Skip Navigation

Community digging deep to fund two cabinets to improve broadband
Wednesday 29 October 2014 11:08:49 by Andrew Ferguson

Given the commercial roll-out by Openreach was aiming at two thirds of the UK population it was always going to be the case that millions missed out, hence all the time and money spent on the BDUK process, so it is really no surprise to find areas like Bussage and Chalford to the south east of Stroud suffering some cabinets not being enabled via the commercial or BDUK process.

The local press is reporting that residents and businesses in the area are pushing to raise funding to meet Openreach halfway to enable two more cabinets on the Brimscombe exchange, i.e. cabinets 9 and 17. A target of £30,000 is needed to match fund BT for the two cabinets.

The Brimscombe exchange has some cabinets already live via the commercial roll-out and some that are likely to be enabled via the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire BDUK process and other cabinets (10 & 12) with estimated service dates of 31st December 2014 as the commercial finishes. Looking at the specifics of cabinet 9 its foot print fits the common profile for the BDUK projects but seems to have missed out, cabinet 17 is a lot smaller and might be missed for the higher 95% 2017 target. The problem is that for counties with a goal of 90% on a fibre based solution, this 10% left out can mean whole villages or parts of towns/villages will miss it.

If the community can raise the money and improve its broadband speeds within the next six to nine months then they may feel their money has been well spent but there is one advisory since the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire project has previously said that by 2018 all those who need 24 Mbps or faster will have access to it. So it may be that the £30,000 if raised will simply knock a couple of years off the time people would have had to wait, but then the same can be said for the BDUK projects across the UK, since it was almost inevitable that Openreach and other commercial operators would have extended their networks to varying degrees. Though any commercial expansion would be unlikely to have reached 95% of the UK by 2017, maybe by 2020 depending on how the investment environment and general economy fair.


Posted by mdar5 over 2 years ago
I think I'd want my broadband totally free for ever if I'd contributed to in effect buying the cabinet.

The sales model by which the resident buy the bits, then in effect hand them back to BTOR for free and then on top actually have to pay BTOR for the privilege of using what they have bought is an 'interesting concept'.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
To get broadband for free, then the villagers would have to raise a sum that would cover all the capital costs and all the operational costs "for ever". The sum of money to do that would be vastly greater than £30k.
Like BDUK, this is a "gap funding" and subject to the same logic. However, I would also hope that it would also have some "clawback" arrangement so money could be returned if it turned out to be more successful than expected.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
I should add that it's a bit like the pub in my brother's village. It was about to close, and the only way it could be kept open was by the villagers raising funds to buy the place. However, even though they own the pub, they don't get their beer for free (in fact, rather the reverse - drink prices are, if anything, rather high).
It's tough, but that's economics for you...
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
Community funds the Gap (only the gap not the total Cost) this is a one time enablement figure cab is then part openreach estate and get maintained / uplifted / Managed by openreach in same way as any other fibre cab in the counry. community then able to purchase a fibre servcie from any service provider offering FTTC
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
mdar who would that broadband be free from as this enablement of infrastructure to allow you to purchase a fibre service from provider of Choice (assuming they offer an FTTC Service)
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Wonder if these guys have contacted Gigaclear or even Virgin Media.

Virgin are unlikely to be able to assist but Gigaclear might, and while the infrastructure isn't open access it is future-proof.

A profound risk to communities taking this approach is that, when FTTC doesn't cut it, they'll be putting hands in pockets again for or FTTP.
Posted by mdar5 over 2 years ago
@Fastman yes - good point I had missed that aspect.

Sadly Gigaclear would probably not be interested as they need around 400+ residences AND be within 'easy' reach of backhaul to make it economically viable for them.

This seems the problem with the not-spots of various types and reasons - they are too small and diverse for an altnet to be interested.

Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Indeed, but it's still a big concern of mine even more so in these cases where a community has put hands into pockets, though it applies as far as BDUK goes as well.

It seems extremely likely that we as taxpayers will be cutting Openreach a cheque for billions to upgrade FTTC to FTTDP/P at some point. FTTC reduces the upgrade costs of FTTDP/P minimally.

Along with that people in these areas get to pay for their own upgrades directly too.

Verizon were bashed by analysts for investing in infrastructure, BT over fears they'll overpay for football rights.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
dixinormous -- minimally -- not quite sure how you work that one out

Dixi there is no case of FTTDP/P at a commercial level at all nor is there likley to be any time soon -- FYI the current payback on the 2.5bn 15 years i thinkg the BDUK is even longer

so any speed imprvements that get deployed nationally will be relected in that cag eng (such as 40/10 - 80/20 - XXX/XX it if happens will happen automatically

they will have option to to FOD as they wil then be on an enabled cab (but thats choice)

Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
Dixinormous. Why should the end user expect the cost of FTTP to be met by others rather than putting their hand in their own pocket? Whilst FTPOD prices seem ridiculously high I nevertheless feel that those wanting FTTP should pay the installation cost rather than expecting it to be delivered to them on a plate.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
@Fastman - Odd that thousands of premises in Milton Keynes received FTTP on a commercial basis. Seems more about politics than commercials given other areas as or more amenable to FTTP were ignored.

A lot of telcos around the world seem to disagree given they've implemented a far larger proportion of FTTP in their NGA mix.

Aware there's no commercial case for Openreach to upgrade further right now.

MCM999 - Why should end users have expected cost of FTTC to be met by others? Happened for 2/3rds of the country. Same goes for the next step.

Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
@Fastman - If the payback period on the existing investment is so long Openreach built in the wrong areas. Perhaps focusing more on uptake than where it was cheapest to build would've been wise, alongside obviously not trying to claim that a single cabinet install costs £100k.

Minimally is easy: allegedly 50% of the '£2.5bn' -which sounds way more impressive than actually is as £500m was not originally part of the project and ~£500m is operating costs - can be re-used for FTTDP/P.

That amount wouldn't cover half the FTTDP/P bill for London let alone make a dent in rest of country.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
Dixinormous. I see you're a great believer in wanting something for nothing. Why exactly shouldn't consumers pay the full cost of what they want/consume rather than expect others to contribute to that cost? Seem to me it's all take take take.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
So presumably you paid for your FTTC cabinet / cable drop yourself? Or did a private sector company invest in the hope of making a return over the longer term?

I appreciate that in your world no infrastructure is ever built in advance, but everyone pays for their own on a PAYG basis, however in the real world things are different. Private companies can and do build infrastructure with their own funds - see the Vodafone venture in Ireland, Swisscom, KCom, Verizon, NTT, etc, etc.

In your world investment evidently doesn't exist, as it's all pre-paid.
Posted by Gadget over 2 years ago
If you are looking at the costs v benefits of deployment strategy then clearly low existing speed areas benefit more, but if you are looking at the business case and the "political" imperatives then you would a) need a certain minimum volume to make deployment cost in, against the potential higher cost of deployment.
And if that volume for "break-even" is a massive proportion of the addressable market or even great than the addressable market why would you spend that money there?
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Low existing speed areas naturally delivery higher take up than areas with higher speed services available.

It's no coincidence that this is a sub-2Mb area and a Huawei 288 is full with people queuing up for the next one.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
dixinomous Bradwell Abbey and and muswell hill i think in london were FTTP tiallist sites - but not all of bradwell abbey and certainly not the bits they have built since the trial completed - (that trial area will remain)

Dix the commercial pay back in 15 years (so the 2.5bn is pay back over 15 years) the BDUK is longer -- that might be why no one else is building large scale networks -- because its expensive / pay back is long and the uk broadband maket is most competive maket in the world --

Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
dixi communites only pay the gap not the full cost
Posted by alwall over 2 years ago
Catch 22! There are some bureaucratic "gaps" in the Fastershire rollout. Openreach declared that my inner city cabinet does not meet their commercial criteria. However Fastershire insist that it's "within the Openreach commercial rollout of fibre broadband, even though Openreach currently have no plans to upgrade your cabinet" Great! :(
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
Alwall hmmm this is true so eligible to be funding and would have been advised that cab not commercial -- cam you drop me pm
Posted by alwall over 2 years ago
Fastman. Sorry but unable to find your name on a Forum search hence no pm
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
alwall try fastman2
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.