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Magic 1 million premises mark passed for Government led BDUK roll-out
Friday 08 August 2014 00:05:59 by Andrew Ferguson

While it will be possible for many to dispute the news that there appears to be over 1 million premises that can order a superfast broadband service because of the BDUK projects the Government is confident enough in the figures to announce the milestone passed.

"More than a million homes and businesses have now benefitted as a result of Government’s investment in superfast broadband.

It is totally transforming the way we live and work. You can download feature length films faster, chatting online with family and friends around the world using VOIP is more reliable and households can go online simultaneously without the connection slowing down or dropping out.

For Businesses, superfast speeds are boosting profits through increased sales, reduced overheads and accessing markets abroad for the first time."

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

The press release from the DCMS detailing this major milestone makes it clear that the Government has given up talking about the original 90% with access to superfast broadband by May 2015 target and is now trying to ensure we all focus on the 2017 target of 95% superfast coverage. While the politicians believe the 95% target is almost guaranteed we are a little less sure, since contracts are not signed in many cases and some councils are unsure about the further investment needed. So we will keep an eye on the progress of the extension projects and also what is the result as the existing 90% contracts declare job done. The Government is now focussed on the more sexy innovative projects designed to provide a test-bed for the final 5%

For those who cannot believe that the BDUK process has delivered cabinets covering over 1 million premises the figures are below with the total standing at 1,124,101 premises.

Project Area Superfast + Fibre premises delivered by end July 14 (data provided by Local Authorities and BT) Superfast Target Project Area Superfast + Fibre premises delivered by end July 14 (data provided by Local Authorities and BT) Superfast Target
Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes 1,038 90% superfast Berkshire 755 90% superfast
Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire 8,931 90% Cambridgeshire 29,776 90% superfast
Cheshire 31,760 96% fibre Cumbria 38,965 93% superfast
Derbyshire 5,743 95% fibre (99% superfast by 2017) Devon and Somerset 55,694 90% superfast
Dorset 9,316 97% fibre (95.6% superfast) Durham 13,173 94% superfast
East Riding of Yorkshire 1,525 42,000 premises East Sussex 8,122 99% fibre (96% superfast)
Essex 3,671 87% fibre Greater Manchester 508 39,000 premises (our estimate 99% superfast)
Hampshire 14,316 90% superfast Herefordshire & Gloucestershire 31,879 90% fibre (by 2018 all who need it to have 24 Mbps option)
Highlands and Islands 14,524 84% fibre Isle of Wight 0 99% fibre (97% superfast)
Kent 36,121 91% superfast Merseyside 11,253 98% fibre (89% of the 43,000 will be superfast)
Lancashire 64,190 97% fibre Leicestershire 585 96% fibre
Lincolnshire 34,143 88% superfast Newcastle 1,828 97% superfast
Norfolk 73,985 80% superfast North and North East Lincolnshire 9,662 92.5% superfast
North Yorkshire 133,000 90% superfast by end of 2014 Northamptonshire 20,377 90% superfast (expanding to all premises by end of 2017)
Northern Ireland 3,231 45,000 premises (our estimate is close to 100%) Northumberland 17,598 95% fibre (91% superfast)
Nottinghamshire 1,731 95% fibre Oxfordshire 9,131 90% fibre
Rest of Scotland 42,675 96% fibre by end of 2017 Rutland 9,000 97% fibre
Shropshire 18,314 93% superfast Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire 19,755 91% superfast
Staffordshire 10,399 97% fibre Suffolk 44,194 90% fibre (85% superfast)
Surrey 68,858 99% fibre Wales 190,393 96% fibre
Warwickshire 12,226 93% fibre (91% superfast) West Sussex 9,980 90% fibre
West Yorkshire 10,368 97% fibre Worcestershire 1,408 90% fibre

NOTES: Fibre refers to fibre based broadband, largely FTTC, but some projects do plan some FTTP in their roll-outs e.g. Wales, Surrey and others. Superfast coverage will be a smaller subset of the fibre based coverage and most projects appear to be using 24 Mbps as a definition still on their websites. The percentage figures we have sourced from the projects websites and our news archive refer to currently signed BDUK projects (unless otherwise stated) and are likely to be improved on once each authority announces details of its superfast extension scheme.

While the DCMS figures are not totally clear on whether the 1.1 million is superfast premises or not, even if the figure is for all premises connected to a cabinet the performance of VDSL2 is such that it is pretty safe to say one million premises now have superfast broadband available as an option due to the Government funding.

While the BDUK process is all too often referred to as the rural programme, for many projects the roll-out has been infill in edge of town scenarios, or a few cabinets in larger villages and not the picture of rural life that usually involves a pretty girl running through a field using a laptop in broadband articles.

North Yorkshire will be the first area to meet its original targets, and the scale of the job in Wales is clear when some 190,393 premises have been covered by the project but the coverage is still somewhere just above 58% (the 58% Ofcom figure is out of date compared to this end of July 2014 data from the project).

So congratulations to all those doing the hard work on the ground and keep going, there is still lots more to do and a fairly short time frame if targets and contractual deadlines are to be met.

Comments

Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
The previous news item referred to central government expenditure of £81 per premises. I assume this means that central government expenditure on BDUK is only about £81m so far. If that can be doubled for local authority match funding, it means that less than 10% of BDUK funds have been spent so far.

nb. I checked and "premises" is singular. It just reads oddly.
Posted by rbirkby over 2 years ago
> While the DCMS figures are not totally clear on whether the 1.1 million
> is superfast premises or not, even if the figure is for all premises
> connected to a cabinet the performance of VDSL2 is such that it is
> pretty safe to say one million premises now have superfast broadband

Our village has been connected to a fibre-enabled cabinet for about 12 months - but as we are 2 miles from the cabinet, we get 1.6MBit. There is no extra 'rural broadband' funding to get a closer cabinet, because we are deemed as 'passed'.

Be aware of DCMS stats that don't give the whole picture.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Depends on the local authorities target. If 90% superfast and fixing you costs £x but they can supply superfast elsewhere for same price to 3 people guess what.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Broadband Watchers
The figure to date in Surrey 68K is low (72k) plus the target of ( 99 % ) has been changed they are worried over the A and B bands.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
I'm sure, in time, more difficult targets will get revisited but I'm sure it will take time. A lot will depend if there is money left in the pot after the "easy" targets are dealt with first. However, I suspect those without even functional access will probably take priority over those with speeds at the slow end.

Of course what counts as "functional access" is a bit of a grey area.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@blackmamba You have used A and B bands before, care to explain what you mean since most will have no idea. One presumes its Ofcom Market A and B exchanges.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
Ribrkbyu you wonlt be couted but there were will another villages that is close to the cab and will get >24 so it will have been counted

Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
rbirkby assume you have no cab in your village
Posted by mikejp over 2 years ago
Andrew - "care to explain what you mean" - at a guess, BT Wholesale checker banding?

fastman - what do you understand by "Our village has been connected to a fibre-enabled cabinet for about 12 months - but as we are 2 miles from the cabinet, we get 1.6MBit."?

Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew. Surrey target 15 meg on post code 99%
I have a post code on 1730 Mtres and it is giving a speed of aprox 14 meg this is on ZEN at Cab 20/2.
I feel that the banding A and B are incorrect (2000 Mtres) this I feel gives ZEN incorrect information and has been placed in the B band.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew
This number was on Hindhead Market 2 but when provided on FTTC the fibre line card is in Haslemere Market 3 does this change the banding on ZEN services.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@blackmamba I am still confused, are we talking banding as in pricing, or banding as in performance of the line. You appear to jump between both uses.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew. Would you say the price could determine the speed at that post code (1730 mtres ) and if we had BT infinity bus provided would this register a higher speed.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
The Analysys Mason report produced for the Broadband Stakeholders Group refers to band (a) and band (b) geotypes. See 1.2.2. However, whether that's what is being referred to here I don't know, but it seems to fit.

http://www.analysysmason.com/PageFiles/5766/Analysys-Mason-final-report-for-BSG-%28Sept2008%29.pdf
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Price of the backhaul and WBC banding has nothing to do with the connection speed that a FTTC based line will offer. In the same way picking a business provider will not change the connection speed over the GEA-FTTC link.
Posted by rbirkby over 2 years ago
@fastman - No cabinet in the village. But we seem to have been counted going to the feedback I received from our local rollout:

> In terms of the Connected Counties programme and the current
> deployment schedule; the cabinet is recognised as being commercially
> covered, thus the premises served by it are deemed to be ‘passed’

Too rural for rural broadband (tm)
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew.
Thanks for your reply so all ISP,s on that post codes (GU266NZ) wil be on Band B.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
No idea, only plusnet vary fibre pricing based on location and that is all ofcom market definitions affect
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
Rkirby

if the cab was a commercial cab and you were too far away you will not have been in the intervention area and therefore not included in the BDUK figutes above

you will need to see if there will be any provision for you in next stage of funding -- how many of you in your village
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
yes a lot of places were included in BTs commercial rollout only to be excluded once they had one the BDUK contract
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
gerads -- think this is misinformation there may be a number of cabs that have become high cost due to power / Excessive over costs where the budget for that cab had already been spent which were removed from commercial programme (auditable track) and then were eleigble to be brought over the line by BDUK -
There will also be BDUK cabs that get removed as well from programme (replaced by other cabs) due to high cost of Power and Spine etc
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
there are number of cabd still in limbo where High cost has enabled part work to be done but not completed
Posted by chilting over 2 years ago
The West Sussex figure of 90% hides an unpleasant fact. Forget superfast or even the excellent target of 15 Mbps set by Surrey on 99% of postcodes. In West Sussex the target is to get 90% on fibre with a minimum of just 2 Mbps. Those left on ADSL and dial up get nothing apart from vague promises of improvement from Spring 2016 onwards!
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
@fastman It is not misinformation - I am talking about areas where all the cabs are enabled but BT reneged on promise to cover all premises connected to them
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
What promise to cover all premises?
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
Made to Suffolk County Council during the OMR. Challenged by them, promise repeated by BT. Promise reiterated in public meeting by BT regional director. To quote an ex-district councillor at that meeting "that is just another lie to add to 10 years of BT lies" which of course it was
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@gerarda
Got links? Documents? Recordings? Transcripts?

Be interesting to see exactly what was being promised, and where any misinterpretations are made in the process. Context is everything
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
gerada not sure what you mean the OMR will be at postcode level = those premises will be connected to a cab what speed they will get will be determined by the cab (OMR response in suffolk will have been no different to anywhere else there will be cabs in both commercial deployment and in BDUk where premises will not benifit because thet are too far from the cabinet
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
it will be more acute in BDUK areas
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
Suffolk Council know that postcodes 1.5- 2 miles from the cabinet cannot get FTTC so when Openreach included them in their commercial rollout plans they were queried especially as these places were by and large already ADSL notspots. Assurance was given by BT that a superfast service would be provided by March 2014. Even if BT were being as usual economical with the speed truth they failed also to give even a 2mb service to these areas
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
@fastman so exactly what was BT intending to deploy in their commercial areas for postocdes beyond the reach of FTTC?
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@gerarda
Postcodes on commercial cabinets but beyond the reach of superfast speeds are, by definition, in the intervention area for NGA. Likewise postcodes beyond the reach of 2Mbps speeds will be in the basic intervention area.

This is what we here would expect, but it is known within other BDUK projects, with OMR and deployment plans to match. It would be mighty strange for BT to treat Suffolk in a unique way.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
If Suffolk knows that the information they have been given is wrong, why haven't they sought expert answers from the "competent authority" - central BDUK? Obviously NDA's mean they can't talk direct to other counties, but central staff should be able to trigger a re-think from BT.

I'm intrigued as to how you've been able to find out what BT told Suffolk, given the presence of the same NDAs.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Hmm. Suffolk weren't one of the original pilots, but they were one of the first counties with the central framework.

That long ago, I don't think BT had any knowledge of equipment they'd deploy commercially to meet that "promise", even if we now know they're experimenting with FTTRN.

Equally, though, it was early enough for mistakes to have been made. If that is the case though, you assume that it would be a mistake that would need to be officially undone.

It does explain why Suffolk were so quick off the mark with a 2nd OMR.
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
@WWWombat If Suffolk CC had been allowed to build a wireless overlay to fill in the FTTC gaps as the original consultation envisaged and or another contractor won the BDUK I wonder if BT would have reduced their commercial plans to the same extent.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Wombat.
If you refere back to 1970 when BT was short on E sides what did they do they provided and extra Cab in the D side and used four E sides on 24 D sides this unit was powered over the 4 E sides. The new FTTC is using the same principle with new electronics and also integrated the WB900 element in it. This unit worked OK as long as the customers were no heavy users. Once the new duct route was cabled the unit was transfered to a new location.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
Gerada that community were given an option to self fund a new pcp and dslam in their are but chose not to do so, assume whil now have to push to be included in sep funding along with other communites (and to be seen a good value for money for the cost of deployment)
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi fast
Each Cab /area unit must be costed . Eg who pays the ferryman so let's the options proceed .
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
if a community is not currently covered by a plan it can as openreach around a private funded solution (this will be a bespoke cost based n ask of community) if that are is part of a plan you cannot private fund and that will then fall into SEP process
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
@fastman I notice you failed to answer my question
Posted by mikejp over 2 years ago
Andrew - it appears not just I, but several posters would benefit from an edit function for posts - any chance?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Hence why we have a bbs forums.thinkbroadband.com for those who want a more involved interaction.
Posted by mikejp over 2 years ago
I suppose we take that as a 'no', then?
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