We may have only just covered the UK declaring some 1.9 million homes as able to access superfast broadband from the BDUK programme and now the DCMS has added up the figures for January 2015 and declared that over two million premises can now order a superfast broadband service via the gap funding scheme.
Breaking the two million figure also means that coverage is now at 80% of UK premises at superfast speeds when combined with the commercial coverage. Of course people need to order the upgrade to benefit from the extra speeds made available and this is one of the bones of contention from the vocal complainers, which leads to a complain complaint that some believe take-up would be higher if the project has concentrated on the slowest parts of the UK first.
|Number of premises with access to fibre based broadband via the BDUK projects|
|NOTE: This is the total of fibre premises passed, the headline 2 million figure is based on DCMS calculation of how many can get superfast speeeds|
|North East England||85,048|
|Yorkshire and Humber||232,536|
|North West England||272,894|
|South East England||265,935|
|South West England||200,272|
|East of England||288,729|
For the previous 1.9 million premises news article we ran an analysis on the speed spread to give people some idea of the number of premises not getting superfast from the largely FTTC based BDUK roll-out, and this calculation was done independently of any DCMS figures and ahead of the release of the two million announcement, the results from that analysis agree very closely with the proportion of superfast versus fibre based in these latest DCMS figures.
Obviously 80% is still a long way short of the overall 90% target for phase 1 of the BDUK project, but the roll-outs are continuing and with phase 2 contracts now being awarded the 95% target for 2017 is getting to closer to becoming reality. It must be highlighted that contrary to a belief in some circles that the 95% target is for every community, the target is a nationwide one, thus some areas that exceed the 95% target will make up for projects that decide to aim for lower but more attainable targets (i.e. need less intervention funding).
The remaining 5% of the UK is dependent now on the outcome of a number of pilots that are exploring how well various technologies can handle the dispersed nature of the last 5% and how much it will cost to deliver. Only once costings and viabilities have been looked at can we expect announcements of the availability of the necessary funding. A major change in the final 5% pilots is that BT is not heavily involved and the pilots feature various technologies that suppliers have been trumpeting as solutions for getting superfast to rural areas.