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Dolphinholme surrounded on all sides by fibre
Thursday 20 November 2014 11:51:32 by Andrew Ferguson

B4RN who started raising funding for their FTTH roll-out in the most rural parts of Lancashire almost three years ago has so far connected around 700 premises to its network and is currently connecting premises in Dolphinholme. It seems according to a report on ISPreview that Openreach is back in the village and adding fibre tubing to more telephone poles.

Dolphinholme was also scheduled for FTTP via the Lancashire County Council project and here is where it gets very messy, as it is not clear whether B4RN submitted a formal Open Market Review (OMR) submission to the County Council or whether less formal agreements were reached. Irrespective of the OMR it would seem sensible for a BDUK project to adjust its plans once it becomes clear an alternate solution is going to be available in an area when feasible. The OMR is meant to avoid the need to re-jig plans, as providers should declare their plans for the next three years as part of the process.

So we are left with B4RN FTTP running around the outside of the village, while Openreach continue down the main road. End result will be people with a choice of full fibre based services.

As far as we know Dolphinholme is the current South West extent of the B4RN plans with the M6 forming a natural break. Dolphinholme is served by the Forton exchange and cabinet 4 is already offering a FTTC service, with FTTP coming to other areas and some exchange only lines we believe.

In terms of publicity for B4RN this clash is an ideal platform, particularly if they can continue to promote their high take-up rates, which are greatly helped by public involvement in the build process. The BDUK Lancashire project has a 97% fibre based target so it was always going to be the case that it would have built up to the edge of any competing networks, and as the popularity of B4RN grows and offshoot projects get underway we can be sure to see more dual-fibre areas like Dolphinholme.

These battles could have been avoided if everyone stuck to the exact processes and the council projects entered into a much longer period of planning, but the pressure to get as many connected as soon as possible within budget has meant that very long planning periods are not possible, hence the overlapping of the superfast extension projects before the full extent of the current schemes and the muddle that was the RCBF.


Posted by dujas about 1 year ago
Some local information:

Cabinet 4 was upgraded to FTTC as part of phase 1 of Lancashire's subsidised programme, it serves Forton.

Cabinet 2 is what covers Dolphinholme and surrounding area, its FTTC status is currently "under review".

Openreach's FTTP deployment in the area is much more than just Dolphinholme and overlap with B4RN, they've been installing infrastructure in the surrounding area (poles, ducts and underground chambers) for just over a year now.
Posted by Yorkie71 about 1 year ago
Yes @jujas, I noticed the empty poles appear some time ago which made me suspect that the deployment was a little more than Standard FTTC, which of course has not been confirmed.

What I can't understand is why do FTTP here for 150 properties when areas just a few miles away with more properties have been left out of the LCC/BT deployment completely.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
Anyone who has followed BT's response to Altnets over the last 10 years has no problem understanding why they are targeting Dolphinholme
Posted by Yorkie71 about 1 year ago
@gerada I know. It was sort of a rhetorical question really to make the point and highlight the strategy that BT and LCC and employing in this area. Bearing in mind that the residents have and are working hard to deploy B4RN I just can't see a great take up for any BT service. So their efforts would be better placed elsewhere rather than making a mute point in DH.
Posted by treborvfr about 1 year ago
@Yorkie71 - Quite agree! Here in Halton Openreach have been working on getting Fibre to cabinets installed, but we are going to be months away, or more, before we get this watered down version of high speed broadband. As it happens we have an Eco-development down by the river, and they have been busily working with B4RN to get fibre to their premises. As a result the Fibre is now on the outskirts of the village, with talk of getting it to the rest of Halton if the residents support it. I'll be rooting for B4RN all the way. It may cost me more but at least they are showing commitment!
Posted by fibredale about 1 year ago
The parable of the spoilers :- "Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."? BT moves in mysterious ways ...
Posted by bobpearce about 1 year ago
Meanwhile, back in the soft South, a town of 13,000 (with a further 1,000+ houses to be built in the next 2 years) "doesn't meet BT's criteria for provision of high speed broadband".
BT have run circles around the government and local authorities and only install where it is convenient to them.
Posted by cyberdoyle about 1 year ago
you have to laugh! BT and LCC ignore all the big villages further down the county who are clamouring for 'superfast' yet they follow B4RN round installing PCP and then fttc cabinets in our tiny wee villages. One only has 20 houses within reach of said 'fibre cab'. It just shows how they hate competition. It would be interesting to find out if this breaches state aid rules, as the B4RN gigabit connection is already operational within metres of the BT cabinets, and yet they still are being funded to do it.
Posted by Gadget about 1 year ago
Chris - the question about state aid rules is "did anyone formally notify the council at the time of the OMR, of their intention to provide service to those postcodes within the specified future dates"? and then did the council take notice of any formal OMR response and declare the postcodes grey or black?
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