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Pass the parcel continues with BDUK project debate
Thursday 09 October 2014 10:57:11 by Andrew Ferguson

The superfast extension programme is making old divisions resurface and also is exposing the state of local authority finances to the gaze of many people who normally have little use of council services beyond rubbish collection. For the forty four BDUK projects underway they are all undergoing a crash course in social media engagement with a population used to information being at their finger tips.

The problems for councils in terms of what do they do and they raise the match funding to push coverage from the old 90% superfast target to 95% by the end of 2017 is highlighted by some comments made to ISPReview by a Shropshire campaigning body who is worried that the council will not be able to match the funding. The comment about one cabinet in Clun being enabled and the other not, is not a unique issue, the reality of a gap funded model means that you will get this patchy roll-out, rather than a slow steam roller that moves West to East across a county pausing until every complexity in an area is solved. The funding model basically means that cabinets that require less public money to install, run the fibre to and power up are being given priority, rather than the most difficult.

The extension programmes are not all having funding problems, Suffolk looks set to vote on approval next week and start work towards 95% with access to superfast at some point in 2018. Suffolk though has seen lots of anger over where the roll-out is taking place, with people in towns seeing cabinets upgraded and infill work on commercial exchanges, when those in the rural hamlets and remote properties had got the impression that they were in the 85%.

The lesson to be learnt is that the PR machine for Government has not communicated the project goals very well and grandiose statements make brilliant sound bytes but the impact of broadband is so personal that a much larger effort is needed to help people understand what the targets and actual roll-out mean to them. Some councils are fairly good at this so long as you can get online to do your research, but others are still following the planning department blueprint from The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy.


Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
There's a neat little summary of 3 BDUK myths on a kube networks blog (over two pages). The reason it's being rolled out the way it is comes down to the objectives set out by the politicians. That is to maximise "superfast" coverage as fast as possible. Much of the funding has been used as an "accelerator" for places that would eventually have been upgraded anyway.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
All previously covered by me in our news, and have often stated that BDUK process is mainly just knocking a few years off of what would probably have happened eventually.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
Yup. But it doesn't do any harm to have a second, corroborating opinion from an independent (in the sense of independent from this site) informed source.
Posted by mobilebb over 2 years ago
Hmm looks like Kubenetworks didn't even write that, just ripped off their story from somebody else.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
Looks rather incestuous doesn't it. I think it's highly unlikely that it was a cut-and-paste job. I'd be pretty sure it's the same author publishing in two places. Anyway, it looks like a classic Internet loop...
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
Some of the anger in Suffolk was due to contraction of the commercial rollout leaving many notspots and slow spots with no provision from either BT or the BDUK scheme
Posted by burble over 2 years ago
At the meeting with Openreach, BT, and central beds t'other week, all the right noises where made, hopefully the 'mistakes' of BDUK1 have been learnt from, and veiled promises as to what could be expected from BDUK2 where hinted at. We should know in a couple of months. Central Beds have decided that with the number of small businesses scattered around the county expanding superfast is a priority and have applied for as much funding as they can get, including a second tranche due to some councils not applying for funding.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi .
Cabs are being provided at Copdock Exchange so they must have been in the contract BDUK 1 and I think EO lines are in this also I will have to wait and see.
Posted by wichitalinesman over 2 years ago
The councils seem to have strange criteria. I live on large estate,majority of cabinets fibre enabled. My cabinet not covered. Asked council why not, they say does not meet their criteria and to contact Openreach. Guess what? Openreach say no commercialy viable so should contact council for BDUK. So majority of neighbours 'have Ferraris' and I have 'a horse and cart'!!!!

Posted by chefbyte over 2 years ago
I'm in the same boat as wichitalinesman, all around me are cabs that are getting fibre yet they are also in a VM catchment area yet the one cab that i'm on does not have VM in the street and according to the council lead project they have no plans to upgrade it? Who makes these decisions i ask? I'm now looking at WiMax as an option, as i have given up on FFTC
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