercial areas 97% with access to a superfast product.
Running our own abacus over the data for the Isle of Wight suggests that if all Openreach street cabinets receive a fibre twin 89.3% will get 30 Mbps or faster speeds, if we work to the lower speed target of 24 Mbps this rises to 91.1%. Crucially only 3.4% would get a speed of 2 Mbps or slower, and if we had information on the WightFibre footprint we are sure this would improve significantly. There is roughly 2.5% of lines on the island that are exchange only, and if the project roll-outs at a new PSTN and fibre cabinet for these lines coverage will improve further. The tactical use of FTTP for clusters of lines too long to benefit from FTTC would also impact and make the 97% target look pretty simple.