Planning and deploying a solution that will deliver superfast broadband to 94% of premises in a county is no easy task, but in South Gloucestershire there has already been complaints about areas excluded and this time we have a business that is too far from its existing commercially enabled cabinet to see any benefit from VDSL2 being excluded by a council that believes EU rules mean that the postcode is excluded.
The Stroud News has the original coverage and we have done our checking and at 3 to 3.5km from cabinet 42 on the Chipping Sodbury exchange Williams Automobiles and other premises in surrounding postcodes are too far for VDSL2 to deliver anything.
"Mr Williams is connected to a cabinet that has been upgraded to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) by a commercial provider. The cabinet is therefore unfortunately not legally able to be included in the council’s current Superfast Broadband Project."Council spokesman
We believe that this is wrong, while the cabinet may have been updated, the postcodes that will NOT benefit can still be considered for intervention. We believe that the council may be misunderstanding the EU regulations or trying to avoid a reality that with limited funding and a goal that is less than 100% there will be people left out in the cold. Unfortunately in politics telling people you are having to ration out funding rather than giving it to those who feel they deserve it most is not a way to win votes.
Cabinet 35 is located in Horton and is closer, and we calculate that if BT were to re-engineer the local network to put the affected postcodes on cabinet 35 and this cabinet was to get a fibre twin via the BDUK project, they might see speeds in the 17 to 20 Mbps range, which is a big jump from the sub 2 Mbps we believe the area gets now. Another option might be Fibre on Demand, but at 3km or more it will be expensive but technically possible. Interestingly we believe some native FTTP may be deployed on the Chipping Sodbury exchange via the BDUK project to resolve Exchange Only lines near Kingsgate Park.
We went looking to check the 94% superfast figure for the project, but seems the council has moved the announcement again as well as other announcements on the project. 94% at superfast speeds is still present though in the FAQ pages. Our estimate is close if South Gloucestershire just enabled all the street cabinets, 90% at 30 Mbps or 92% at 24 Mbps or faster would be the result. In Wiltshire the situation is very different figures of 74% and 79% at 24 Mbps or faster are what we calculate.