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£1.2 million to provide 2 Gbps to Derby start-ups
Friday 03 October 2014 09:33:24 by Andrew Ferguson

Derby City Council is looking to encourage businesses to its managed workspace scheme at the Sadlers Bridge Studios that comprise some 16,000 square feet of office space and is located in the Catherdral Quarter of Derby.

The development has cost some £3.2m and it seems £1.2m of this is for a 2 Gbps connectivity, which will be rented out to small businesses using the hub from £200 per month (phone and broadband) on a 'pay as you consume' basis.

The pay as you consume is a bit of a worrying situation, since this suggests some form of per GB or TB cost and given the area has Virgin Media cable available which can provide contended cable at 152 Mbps for £60 a month, and their dedicated access at 30 Mbps is £500 per month means that start-ups could be put into the situation of not being able to afford to actually use the connection.

2 Gbps (2000 Mbps) sounds a massive amount to the average home user and small business that only needs email and social media access for interacting with customers, but if that is the total access to the building and 150 businesses can be accommodated things like Microsoft patch Tuesday and iOS updates could see firms fighting for capacity.

It is possible the council scheme is working in such a way that the price buys dedicated capacity on the link, and it is feasible the pay as you go aspect is just an unfortunate choice of phrase from PR people to explain that there is no lengthy 24 month contract which Virgin Media would expect if you took a dedicated 30 Mbps circuit from them.

There is an irony with the various public bodies racing to create tech-hubs when so many developers happily work from home on projects and while the ideas people may need space for meeting rooms and brain storming sessions with a nice cocktail bar nearby the grind of most tech enterprises is accommodated almost anywhere with a reasonable connection (10 Mbps or faster). Businesses like video editing studios will have massively different needs, but given the cost of a good editor one would hope budgets allowed for decent dedicated bandwidth.


Posted by dogbark over 2 years ago
Headline says "to provider" Do you mean "to provide" ?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
I did, classic rewrite of headline but left one extra letter in, and also doing lots of stuff that involves typing provider today.
Posted by longinthetooth over 2 years ago
£1.2M to provide 2Gb service to a city centre location is a figure which only a local authority could consider good value.
I can get the same service for less than £40Kpa. Why do local authorities who struggle to deliver core services such as pothole repair and social care to the vulnerable all think that they can deliver cost effective reliable broadband, Digital Region, Norwich Wireless, Coventry BID, need I say more!
Posted by KarlAustin over 2 years ago
Quite. We were quoted a build cost of £165k and annual rental of £150k for a dark fibre pair from London to just off Jct 30. of the M1 - That's quite a bit more distance than Derby. So £1.2m is taking the pee, especially when you consider they only need fibre from the building to Node4 DC or to one of the other provider PoPs in the area. Madness.
Posted by KarlAustin over 2 years ago
Although if they were to take gig on ten, then could actually get at least two providers I can think of to actually PoP the building!
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
or you could have a conversation with openreachy around either enabling the nearest stret cabinet or funding a new street / Fibre cabinet (via managing agent) and the each business does there own thing
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
as a number of business parks are doing around the country
Posted by snoon over 2 years ago
It's crazy really as each SME in Derby can get £3k from the connection vouchers scheme and could have their own fibre installed for the £3k.
Posted by PhilipVirgo over 2 years ago
I am told that major firms whose staff, including senior executives, are unable to work effectively from home because of poor broadband (including to up-market executive estates) have switched to hot desking facilities in "neighbourhood offices" round the M25 which do have gigabit connections. I am looking for quotable evidence and case studies.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
woudl be very interested to know which estates you are referring to
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