The next phase of the Superfast Hampshire roll-out has been announced, with the 11,000 homes and businesses in the latest phase leading towards the contracted goal of getting a superfast broadband service to 90% of premises in the county. Given that the commercial roll-outs cover some 620,000 premises across the county the 11,000 of this phase of the BDUK roll-out looks small, but will be a very important change for those who benefit.
"Lockerley, Lymington, Milford-on-Sea, Brockenhurst, Sway, Liphook, Headley Down, Alton, Tisted, Selbourne and Herriard"Areas for third phase of Hampshire superfast broadband roll-out
As with other areas inclusion of an area does not mean 100% coverage will be reached in the area, and some places may already be partly covered by the commercial roll-out or a cabinet via an earlier phase. Also the phases can be fluid, e.g. it is feasible that a cabinet that part of the first phase may be delivered later than one in the third phase if there are delays that occur, e.g. delays while waiting for permission to dig up a road to put in a power feed or clear a blocked duct.
Looking at Sway in particular we believe that of the eight cabinets on the exchange, cabinets 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 are in the plans to get a FTTC service. Of course it is possible that the other cabinets and the small amount of Exchange Only lines may get addressed at a later date.
"The roll out of superfast broadband is right on track and I expect at least 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Hampshire will be able to access these services by 2017. Coupled with the recent announcement that Hampshire secured £1.2m to explore innovative solutions to take superfast broadband to some of the more remote and hardest to reach places in the county, we hope to see these services being available to even more of Hampshire’s residents. The social and economic benefits of having access to superfast broadband is huge with businesses being able to manage their accounts online, the less mobile being able to order food shopping to their doors and school children being able to research homework, to name just a few. This not only tackles social isolation but has potential to grow our economy in the South, providing more jobs and opportunities."Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry
The 95% target in the above quote is the new target that will make use of the £9.2m the local council has earmarked for the Superfast Extension Scheme and the Government is offering £9.2m of extra funding for Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. Hampshire County Council actually completed an Open Market Review in January 2014 for the period 2015 - 2017 so appears to be ahead of the curve for moving from the 90% to 95% target.
Update 24th July Hampshire County Council has been in touch with some updates, namely that the Government is putting in £9.2m towards the extension project rather than the £8.74m originally announced. Also that the area of the Hampshire BDUK project is a total of 594,000 premises, where approximately 469,000 are covered commercially. The 90% project currently underway is set to bring superfast services to 59,000 premises. This figure is lower than that of the BT press release because we believe the council is referring to the footprint of the project, which excludes the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton. The nice bonus bit of information is a weekly updated list of cabinets that are live is available. While we originally suspected that the 'current signups' layer on the Hampshire map was referring to orders, we have learn it refers actually to the expressions of interest for more information for when fibre based services arrive in an area.
Maps of the council projects are often criticised and the Hampshire website appears to have a better than most map, which while not showing exactly which cabinets are in each phase it does make viewing the areas much easier and also plots the registered levels of interest in each area.
|thinkbroadband.com estimate of superfast coverage in Hampshire, based on the assumption every green street cabinet offers FTTC and/or cable broadband.|
|Authority||% at 30 Mbps or faster||% at 24 Mbps or faster||% cable present||% Exchange Only lines||% needing extra USC help|
|City of Portsmouth||99.2%||99.3%||94.6%||1%||<0.1%|
|City of Southampton||94.2%||95.7%||35.3%||2.8%||1.7%|
Our estimates based on a pure FTTC and ignoring Exchange Only lines suggest that for Hampshire County Council to hit the 95% with access to a superfast service in 2017 some extra work beyond simply enabling every green street cabinet for a VDSL2 service will be needed. This is why various projects are using some FTTP roll-out tactically, i.e. small numbers so that the cost is managed and given the political pressure this is expedient. I am sure all those who follow the broadband campaigning trail would love a lot more FTTP in these roll-outs, but given budget and time constraints this seems unlikely.
Given the list of 56 cabinets that are live and delivering a FTTC service via the project in this Hampshire, we estimate that 80% can get superfast speeds (30 Mbps and faster) and another 5 to 9% can get 24 Mbps to 30 Mbps speeds.