City AM which is read by lots of commuters travelling into London and particularly those who work in the City Of London at the 14,385 small and large companies in this small but very important corner of London will have learnt about the problems with the lack of superfast broadband in the City.
The Greater London area and all its Boroughs missed out on the gap funding for superfast broadband largely due to the levels of cable broadband coverage which already meet the Governments targets but for SME size operations there is the up to £3000 voucher to subsidise the cost of connection to a superfast connection or more business like leased line, be that fibre, copper, fixed wireless or other technology.
City AM is wrong to describe the Government target of 95% having being pushed back two years, since this target has always been a 2017 deadline, but a lot of people and publications are confused over the 90% and 95% targets, particularly as each project has its own set of deadlines and timelines. One can partly understand why BT is the sole focus for the complaint as their corporate headquarters are slap in the middle of this business district, but there is also the issue of why are not more of the 4,500 homes wired up for cable broadband via Virgin Media? Also why with all the swanky new office blocks are not the owners of new buildings now ensuring suitable connectivity is installed along with the various eco measures.
The BT telephone infrastructure uses a lot of Exchange Only (EO) lines, but relatively short lines meaning good ADSL2+ speeds should be possible for over half the premises (around half at 16 to 20 Mbps). The use of EO means there is no cabinet to use to inject the VDSL2 signals and adding the extra cabinet increases the cost and thus as with the rest of the country has meant that EO lines were not dealt with under the commercial roll-outs, increasing numbers are being dealt with via the County led projects though, and some areas even getting or planned to get FTTP.
Looking at speed tests, the average speed in the City of London is 14.7 Mbps download and 2.7 Mbps upload, with some 22.8% tests at superfast speeds and 17% getting under 2 Mbps. These results are from June/July 2014 and include Relish who have just rolled out a wireless service in parts of London that does away for the need for a copper phone line and is ideal for home or very small business use.
The presence of Relish almost proves the free market philosophy that businesses will always emerge to fill the niches left behind by the large corporates, though if the rumours of what BT do elsewhere in the UK are true.
For those living and working in the Square Mile there is a short survey you can fill in to let the Corporation know about what is good and bad with your broadband. For those filling out the survey and using mobile there is of course of mobile speed tester and for those with flash there is our other tester where on both of these if you provide your postcode it contributes to our maps of the UK.