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Progress report for North Yorkshire BDUK project
Thursday 20 November 2014 13:46:10 by Andrew Ferguson

North Yorkshire got the BDUK ball rolling back in December 2012 with the delivery of the first fibre cabinet and has continued its roll-out and the council is now reporting on the progress of the first phase of the roll-out.

Financially the first phase that had an intervention area of some 160,500 premises has cost North Yorkshire County Council nothing since it is funded by the BDUK, ERDF and BT, phase 2 is sees the council match funding the BDUK amount and if phase 2 completes the combined cost to NYCC will be £19 per premise that will have superfast services available. For those wanting more detail a copy of the report made to the North Yorkshire County Council executive is available.

The Phase 1 contract which was to supply improved broadband to 171,000 premises (of which 149,944 would have access to superfast speeds - 25 Mbps and faster) is running some 13 weeks behind schedule and has delivered 151,499 premises passed (130,199 superfast). In theory this means BT has failed the contract but the project has decided to use this as leverage on BT and this has seen three cabinets that had been dropped from the commercial roll-out to be brought back with a ready for service data of March 2015. BT requested an extension that will see 146,292 premises with superfast by the end of 2014 and the remaining 3,652 done by March 2015.

What is interesting is the reasons for the delays, problems with expertise needed for the Exchange Only (EO) cabinet builds (doing the EO work when the telephone network is live adds to the complexity) and a lack of civils contractor resources are cited.

The phase 2 project (scheduled to end December 2016) is much smaller but will still leave some 41,500 premises in North Yorkshire without superfast (some 12,000 are those connected to FTTC but are beyond the 1.2km range the project considers to be the point where FTTC stops being superfast). The end of phase 2 should mean 90% of North Yorkshire has superfast access but that final 10% is not forgotten work is underway with Airwave to pilot wireless NGA broadband with the BDUK providing £1.5m of funding, oddly the agreement Airwave has with BDUK means that Airwave can walk away if they feel the commercial case to carry on the networks operation is not proven. Since the Digital Region debacle councils and Government are risk averse to ongoing subsidy arrangements.

The phase 2 work in North Yorkshire is interesting as it will feature FTTrN (Fibre to the Remote Node) and while this will only be at VDSL2 speeds the kit will look very similar to the G.FAST hardware we saw recently and it looks like households in Ulshaw new Leyburn may be the first to enjoy the extra speed with a service date of December 2014.

FTTrN is seen as a solution that is in between the cost of FTTC and FTTP but the Ulshaw trial has used the same type of power supply as a full fibre cabinet increasing the cost. Once BT can get the cost down of FTTrN power supply it is possible we may see an expansion of the phase 2 roll-out, with areas original destined for FTTP getting FTTrN and the savings used to push coverage further.

To help illustrate the progress made by the project and that people are buying the services once available we have included three charts of results from our speed test, showing the speeds in North Yorkshire and York. We have included quartile bars which help to illustrate the difference made and that if people upgrade they are getting significantly better speeds generally.

Five years of broadband speed test history for North Yorkshire
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Trends of improving upload speed in North Yorkshire
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Five years improving download speeds in York
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Comments

Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
I feel the presantation grafts are much better showing the download speeds and the uploads with the Mediad showing results up to May 2014.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Actually the graphs show a later figure for Q3 2014 that would be labelled Sep 2014 but label did not fit.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrews Staff
Never mind not long untill the end of the year Q4 when the results will be higher.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Interesting to see that the top quartile download speeds are now above the superfast threshold - matching the reports that takeup is running at 25%.

Interesting too to see that those top quartile figures are almost identical for the (more rural) county of NY vs the city of York figures. Evidence that rural area takeup is pretty strong!

Plus some amazing jumps in the top quartile upload speeds too.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
Why bother trying to bring power to DP's, why not let the customer order FTTP/ATA for the final drop?

I thought efficient network design means Openreach take out complexity and active components, not add it.
What does an FTTP enabled exchange mean if not fibre delivered to a manifold on a DP?
What does future poofing mean if not an ability to deliver fibre onto poles where the VDSL cabinet creates no improvement.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
The above grafts shows that the customers on slow speeds (-2meg) are been dragged up the hierarchy plus this increases the take up rate because of the locations of the CAB,s win win.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
FTTP enabled exchange means there is one or more areas with native GEA-FTTP available.

Only around 160,000 premises have the fibre manifolds installed to them.

I see that there is a need for a £75 a head day long course in what Openreach are actually deploying.
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
@Andrew

I think you should offer to run that course for Openreach engineers. Even the ones laying the fibre don't understand the basic technical limitations.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@andrew Aggregation nodes serve both, as do the handover points, as do the spines to the POSI, so we running fibre to the pole and found it is cheaper to connect fibre to the 5 premises rather than installing a DSLAM on a pole. In these circumstances who cares what you call it. Product definitions can be amended to meet the new reality.
Why install points of failure?
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
Openreach provide the service to the port and have to advise the ISP,s that the service is available in a 14 day window (SCC contract) it is the responceibility of the ISP to contact their customers. I think native FTTP will be flooding the market in the comming months in the Surry Area. Please remember that Openreach staff have to be fair and impartial a very hard thing to do in a conpetitive market.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba

FTTP the marked in Surrey? I find that difficult to believe. It's not something that can suddenly happen (not counting FoD). Of course it might be that FTTP will start being implemented in locations in Surrey where FTTC isn't viable/cost-effective, but it's not quite the same thing as flooding the market.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@ValueForMoney Read the Yorkshire report, they hope it will be cheaper than FTTP so thus cover more. If the trial locations show it is not then it will be FTTP. This is not a lets use FTTrN just because its the shiny new thing and ignore costs.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Well given that I believe just 1.4% of households in Surrey have access to native FTTP I don't see a flood of it. Yes more is in construction and in the planning stages but nothing that could be called a flood, unless you focus your sight on one cabinet in one exchange.

Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@andrew Apart from the decision to plan and deploy a splitter how big a deal is it in terms of the components. The state is paying for £350m of future proofing within the £1.2bn.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@VFM
The extra costs of fttp over FTTrN are, of course those of running the fibre to the premises from the node. That might mean anything from a few tens to, perhaps, a thousand metres of fibre.

But bear in mind this is a trial. Until this is tried in practice, then costs can only be estimated. In contrast, there's now plenty of information on FTTP to understand the cost drivers. I suspect that FTTrN/FTTP decisions won't be based on marginal differences, but significant ones.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Yes please do remember that this is FTTrN using VDSL2 so the node may be 500m from premises and still able to give well over superfast speeds.

Maybe some sketch charts of the sort areas where C/rN/P are used might help people visualise things.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@VFM
Component cost? Trivial.

The real additional cost is in the civil engineering costs - the manpower cost of getting fibre from the AGN to the SPN, and then on to the DP and finally to the home; clearing/installing ducts, digging out duct collapses, replacing poles. Plus the engineering equipment to do that: diggers, blowers, etc.

Where does the bulk of the cost lie? Clue: It isn't in the 1x work needed to get fibre to the SPN. Or even in the 1x work needed to get it to the DP (though an FTTRN node won't be as deep as a DP). It is in the 16x work needed to get to the 16 individual homes.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
I feel the cost for the 16 customers unit node has been costed in the (future costing ) even the extra fibres have been paid for in SCC contract to many locations post codes. These units will take many years over (15) to get a return.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@BM
I think you're wrong.

I think the contract (like the BDUK ones) has covered getting extra fibre (*for* all postcodes) as far as the AGN - that is, within the spine.

However, I don't think it has covered the cost of actually getting the fibres actually out *to* all postcodes. And without fibre having been run from the AGNs to anything closer, there is no current need to have paid for splitter nodes, fibre distribution points, or fibre manifolds.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@BM 2
Take a look here:
http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/fibretothepremisesondemand/downloads/FTTPonDemandFactSheet.pdf

Note the proactive "plan and build" portion stops at the AGN. It also says "Note: The network build for GEA-FTTC extends to the aggregation node."
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@WWWombat

I suspect what BM might mean is that for those locations which might be served by either FTTrN or FTTP, that the fibre costs have been included in the contract to at least the relevant FTTrN location(s).

However, clearly that has to be a big picture item (i.e. it won't specify individual locations, but a general solution for a number of such situations). So I'd be pretty certain that there's an allowance for some fibre deeper into the network, but clearly not every postcode.
Posted by rjohnloader over 2 years ago
West Witton where I live is on the way to the Airwave solution. Sites have been identified for most of the masts and the National Park is being very supportive to planning issues.Fingers crossed for next Spring. BT wanted £50,000 for a fibre to the village!!!
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@rjohnloader - according to the North Yorks report, they are happily paying £177 per premise past - which is the c£46k folk were denying, so your £50k is not far off.

No efficiency savings mentioned in that latest report. No reference to actuals being reconciled.
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