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2 million premises passed meaning 80% of UK can get superfast
Monday 09 February 2015 00:04:56 by Andrew Ferguson

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
Midlands 292,985
South East England 265,935
South West England 200,272
East of England 288,729
Scotland 220,000
Wales 299,876
Northern Ireland 17,500

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.

Comments

Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
10% to go is around 2.6m properties. The current rate of passing (at SF speeds) is roughly 40,000 per month, so on the face of it that's a little over 18 months, or around July 2016 before the 90% target is hit.
However, it's difficult to believe the current rate can be maintained given the easy targets are being done first, let alone what the next 5% will bring.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Now restart the same comment, but consider if you were rolling out the same volume using FTTP.

As much as I'd love to write about 2 million homes getting FTTP, the extra work would make it very difficult to achieve the speed of roll-out they are.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
You don't need to convince me about the respective timescales for FTTC & FTTP roll-out. The Australian NBN is managing only 8,000 properties per week and is lavishly funded.

I'm just wondering about what the future holds. Any form of "deep" fibre is surely going to be a lot slower. Maybe 20% of the rate or less?
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Don't forget that BT were saying they were reaching 60,000 homes per week including both subsidised and commercial properties.

That suggests there are more deployment teams out there, but they haven't all been switched to BDUK work yet... so there is a chance to ramp up the 40,000 - or at least help to maintain it for longer.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Also ... In Nov 2014 BDUK reckoned the total coverage of phase 1 would be 4.2 million properties, taking the coverage total to 26.1 million or 90.7%.

2.2 million at 40k per week = 55 weeks
2.2 million at 60k per week = 36 weeks
Posted by ahockings about 1 year ago
Slowest parts should have been done first.
This is pure common sense, something which BT doesn't have. I've posted this before but they spent shed loads getting 8 cabs done in my local town where I doubt take up is 10% since everyone gets 15Meg ADSL2.
My local village (same exchange but 2 miles away) has its own cab but BT weren't going to do it!!!
Villages have gone from 1.5 meg to 40-80 meg and take up has been totally mental. They have a Huawei 288. Have a feeling they might need another one in a minute.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
The rate will also slow because BT will have to address the USC requirement.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Doesn't the USC phase come after the various fibre phases in each area?

It seems to me that addressing the USC requirement might slow the startup of SEP, but not the continuation of phase 1.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
It depends on what deadline the councils have given for the USC.In Suffolk it coterminous with the SFBB target of September 2015. That means an awful lot of new and infill work to be done by then.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
@ahockings

The political expediency will have been to maximise the rate at which premises have been enabled. Imagine the headlines if, say, half the number of premises had been enabled now if the concentration had been on the more difficult to reach ones first.
Also, there are efficiencies in dealing with a whole town at a time as much of the work is shared and it keeps teams in one place.
Posted by timmay about 1 year ago
Just checked my Dad's address again. Still not able to order. The FTTC cabinet has been standing there since the Summer of 2014...
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
The 2m mark needs to be saluted, but where is this BT £1bn? Given
The NAO identified £142m so far as excess modelled cost. This must be sitting in BT's accounts given the milestone payment process.
Further if Adkins/BDUK have identified a Cab/fibre path etc is now £21k excluding BT contribution and this would have been surely in a rural area, not the £46k subsidy being currently paid, then when does the plan get re-set?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
I thought BT only got paid when it produced invoices NOT based on the modelled costs. So excess modelled costs just mean BT is getting paid less.

What is the BT £1bn?
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Yes, BT only get paid for actual, invoiced costs. And even then, the money is only handed over after the milestones have been met. The first part was confirmed to PAC last year, and details of the second part are shown both last year and in this year's NAO report.

Only @vfm thinks they are paid the excess money, plus additional fees for USC properties, in advance. To sit in their account.

The $1bn he mentions appears to be the amount NAO report that BT are spending on their part of phase 1.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
So the £46k is not being paid per cabinet. Only the actual spend.

Therefore there is no need to reset the plan. The way to handle the financial differences is already accounted for.

The only thing missing is the plan for what to do with the spare, unspent, funds. Plus the plan for what to do with claw back funds.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
WWWombat we have a difference of opinion and I belueve the payments to BT are on the inflated milestones payments and remain so.
The numbers in BT's accounts point to inflated milestones not the lower numbers only recently identified.
Why would you need an audit to establish actuals of £21k - why not read it off the sums transferred?
Why would you need extension contracts if actuals were much less than planned?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@WWWombat - £1bn from BT is only credible if you believeable a cabinet is £100k each.
£1.7bn public + £1bn BT = £2.7bn for c30k cabiners + a little FTTP, cannot be recnciled with the £21k identified by Atkins/BDUK for must have been a rural cost analysis.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
Actuals reported to PAC may have been in the mistaken belief that actuals had a relationship to the milestones.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@wwwombat And the £21k actuals now identified do not take into account a BT contribution. If you do 23% you reduce to the subsidy(ish) to NI+c14% to achieve a90% nat coverage.
And the £21k actuals, based on a rural example (my opinion) is why BDUK stated in the NAO report they have yet to see BT best economic price.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@wwwombat If Adkins/BDUK say actuals = c£21k - then actual payments to BT for 8k cabinets to september would be c£168m - The accounts excluding 2012/13 to Q2 2015/15 amount to £291m and a further £94m in Q3, way off actuals for supposedly easy cabinets.
Happy to be wrong!
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
@VFM

You only need to look at the BT accounts where they report the quarterly receipts from BDUK.

2014/15 Q3 94
2014/15 Q2 £94m
2014/15 Q1 £73m
2013/14 Q4 £55m
2013/14 Q3 £42m
2013/14 Q2 £15m
2013/14 Q1 £12m

That's £385m as per the end of Dec 2014
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
EulerID - NAO was to September £385- 94= £291m + that in 2012/12 if reported would probably bing £291m to £312m - or 26% of the £1.2bn or 26% of the rollout.
So you've kindly proved (I belives) that while BT recieved 26% of the £1.2bn so far - £312m - it is on this number that £142m of excess modelled costs have been identified. They must sitting in BT's accounts.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
BT's financial year runs from April to the end of March. (Which is due to it's public sector origins). In consequence, Q3 is to the end of December. It says so here:-

http://www.btplc.com/Sharesandperformance/Quarterlyresults/Quarterlyresults.htm
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@EuliarID - Money paid to september =£312m- excess modelled costs of £142m= £170m / c8000 cabinets/fibre paths = actual est cost average c£21k.
This is brillant but we need revised plans and ambition?
Where is BT contribution?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
EuliarID - we only count to Sept q2 to align with NAO findings which were to September.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
Any funds not paid over to BT are sitting in either the central BDUK accounts, or in that for each of the local projects (as BDUK pay funds over to the local bodies, not BT direct).

Also, the permanent secretary (Sue Owen) has stated in a written response to the PAC that money is paid over to BT only on both submission of invoices and passing milestones.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
We are out of step in replies. The last NAO report was to the end of December. This report (and BDUK's numbers) also cover roll-out to roughly the same timescale (so didn't pass 2m SF until January).

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/public-accounts-committee/rural-broadband-progress-update/written/17767.pdf
Posted by MCM999 about 1 year ago
@VFM You really do seem to have problems with some most simple concepts and maths. Where exactly do you see BT being paid "excess costs" (that is difference between invoiced and estimated cost) other than in your mind?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@ EulerID See 17767 section 3.7 the report is to Sept numbers.

@MCM999 the minutes to PAC were dated June 2104 when it possible it was believed actuals and milestones were somehow related.
LA may have invoices for milestones but not the invoices for the itemised works.
This is only now emerging.

Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@MCM999 see 17767 section 3.10 BDUK’s analysis shows that actual costs are lower than BT’s bid prices but do not, in themselves, assure BDUK that BT priced the contracts economically. An independent assurance review in 2013, which compared supplier bids to a ‘should cost’ model,was hampered by limited cost transparency.
So in June 2014 Sue Owen would have to rely on BT assurances that milestones and costs were aligned.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@MCM999 to be clear the last comment was an opinion but I do not know what other information Ms Owen could have relied upon. And if DCMS did not have the data, then what data could the LA's be relying on?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
Surrey has passed the 90% mark and should hit 93% by the end of phase 7 Q1 2015 BDUK. Financial year 2014 Q4.
Posted by MCM999 about 1 year ago
@VFM Bid prices are irrelevant. The only costs that should concern you are those on the invoices. The only external monies that BT is receiving is that shown on the invoices. Where the bid price exceeds the invoice the excess remains with BDUK and the councils. However, if you can prove that BT is overcharging and producing false invoices, you will have achieved something useful.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
@Blackmamba
What download sync speed are your stats based on? I have 85% have superfast - 24 Mbps (FTTC A Down High). This is the BT best estimate from their wholesale checker for intervention area premises that Surrey say have access at end of Dec 2014, so percentage is probably lower in reality.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@MCM999 I hope your right but the receipts in state aid are more aligned to the milestones at c£200 a premise rather than the c£104 which has been identified in the most recent NAO report.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John.
Have you look at the Cabs that require extra tie pairs plus the Cabs that are standing waiting fibre also I think you find that the results are cut off September Q5.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John.
Q5 should be Phase 5.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@cooperfarncombe The targets from the projects are usually a combined commercial/intervention area. So coverage of VM and existing FTTC can pull an area up a considerable way.

You have remembered to factor in the native FTTP areas too?
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Fairly certain that both BDUK and BT have mentioned that the initial modelled costs were based upon individual bids. Subsequently, there would be economies of scale with BT purchasing for all projects together. They have also said their own commercial roll-out has come in at a lower cost.

This is all good, on 2 counts:
1) less money spent by all to achieve goals, which means it can go further in various goals BDUK (more coverage) and BT (see 2)
2) depreciation is quicker which means that next gen tech (Which has been announced) can be brought in sooner.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John.
In the the Hindhead Area there are two Cabs aprox 400 customers that are waiting for fibre to the premises their data is in limbo have been told to call into Surrey NGA every 8 weeks.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John.
There is a showing on Wentwoth Exchange of fibre to the home CAB 6 just found after weekly check.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan BT certainly stated to PAC several times their Famework matched their commercial rollout costs, so the excess modelled costs of 38% demands a more ambitious and better resourced rollout plan.
The £142m excess to Sept identified will be in BT's accounts for some time.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Why do you insist that BT has 142M GBP sitting in it´s coffers which it shouldn´t do?
Nowhere in the NAO programme update does it state that BT has been overpaid. Which would be the case if they had... which would have been a field day for the media. Your statement is can´t be supported with the NAO report as it would have mentioned overpayments.
Posted by Gadget about 1 year ago
@VFM - something to consider..... lets say BT applies the same costs as their commercial rollout, but there are simply more of these item costs in the BDUK rollout, such as costs of backhaul to handover exchange, number of blocked ducts outside of cities, charges for cabinet power. Would that also be an explanation for at least some of this 38% which has you so exercised?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan where else is the cash sitting given the milestone payments of c£200 is out of sync with actuals now observed. It has taken BT over two years for BT to release actuals to BDUK/Atkins.
No objection to the monies but a bigger plan is needed, while BT contribution to the £21,000 is not recorded.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Gadget Atkins/BDUK actuals stidy of £21,000 must either have been done in Sommerset/Devon, or Suffolk Norfolk, so the £21,000 identified which does not comment on BT's contribution is a total cost for a long spine and low cabinet count. It's a rural programme!
The scale of the state aid reported in BT's counts divided by the premises passed to Sept show the overpayment and this will continue building as fee cash flow for the next 4to 5 quarters. No problem as long as it is recognised as such and managed.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Gadget @themanstan So £21,000 minus 23% capital contribution eventually recocniles to £16k eventual subsidy, which happens be the NI rate plus a bit.
The Phase 1 milestone including USC premium is approx £46k ish.
BDUK and NAO now there at actuals, PAC nearly.
So we need a bigger and better resourced plan to do more transformation work. FTTP cannot be an afterthought given the public monies available.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
I contend the £21,000 total cost will hold at a national level for FTTC to approx 90% as an average.
The money is not on BDUK books, and LA would not be contracting for extensions if the monies remained in LA's books. The excess modelled cost is reflected in the milestone payment of c£200 per premise is in BT state aid receipts.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
As a BT shareholder and an advocate of public investment for rural, I hope someone in BT is working to rectify this matter before these events are used to support those calling for Operneach to be split apart.
Posted by Gadget about 1 year ago
@VFM it would appear from http://www.iwight.com/azservices/documents/2720-Redacted-Contract-and-Schedules.pdf sections 4 through 9 that at least in this contract a) payment is made only against certified and auditable expenditure, b) it can be tracked and audited and c)it must also be examined and reviewed annually.
Unless I have missed any news item there doesn't appear to be any problems, irregularities or issues reported to date.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
@VFM
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmpubacc/474/474vw06.htm

Which confirms what Gadget has posted above and which BT are saying is the process to PAC.

From Annex 1
"... number of associated conditions/criteria to be met and verified by the Local Authority before BT can claim a milestone payment and thus any government funding to offset costs incurred to achieve that milestone."

Which means that Openreach is always in arrears till the end of the verification process. Which means the funds are sitting in BDUKs and LocalGovs coffers.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan @Gadget Good challenge, but the invoice is for the milestone of premise passed not the the underlying cost of compoents used.

Openreach quickly not in arrears if milestone payment of premises passed is double the actual vedor invoices which as we see have taken over 2 years to be presented to Atkins/BDUK.

Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John.
If you look at the % gap between on the Welsh results the figure is 5% + or - 1% between the 24 SFB meg and lower results so in my thinking this will be the same for Surrey over the 450000 customers so it is looking good for the Surrey team.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John.
If you look on Openreach where and when and check on exchange list you will find that many exchanges have been given FTTC/P even your area plus Cranleigh some have been updated lately.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Do not rely on the exchange marker for FTTC/P.

Surrey is around 2.8% GEA-FTTP availability currently.

Also do not presume that Welsh differences between fibre and superfast apply, different areas give different results.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Andrews Staff
The Exchange marker FTTC/P is on a rolling two month flag in Surrey e/mail from Surrey NGA.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
@VFM

That's not a logical argument as milestone payments have to be based on auditable invoices (for anything). Invoices based on modeled costs cannot pass an audit process so would never be paid. This crucial aspect is where your arguments fall down.
Audits determines whether payments are made or not, modeled cost invoices would contain line items (labour times, hardware costs, etc...) which would have no paper trail within OR and out to suppliers.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan if the invoice is for a milestone in the form of coverage homes passed then it can.
Future audits may find the discrepancies and so monies get repaid but,
BT state aid recipts to Sept 2014 = £285m + a bit for 2012/12
Cost before BT contribution 8,000 cabinets x £21,000 = £168m
Difference of £142m = NAO identified excess modelled costs.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan - thanks show me your workings public interest and inded BT shareholder interets.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
@VFM

But still doesn't equate to £142M in BT coffers.

It simply a statement that BT forecasting was off, not it's invoicing. Read para 5 of the NAO, it means they've agreed to use a different model for costing in future.

You can't really believe that not one media entity has picked up the BDUK and NAO releases, and decided that BT is sitting on £142M of taxpayers money that it should not have?

There would have been a media frenzy and the PAC would have shredded BT and deservedly so. But there hasn't... and PAC didn't...

re: second post... don't troll it's pathetic....
Posted by Gadget about 1 year ago
Quick thought - wouldn't the BT accounts also list Cornwall State aid monies as well as BDUK?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan the monies are stated in BT's accounts, and why if £142m available would LA's be contracting more? PAC is a work in progress - the status of £142m was not discussed.

Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Gadget some but should now be declining.
Posted by Gadget about 1 year ago
@VFM but over the life of the Superfast Cornwall project (total spend £132m, or which BT's contribution is £78.5m)that additional gap funding (132-78.5) must also have to be accounted for as a steady stream of money into BT's accounts, a good proportion of which will be back-ended.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
@VFM

Because cash goes back to BDUK and LocalGov, this then has to go through the whole bid process again.

Where an underspend takes place with public funds they are always returned to source for reallocation after due process. e.g. MOD has just had to hand back £400m to the treasury

You can't just go and spend it on what you want, even if it is the same kind of project it has to be done in a fully accountable manner.

The one BBC report on the subject would have picked up on the discrepancy if there was one
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31043548
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan final comment for now, Phase 1 =£1.2bn/4.8m premis/25,000 cabinets = £48k ish and lower if 2-3% Fttp is delivered. These are the current milestone rates.

Atkins/BDUK - now see (Jan 2015) - not before see £21,000 actual before BT contribution.

Why was a more ambitious fibre intensive plan dropped (maybe temportarily)? The Gov do not want the money back, they want a best in Europe network (not marginally better than the French or Germans)?
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
@Andrew “The targets from the projects are usually a combined commercial/intervention area. So coverage of VM and existing FTTC can pull an area up a considerable way.”

There should be minimum VM in IA. Surrey contractual target is 94% of the premises in the Superfast Surrey IA to have 15 mbps or more.

“You have remembered to factor in the native FTTP areas too?” Yes
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
@Blackmamba

Who is "John"? Apart from that, yes work continues towards the Surrey target, but how will anyone know it is met without more transparency and in view of the latest NAO report will we ever know if more FTTP should be deployed?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broadband Watcher and John.
The transparency is showing across Surrey by the take up rate on the BD UK rate this has been done by Katie's 365 days advertising plus Walters. A Surrey SCC person has calculated the post codes that will NOT be over the 15 meg down (94%) I have checked many CAB locations and Fibre Nodes and they have spare fibre available.
The NAO report is old data ( 6 months lag ) the provision of fibre FTTC/P is being held back due to the work load on the provision of CAB,s this is MY
observation.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broadband watchers and John Doe.
I have also observed that on Openreach Web/page the list of Exchanges have not increased since September( total Exchanges ) but have inserted FTTC/P and other services I have loged all exchanged since 2011 January.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John. doe.
I have just checked CAB in Geen Lane and it is available for service plus a Cab 26 over the Border in Hants information has been cascaded.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John Doe.
The change over time is running at 6 working days ordered today in Hants.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi John Doe and Others.
Openreach Where and When more Exchanges on List an Extra of 300 aprox total pages 66 from 61 over the weekend.
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