Skip Navigation


£6.4 million to secure superfast for 4,000 premises in West Oxfordshire
Tuesday 11 November 2014 10:38:07 by Andrew Ferguson

Earlier in 2014 West Oxfordshire District Council announced the backing of Cotswold Broadband to deliver 100% superfast coverage for the scattered 4,000 or so premises in the council area that are outside the current BDUK project.

A few months later and Cotswold Broadband has announced that some £6.4 million of funding has been secured, £3.2 million of private money and £1.6 million from the BDUK, alongside the £1.6m from the council. The Invitation To Tender to actually construct the network will see sent out shortly and will appear in the usual Official Journal of the European Union.

"This is excellent news and a significant step towards our goal of achieving as close as possible to 100% broadband coverage in West Oxfordshire. We are delighted that the confidence that we and the Government have shown in this project is being matched by private investors."

Cllr Richard Langridge, WODC Cabinet Member for Communities and the Local Economy

The promise of the network is that it will be largely FTTH/P based with a small amount of fixed wireless used to service those premises where delivering a full fibre connection would prove too costly. Cotswold Broadband would operate as the wholesale provider with retail broadband providers selling their services over the network. Construction is expected to start in March 2015 but obviously will depend on how the tender process goes.

Comments

Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
One issue that might arise with small wholesale networks like this is just how many ISPs will think it worthwhile to offer services. We've seen this with the limited retail providers for the GEA-FTTP services.

There's quite an overhead developing the systems integration required for such things as ordering, configuration, configuration management, customer services and so on. Scale matters for those.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
So is this £400 subsidy per connected customer for FTTP? The payments of c£170-£200 per premise passed for FTTC where 20% will be connected will look even more odd.
Posted by themanstan over 2 years ago
Isn't it £800 public money per property with another £800 of private money for the network?
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@VFM
Showing your normal innovative way with arithmetic? I thought that £3.2m divided by 4,000 worked out at £800 subsidy per premises.

The BT Oxfordshire contract involved £14m of public money for 67,000 premises (albeit I think the > 24mbps service is around the 60, region). So about £230 per premises > 24mbps, or about £208 per connected premises.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 2 years ago
@TheEulerID: Steve, you need to look at the whole picture:

£1.6Million (BDUK) divided by 4000 = only £400.00 per passed premise.

£3.2Million (BDUK+county) divided by 4000 = £800.00 per passed premise.

Given a generous uptake of %25, that will be £1600 (BDUK) or £3200(BDUK+council) per premise.

This looks quite good compared to how much money other counties have wasted in their BDUK projects. E.g. Essex county spent similar amounts of money for VDSL-only copper lines in some areas.
Posted by themanstan over 2 years ago
But isn´t FTTP a 100% based availability solution so all properties passed can be classified as receiving investment? There are no capacity or range issues unlike VDSL solutions and by the very nature of being future proof all passed will be eventual customers.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@EularID thanks for the correction, and I am happy to corrected if you can find other errors. But the £230 per premise with 20% take up is - £1150 per connected FTTC which looks shocking unless the future proofing for FOD is generous and connection to that is cheap.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@EularID At that budget and subsidy it might be fun for BT Openreach to respond. That would be fun to see how Cotswold Broadband/Oxforshire might justify refusing your wholesale offer.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 2 years ago
@themanstan: "But isn´t FTTP a 100% based availability solution so all properties passed can be classified as receiving investment?"

Good question. I always thought that it is only FTTP for those who actually order this product, as opposed to REPLACING all copper lines with FTTP. Correct me if I am wrong.
Posted by themanstan over 2 years ago
Yes, but in the instance of FTTP there is currently no further upgrade path. VDSL has limitations on capacity and eventual obsolesence. FTTP is truly a complete infrastructure overhaul. So the investment subsidy is per property with an accessable termination, rather than per connection as per VDSL, as there is a return in the future at the point of copper ceasing to be part of infrastructure. Do you see the difference here? When VDSL ceases you lose any investment on any property that was never connected, so that´s why per connection is correct for VDSL.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
this assumes also that the wholesale ability exists and Cotswold will fund / operate an EMP (equivalence Management Platform) so they can offer equal access to CP's - my concern is thst will be a white elephant with little choce for the Resident -- also will be inteteested to see who gets fixed wireless with no choice
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
nehoff has you exchnage / cab been enabled undet the project yet
Posted by herdwick over 2 years ago
Like Gigaclear this is a non-BT parallel infrastructure solution so there isn't a "copper dividend" as BT are still sat with a USO for phone lines in the FTTP served area. £6.4m / 4000 = £1600 per premise passed cost.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@themanstan p1
A good proportion of the total installation cost for FTTP comes from the final drops - getting the properties physically connected to the fibre that passes/terminates nearby in the street.

FTTC doesn't have this cost, because it relies on the fact that almost every home already has the physical connection necessary - albeit the legacy copper one.

In FTTP, the total cost for an area is usually given with a particular take-up percentage - so it includes the final connection for only that many properties. If more houses want the service, total cost will then go up.
...
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@fastman p2
The oft-quoted figure of £25bn to cover the UK with FTTP is not for 100% take-up. It is for 31% (with 31% staying on ADSL, 17% continuing with cable, and 20% not bothering with broadband at all). It would cost an extra £10bn to connect the rest.

The Analysys Mason report gave national-average figures of:

FTTC: £130 fixed cost per premise passed, plus £170 variable cost per premise connected.

FTTP: £700 fixed cost per premise passed, plus £600 variable cost per premise connected.
...
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@fastman p3
Also...
Half the investment for FTTC is in getting fibre out into the access network for both current and future use. Subsequent FTTP deployment makes use of this investment - even for properties that never bothered connecting to FTTC.

It ends up being better to compare the costs for both FTTC and FTTP as "per connection", using decent long-term predictions for take-up.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
It can't be underestimated to know how sensitive FTTC costings are to the rate of take-up. That's because (as others point out), most of the cost is fixed and the marginal cost of each connection is very low. That's why there's a BDUK claw-back and it also holds out the possibility of considerably lower wholesale costs in the future. (I'd be amazed if BT hasn't factored that in).
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
nb. FTTP is even higher. The business case for that depends even more on high take-up. Of course it might well be that in areas where there are no acceptable services (such as rural Oxfordshire), this may be true - especially if competitively priced.
However, a different issue arises in urban areas where customers might be happy with cheap DSL. York will be an interesting test case.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@wwwombat why are quoting from 2008, where BT commercial rollout was not the £2.5bn expected but the c£1.3-£1.4bn communicated to analysts? Ian Livinstone said 18 months (that 18 months less of capitalied labout) and comfortably under.
Getting fibre from deep in the d-side to a final DP where the customer pays for the final drop off may not be as expebive as being protrayed here.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
This is a video of the so-called "father of DSL" on the trade-off between hybrid xDSL and FTTP. It's in connection with the Australian NBN (which makes BDUK expenditure look like small change).

Of course he's hardly a disinterested party, but still interesting.

http://stopthecap.com/2013/11/20/father-of-dsl-bashes-fiber-broadband-as-a-waste-of-money-verizon-loses-800-per-customer/
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@wombat NAO pointed 20% (£350m of the £1.2bn)extra costs for future proofing, how many extra tubes per cable is that? Are pre-provision 12 fibres bundles for that, or it just a bundle of 4 in the first tube?
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@VFM
One of the big expenditures is clearing the ducts and running the sub-ducts. Whilst I've no doubt an excess of fibre has been laid, I think it more important to have spare sub-duct capacity as blowing fibre is then relatively cheap. I can't see why OR wouldn't have done that given plastic tubing doesn't cost a lot albeit they are, of course, constrained by existing duct capacity. Laying new ducts is very expensive of course (no doubt it has had to be done in at least some places).
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
TheEulerID Thank you. I hope your right but a white paper on the subject would not hurt. I have seen 2 tubes in a cable with a 4 fibre strand serving the cabinet. This does not look enough to justify the 20% cost uplift identfied.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago

Hi VFM and Others
The fibres to the local node is the future proofing not to the Cab.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@vfm
Certainly a few extra fibres to the FTTC cabinet wouldn't justify 20% (which is a very large sum). It would also be far too much for a few empty tubes. I think there's far more than that involved. However, we lack specifics on what BDUK include in that expenditure. But of all the real issues, some extra potential capacity to the nodes is almost certainly not one of them.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@VFM
I quote from the 2008 report because that seems to be the most recent estimate for nationwide rollout of FTTP (which is what the discussion here is about), though it also includes their estimate for FTTC for comparison.

It isn't based on any announcement by BT - for any of the rollouts - and I don't make any reference to the BT announcements either. On this, I don't care what BT have announced or done.

However, that AM estimate for FTTC came out at around £5bn for the entire country (same 31% takeup figure). Given total subsidies so far, that's not looking far out of kilter.
...
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@VFM & @EulerID
I don't think you see the "future-proof" fibres at the FTTC cabinet. Future proofing is about getting dark fibre, or empty subduct, to the aggregation nodes, where it can be used later towards GPON splitter nodes. Only a few P2P fibres go from the AGN to the cabinet.

AFAIK, the fibre-carrying cables from exchange to AGNs along the spines is in COF 200 style, carrying 12-288 individual fibres, internally grouped in bundles of 12. This can be blown in sub-duct, but I bet BT don't want to re-blow along the spines, or re-open AGN's, too often.
...
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
When talking blowing, "BFT" and tubes, I think we really mean the per-property fibres fed from the FDP through the manifold to the home. Those come later, when orders are placed.

The spine, on the other hand, should be thought of like today's E-side: Permanent, critical, and touched as infrequently as possible.

The old FTTP architecture diagrams give a clue as to the cabling expected, but so do Tyco's instruction books for the AGNs, SPNs and FDPs.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@WWWombat

I'm sure OR will have run far more fibre than FTTC or any FTTrN will ever require for the reasons you state. However, I'd be surprised if they had installed as much on the E side as would be required for a 100% GPON network. There's surely a balance point.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
TheEulerID and WWWombat there is some proofing to the aggregation node (FDN enclosure) on D-side, but this sounds standard, you not convincing me there is anything extra beyond that, so the 20% extra which the NAO found is worth nailing down, given any FOD would need to start at the aggregation point rather than a breakout box at the cabinet.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
ducts get blocked new routes required, Area is covered by buried or armoured cable , not aLL Fibre is NGA fibre (tends to suggest my point) -- more oftehn its not the cost of the cab its getting to it (either of how remote from the fibre network it is or what capacity constraints already exist in tha lcoation or any thing else thety will increase as coverage in bduk arease in creases -- Price per premise will increase.FTTP is had and expensive and sometime will be digital exclusion as not all will be able to afford --
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
it will be a village of have and have not -- and lets hope you dont get a issue between the fibre frop and your NTE (because if you Deployed that your self and it faults that will be your issue to fix and proving it not on your property will be hard and painful i suggest
Posted by lmschuffer over 2 years ago
Am I missing something here, as the copper is already in place would not Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) offer a much lower cost method, they can be hung on poles, I understand where the DP is is critical, but I would rather have 24Mb + against dial up and it would be way way cheaper and quicker to install !
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@imschuffer Indeed http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=92792044 the Eircom submission confirms FTTH is cheaper, but the lack of any transparency in the UK contracts is preventing the matter being adddressed in any meaningful way.
Posted by lmschuffer over 2 years ago
@VFM You cannot argue that FTTH is future proof but I am surprised that it can be done under the costs for FTTdp and for folks like me 1200 Mts from my cab we would see a big increase from 17 to 80 Mb, I'm sure there are lots of locations particularly spread out in valleys where 2 or more FTTdp would be more cost effective for the last mile and deliver better speeds to some.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.