ISPreview has been sent some take-up data for the Superfast Cymru project that Patrick Cosgrove of the Shropshire and Marches Campaign has obtained. We suspect that the reaction to the figures will depend on pre-existing notions of how the project is progressing, which is basically if you are yet to benefit there will be negativity.
|Cabinet Age||Superfast Cymru End of March 2014||Superfast Cymru End of June 2014||Superfast Cymru End of September 2014|
The data shows that take-up once a cabinet has been stood for over a year is currently running at around 18.77%, which is getting very close to the critical clawback trigger level of 20% that exist in most of the BDUK contracts. We have published some new data from our speed test database which show the steady climb in median speeds across Wales and also the current profile of speed tests for October 2014.
The profile of speed test results in an area should be a reasonable way to track take-up, though the desire for people to test their new broadband connections speed will mean you cannot use it as a absolute measure of take-up. What it does tell us is that the up to 38 Mbps FTTC product is proving a popular choice and from comparing with our other data we suspect that those in Virgin Media cable areas at the higher speeds of over 60 Mbps. If take-up does continue it looks likely that the median speed is going to rise, the dip in the last few months appears to be due to a down turn in Virgin Media performance.
Hopefully in December we will have time to publish the comparable speed profile graphs for all the UK regions and some the interesting variations can be discussed.
On the take-up issue, we know of demand led schemes that do hit very high take-up levels such as B4RN and a lot of that is down to the large amount of social engagement the project involves from simple meetings to discuss the project to people actually getting out their spade to dig in the fibre to the home. There are examples of Openreach cabinets with similar levels of take-up and am sure all the commercial operators would love to be able to reproduce that elusive mixture of demand and enthusiasm everywhere.