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Essex broadband project starts to deliver
Thursday 12 June 2014 13:08:23 by Andrew Ferguson

While BT and the BDUK is the constant between the various BDUK projects, it is interesting to see the variation in the level of information being made available to the public. The Essex County Council project has at last started to deliver improvements with the news revealed on the EADT24 and hopefully in the local print editions too. The Superfast Essex twitter account reveals they are at the launch of a cabinet in Rivenhall on June 12th.

On 11th June the grand opening ceremony was held for a cabinet on the Severalls Industrial Park in Colchester. We are not certain which cabinet, but it is either PCP6 or PCP23 which are both on the estate and were within the scope of the Essex project and are both taking orders, which is good news for Essex Heating Supplies and ATS Euromaster who are served by these two cabinets. On that estate we believe six cabinets cover it, of the others there are no known plans to enable them, but we would not be surprised if a later phase enabled PCP17, PCP19 and 26 are borderline for this project, but should make it into the 2015-2017 funding round we believe. PCP27 seems to cover too few premises and might even miss out on the 2017 funding round.

Rivenhall has a slightly different view of the green, since in this view on the grass in front of the chain link fence is a new shiny fibre cabinet that is linked to PCP25 on the Witham exchange. PCP5 and PCP11 have been serving others in the Rivenhall area for some time as part of the commercial roll-out, the newest cabinet via the BDUK project covers around one third the lines of the other two, hence not commercially viable. Some properties in Rivenhall are on PCP31, which does not have a fibre twin yet, but we believe is on the list for getting one via the Essex project.

The final cabinet among the first to go live in Essex is in Harlow and seems to be PCP84 serving businesses on an industrial park (e.g. CM20 2SN).

The current Essex project with the first wave of funding was aiming for 87% of premises with the option of a fibre based broadband connection, which suggests that the 5% of Exchange Only lines in the county will miss out on the first project. With the cable coverage in the county at 34%, we estimate that if every green street cabinet got a fibre twin that 88% would get a speed of 30 Mbps or faster, another 2.6% getting 24 Mbps to 30 Mbps, once the later phases of roll-out become known it may be possible to revise the figues to reflect more the situation on the ground rather than a theoretical figure.


Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
It seems Essex County has failed to publish detailed postcode data of its planned rollout. Must be a nightmare for businesses and others to plan for their broadband needs. And the Superfast Essex website gives quite misleading impression.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Hence why I spent an hour figuring out which actual cabinets have gone live and prospects for some others.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@andrew: Has anybody tried a request under the Freedom of Information Act to get the postcode and/or cabinet data?
Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
Two things make me slightly hesitant on the assumptions. Firstly a lot of post war development, of which Essex has more than its fair share, has sparse cabs; and the known poor state of the underground local loop infrastructure which they serve (acknowledged for years by BT).
Posted by Plankton1066 over 3 years ago
I live in East Sussex. The information given out around BDUK seems to be the absolute minimum possible. One would think that the Council would be trying to engage at a Parish Council level to drum up demand and fast up take to enable claw back to to kick in to make the project money go further.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Indeed, Plankton - the same inertia appears to infect West Sussex since I don't think my PC has had anything from WSCC - if they have, they ain't telling!
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
Severalls -putting subsidised VDSL cabinets outside business parks with duct makes no sense when there is duct to allow FTTP to occur. Multiple cabs, multiple subsidies, with premiums for take up and USC.
I would be surprised not to find C&W presence in our around this park.
Thanks for reporting.
Posted by GeorgeLloyd over 3 years ago
It's about time BTO started helping people on exchange lines.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
BTO is in other parts of the UK, a lot depends on the goal and ambition of the project and contract set up.

Essex with just a 87% target for the first wave of spending was being unambitious.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@ValueforMoney: Take a look at this ISPReview forum:

The Colchester Severalls Industrial Estate already should have the ducts, and the presence of fibre backbones by some providers.

Also, it seems in at least some BDUK areas thousands of Pounds are spent for each VDSL line, very wasteful and inefficient.

Scrap the BDUK immediately! And get Essex County to release more details on what and where exactly it plans to spend the taxpayer's money!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@jneuhoff Got an example for the £1000's per vdsl line?

Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
I think it was based on what the news article in ISPReview mentioned:

"BTOpenreach has switched-on the first ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable FTTC street cabinets at Colchester Business Park, Rivenhall and Harlow (covering approx. 300+ local premises)."
Posted by Zylog over 3 years ago
You seem to have missed cab 39,went live just over a week ago. End of severals lane near severals industrial park.
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
Essex also prioritised Business park and most of the cabs you can seen going live aare all driven to wards Business parks rather than residential -- (smaller premsies more cost per prem - potentially less prems for your money)
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@andrew: "Hence why I spent an hour figuring out which actual cabinets have gone live and prospects for some others."

We have now submitted a reuest for more postcode details to Essex County under the Freedom of Information Act, I'll let you when and how they respond.
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