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Take-up data from Superfast Cymru project revealed
Tuesday 25 November 2014 11:39:06 by Andrew Ferguson

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
<50 Days 1.28% 1.32% 2.25%
50-100 days 4.97% 4.95% 5.69%
101-200 days 9.58% 7.58% 9.84%
201-350 days 11.97% 11.33% 14.57%
>350 days 19.2% 17% 18.77%
Overall 9.48% 10.32% 11.98%

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.

Five years of broadband speed history in Wales
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Trend for increasing upload speeds in Wales
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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.

Chart of all speed tests in Wales in October 2014
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Upload speeds for tests during October 2014 with Welsh Postcodes
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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.


Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
I am glad that Andrews Staff are going to give a report if they have time at the end of the year on the take up rates in the Counties this will show which areas have been advertising and getting the best results and costings.This will also show the situation on the customers under 2 meg at the lower end of the hierarchy and the Median.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
I'm not sure Andrew said they'll show the take-up rates, or that they'll show the results per county.

He actually said "speed profile graphs" for all "UK regions". very different.

When was the first cabinet turned on for SFCy?
Posted by csimon over 2 years ago
The first cabinet was "unveiled" in a blaze of publicity on 22/2/13 in the centre of Bangor. From this thread it can be seen that cabs started going live throughout March 2013. Generally to areas already getting good ADSL of up to 20mbps it seems, hence slow take up initially!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@wwwombat - thank you. Correct we will be publishing more of the speed profiles.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff
Thanks for stating it will be the speed profiles at the end of the year if you have time.

Posted by dogbark over 2 years ago
Those graphs are meaningless
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Please expand?
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
I think he didn't complete the sentence. It was probably intended to finish "to the innumerate.".

The clue is the missing full stop.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
'There are examples of Openreach cabinets with similar levels of take-up'

Indeed there are, at which point Openreach leave them full for several months.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago

I'm sure there are, but how many? There are tens of thousands of cabinets out there, and I've no doubt some have much higher take-up rates than expected and it takes time to install another cabinet. It's often troublesome enough to find space for one, let alone two.

So how frequently does this happen?
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
I have no idea Steve.

I can only go by a specific example where Openreach failed to provision for take up despite being repeatedly warned that it would be very high then having evidence of it, and delayed provisioning of a second cabinet by at least 6 months over original date.

If there are very few examples perhaps these are the areas Openreach should've built commercial FTTP to.
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