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Suffolk broadband project breaks 50,000 premises passed mark
Wednesday 17 September 2014 17:51:53 by Andrew Ferguson

The Better Broadband for Suffolk is one of the projects that is delivering improvements on a large scale, and since the 44,000 figure declared in August the project has now broken the 50,000 premises helped out by the project. The County Council has celebrated with a press release and the snippet that this means the project is half way towards it original target.

"The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas in the county.

The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together.

BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment.

This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses in Suffolk, whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure.

Dave Hughes, BT’s regional director for the East of England

Of course it is easy for a large project to pick numbers from thin air and campaigners often say they do not believe the figures published, which means we spend some time checking the various claims and the figures for Suffolk suggest that since the project started, an extra 50,000 premises do have access to a FTTC or FTTP based service.

Of course it is no good if most of those people are not going to see an improvement, and of the 75% of premises in Suffolk able to order a fibre based service we estimate that 91% of those premises can get a superfast (30 Mbps or faster) service, if we exclude cable broadband the figure drops to 89%. The targets are not all about who can get superfast, there is the 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment to consider and it looks like while the fibre roll-outs have not totally cured this yet, they have improved things, since with just ADSL2+ based services around 13% got under 2 Mbps, and this has now improved to around 3% with the fibre based services available. (For avoidance of doubt the reduction from 13% to around 3% for slow services is referring to within the footprint where a cable/FTTC/FTTP service is available)


Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
Andrew Your current 3% under 2mbps seems very low. The OMR done earlier this year suggested 6.7% by the end off the rollout including those with wireless so the ADSL figure must be even higher than that.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Of course it is easily possible that the first half of the rollout has been the cabinets with better scenarios for speed
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
It would still be well above 6.7% even if the roll out so far had covered every slowspot the programme intends to improve
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
The OMR is also wrong? Where is the data to support your case.

Remember that as this is just live, areas with EO still don't figure. Plus cable helps too.

Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
I provided you with the OMR reference.
Even on macro basis your figures look strange - 50% the rollout has been done mainly in semi urban areas/large villages where the houses and are closer to the cabs and exchanges and yet you are claiming 75% of the not/slow spots have been covered. At that ignores the fact that there an undisclosed number of not/slow spots omitted from the commercial roll out that are to be done in Phase 2. I suspect there are so many not spots/non ADSL covered areas in Suffolk for which you are not getting results that your stats are too unreliable to extrapolate from.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
The figures in this article we have provided refer only to areas where fttc/p/cable is available.

Nothing is inferred about the areas yet to be enabled.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
That was not at all obvious from the article.

That 3% figure will therefore increase to the 6.7%+ predicted by the OMR as the rollout progresses through more rural areas.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Have added a note to ensure it is clear. I thought it was already since I was referring the 75% footprint where 'faster' services were available.

If I had been referred to overall project figures I would have explicitly said so.
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
Go news 50 k passed just hope the customers are placing their orders after this big spend. I thought that when an exchange was enabled for CN21 most customers would be over the 2 meg window automaticley.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
No Blackmamba, it won't make much difference to those who have poor or no connections. Enabling an exchange or a cabinet does nothing to help long lines. And councils should stop calling it fibre broadband or allowing BT to do press releases calling it that. Dial up is fed with fibre too. It adds fuel to the mockery of the superfarce that is digital britain. And as other semi urban villages are finding out, sometimes the cabs end up full with no capacity to serve the other 'homes passed'.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Adding ADSL2+ to an exchange helps some people, and may add 250 to 500 Kbps to long lines, and usually boosts upload for everyone. Rare though for it to bring service to people who had nothing.

The comment on enabling a cabinet does nothing to help long lines, all depends on where the cabinet is located in relation to the property.

While cabinets can fill up, since its full commercial demand is proven and Openreach usually adds another twin to meet the extra demand, just takes time to deploy.
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
Broadband watchers
There are only a few exchanges in Surrey (78) that are not CN21 enabled but there are many customers that have a service under 2 meg who have not been advised by their ISP for better service. It's in the hands of the customer to complain to their ISP if they are getting a poor service on low speeds.
Posted by Saurus over 3 years ago
BT laughing all the way to the bank! pretend FTTC is Fibre!produce statistics to show that x % of exchanges/properties have been passed even when there are huge swathes of the county/population that haven't and won't see any change from the service they've had since 2004, so much for technological progress (Ten Years!) How many people are still using a mobile phone or television they had 10 years ago?
What a complete and utter joke! No wonder we are the laughing stock of Europe, I'll believe different when I see the evidence!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@Sauras Actually the %'age figures are what we have worked out, as we check that the number of premises covered matches what everyone is saying.

So currently 75% can get fibre based, of which 91% of those are superfast capable. Which is better than it was.
Posted by Saurus over 3 years ago
Actually, your comment made me laugh!
I'm so glad my PC isn't stuck in 2004 technology unlike my BT line Internet connection!
Just wish I was still paying the same line rental price I did ten years ago!
Posted by Saurus over 3 years ago
@andrew However, if you want a real laugh here is my mobile connection data with 3
<a href=""><img alt="My Broadband Speed Test" src="" /></a>
Posted by Saurus over 3 years ago
@andrew and now on a BT line:
<a href=""><img alt="My Broadband Speed Test" src="" /></a>
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
So suggestion is you are on a 20CN exchange that is one of the 1 in 4 not to get better yet. Not funny but until 100% is hit there will be people like you.
Posted by callmeleroy over 3 years ago
They're busy enabling exchanges in more and more towns while leaving the EO lines in enabled towns to rot
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Seemingly not true. BDUK plans around the county here shows EO lines being converted, with both FTTC and FTTP solutions appearing.

This is happening in villages which are only seeing work done under BDUK, but is also in towns where the majority of the work has been commercially-led.
Posted by Saurus over 3 years ago
@ andrew "...Not funny but until 100% is hit there will be people like you."

By people like me do you mean whole exchanges/communities of 350+ residential not including businesses? Or do you include the other 21 exchanges between the one my village(and 3 others) is on and Stowmarket not marked for upgrade?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago

90% target for fibre based (85% superfast) so 10% of Suffolk premises is around 31,000 premises and was clear from the day the project was signed. Obviously a lot nicer to NOT be in that group, as for specific exchanges without specifics cannot comment on them.
Posted by t99del over 3 years ago
smoke and mirrors
another 'look at us aren't we doing well'

Government put up the money to bring fast broadband to uneconomically viable areas.
Suffolk announced 'Better broadband' with statement we will invest in slow spots and no spots first.
In reality towns are being upgraded as this covers more properties and allows meaning less statements like '50000 properties now covered'
When questioned why small villages are not being upgraded, reply 'you have 2Mb which is our benchmark, and its not economically viable to install fast broadband to rural areas'
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
Let Openreach get on with the job in hand but when the Cab is open for service concentrate getting the customers on by advertising via the council and all sources.
This has not been done and that is the reason for the low take up 15% plus the ISP are not selling by contacting their customers. You must go for the Cab that is open not the 50k.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@t99del If the projects goal was to reach the very hardest to serve premises, then the situation would have been that it would be a different group moaning, and potentially a lot larger.

Fixed budget, do you provision something better to 50,000, or to 5,000 ?
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
I Am sure that Openreach will cost the project each Cab to its best value for all conserned just hoping there will be extra money for the 5k in Suffork.
This has not happened in Surrey because their target was 99.7% over 15meg.
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
Please remember the service is to the post code and not to the custermer as each ISP gives a different speed and service.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
With FTTC the connection speed will be the same as Openreach DLM controls that. Or was the post an attempt to say peak performance may vary according to how providers run their network.

Also ISP have access to line checkers that are per property as does the public
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
Hi a/s
Thanks for the above reply it confirms my thinking that Openreach controls the situation on FTTC for all ISP,s to the post code.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
The variation you see is usually the retailer decision on which value to quote from the FTTC Clean or impacted figures.
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago

Hi A/s Sorry for the late reply hit by storm in Spain please see above this iSP has requested for 40/10 but been only given 20/2 at the FTTC after 10 days faulting lock down from Openreach maney requests from ZEN but they have given up on a line at 1.1 miles to get above the target of 15 meg down in Surrey.
Posted by callmeleroy over 3 years ago
I understand that there are plans around EO lines and cabs outside exchanges or along the path of EO lines to bring them in. It's just that there seems to be a lot more focus on moving to the next town than getting a cab up and running outside the exchange to serve the EO's in towns that may have already had fibre for a couple of years.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@callmeleroy that would be because in terms of value for money doing the easier and larger areas first means less complaints about wasted money from the politicians.

The extra construction work of EO often means per premise served it will cost more.
Posted by Blackmamba over 3 years ago
Hi A/S if there is black fibre to the EO Cab FTTC it is cheaper to provide this option as it could divert to differant (markets 3 old GSA) thus giving a smothed planned exit from the exchange over time EG planned works. Each exchange will not have the same costings over the country.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@blackmamba - I have no idea what you are talking about.

GSA stands for what?
A smothed planned exit is what?

As for exchange costs varied, who has said they are all the same, I certainly have not.
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