Skip Navigation

How will Superfast Cymru deliver 40% at over 100 Mbps
Wednesday 04 March 2015 10:59:38 by Andrew Ferguson

The Superfast Cymru project has declared that the half way point has been met, though as our own research shows those in the more rural areas of Wales will distinctly disagree with this milestone. Or more interest has been an assertion made by the Welsh Cabinet in terms of the speeds people will receive when the project has completed.

Superfast Cymru in terms of superfast and cable coverage as of 1st March 2015
Click image for full size version

"Superfast Cymru will mean that the majority of homes and businesses will be able to access broadband download speeds in excess of 30Mbps by 2016, with at least 40% of all the premises in the intervention area also benefitting from access to services in excess of 100Mbps. This is in line with the EU’s ambitions for widespread superfast broadband by 2020. To support this ambition, the EU is contributing £90 million via the ERDF programme to assist funding the delivery and roll-out of Superfast Cymru across Wales."

Extract from written statement by Welsh Cabinet

The figure of 100 Mbps and 40% coverage may make some people excited as generally these sorts of speeds are not achievable with FTTC and our analysis of the cable coverage (28%) in Wales shows coverage is well below that figure, so even with native FTTP deployed as part of Superfast Cymru a 40% target looks very unlikely.

So how will this 40% figure be met, well it won't, the key to understanding what it means is buried in a redacted copy of the Superfast Cymru contract and the keyword is CAPABLE. So what the 40% figure really means is that Fibre on Demand (FTTPoD) will be available from cabinets covering at least 40% of the premises in the intervention area, and with a three year contract and a wholesale cost of £99/month and an install fee of £1500 and upwards this is not a product that home owners will be rushing to buy, for businesses it does provide a useful product between the basic GEA-FTTC services and a full leased line from BT or one of the other leased line providers.

We looked at the coverage of superfast services in Wales 3 weeks ago and the latest chart in this news item shows the pace of change, with overall superfast coverage rising from 69.3% to 72% now. The amount of native FTTP (available at wholesale pricing the same as FTTC and at speeds of 40, 80 and up to 330) has not jumped significantly at 0.1% overall still, even though a few more locations now have access. More have access to a fibre based solution, but they may receive speeds below 30 Mbps and for some very long lines even below existing ADSL/ADSL2+ speeds, coverage of what is termed fibre based stands at 75.9%.


Posted by ian72 over 2 years ago
Is FTTPoD still on hold at BT? If it is, does someone know for certain that BT will offer it again and expand the footprint? If not this may not be the solution to >100Mbs.
Posted by adslmax over 2 years ago
FTTPoD is pretty pointless to be honest. Overpriced and not worth it.
Posted by mikeluff over 2 years ago
I had an interesting conversation with SFC about my CAB which sites between two FTTC enabled cabs. When I gave them my postcode they said the reason mine hadn't been done was because my postcode was listed as getting FTTP. Now if that's right then I hope it's native and not OD as my house is a good 800m or so away!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
In that case it would be native.
Posted by mikeluff over 2 years ago
Let's hope so because the stick I've had in work from everyone because their cabs here in Pembrokeshire have all been enabled has been ever go slightly annoying!
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
I'm intrigued by the notion that meeting 100Mbps *has* to mean FTTPoD. I'm not so convinced ... because I expect that the addition of vectoring to FTTC will allow this to be achieved too.

The guide on TBB suggests that 45% of people live within 400m of a cabinet. Would vectoring give 100Mbps within 400m?

Eircom were getting 300m with a 9dB margin, so it looks plausible.

VM's coverage wouldn't help, as that isn't part of the intervention area.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Also intrigued by the new statement by the Welsh cabinet that 40% will get *in excess of* 100Mbps. The snippet from the contract indicates *a minimum* of 100Mbps PPIR - so a sync speed of exactly 100Mbps will meet the terms of the contract. Not "in excess of".
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Vectoring rolled out by march 2016. Maybe but not holding breath
Posted by wittgenfrog over 2 years ago
My "Exchange" is due to go Fibre (FTC I assume) in September. In common with most people on my Exchange (Lanteg)_ I'm well over 800m from the exchange, so I assume this means no Fibre at all?

At present my <6Mbps ADSL drops-out regularly when its windy (who'd expect wind in Wales!).
I'll believe ANY fibre, let alone 100Mbpswhen I see it, or rather I'm connected to it.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
LOL - true.
But I guess the word "capable" comes to the rescue there too; it probably means that BT only need to have announced a vectoring rollout, and demonstrated performance characteristics by then.

Do we know of any other contract that has a 100Mbps clause in it?
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Distance from exchange won't matter - it is the distance from the cabinet that is important in FTTC.

But in Lanteg's case, all the plans appear to be for FTTP - including all 3 cabinets and 5 of the 15 exchange-only bundles. Distance won't matter then, but you will need to be in one of the areas being upgraded.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
I would urge a degree of caution on the FTTP planned stuff, it does not always turn out that way, some cabinet areas have gained FTTC instead of FTTP i.e. plans are subject to change at any point.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
I have a feeling in the next few weeks that many FTTC will go to FTTP in Surrey as many new customers have been barred from ordering the same way as fibre on demand was implemente.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
It's to day that a fibre line is being fitted just returned from location in the Hindhead Area HDJ showing on Openreach Where and When but not on number.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba Please keep your comments relevant to the article. Hindhead is NOT part of Wales. As has been suggested to you on a number of occasions you should start your own threads in the forum rather than the news articles.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba - define many? 20 in the Hindhead area, or 100,000 across Surrey.

Which magic cabinets have the option of FTTC and native FTTP too?

I know a couple do in Surrey but a long way from being able to use the word 'MANY'.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Hello Surrey Obsessed Trouser Snake,

In a few areas some premises a long way from the cabinet hence are unable to receive the speeds required by the BDUK contract are receiving FTTP to remedy this and boost coverage.

It's not 'many', it's outlying areas. BT aren't going to deliver FTTP en masse to FTTC premises that meet contractual requirements.

No idea what you're on about with regards to customers being barred from ordering due to FTTPoD.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
Thanks for confirming my observation for the customers on BD UK in Surrey the person who lives in the old home of the Welsh MP David Lloyd George who is on Hindhead CAB 7 one of the fibre will be off the CAB node if they are under the 15 meg target. There are a few more post codes on this CAB that will not get 15 meg
Posted by leexgx over 2 years ago
i thought FTTC happened first then FTTP after as the FTTP as the fibre comes from the FTTC cabs , unless FTTC is infeasible (if BT bothered to do FTTP unless you want a lease line for £600 for 100/100mb) just lucky where i am the cab is less then 100m from me (i can see the cab if i look out the window) so straight 80/20 on VDSL (it could probably do more if it was not capped to 80/20 on the line profile)
Posted by leexgx over 2 years ago
above is rare case thought most people i see on avg get around 30/8 ish (why i say most people never get 80/20 unless you never going to be charged more for it, just get 40/10)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Fttp does NOT automatically follow after fttc appears. Fibre on demand becomes an option.

A handful of fttc areas have had additional infil of fttp to the slower properties, so can order both. In those cases fttp costs same as fttc unless you order 200 or 300 Mbps option
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew staff.
I am saying that a CAB that requires FTTC/P status will be used when the post code is unable to surport 15 meg if it is economical to do so in (Surrey,s contract). If they do not they will not get to the 99.7% target. I think it will be used on the BD UK cabs as they are in positions that are more prone when the ratio Is 5.5 to. 1. BD UK. 620 Cabs.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
This morning I have checked 3 Cabs which do not have access for NEW customers all in HDJ so I feel these CABs will soon be having FTTC/P provided it is the best option in Costings.
Posted by cymru123 over 2 years ago
It will be interesting to see the deployment over the next year as work goes on to complete as much before the Superfast Cymru completion date.

Not sure how many exchanges have been designated a FTTP only exchange, for example the Bonvilston Exchange which is estimated to become FTTP live in June, but it will be interesting to see the take up and to see how much it will alter the figures.

The exchanges near me, which have seen some FTTC deployment under the SFC programme, seem to be starting the FTTP deployment stages of the Superfast Cymru rollout.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Are you saying that BT agreed to a contract that covered not just premises as they stood at the time of signing but all properties built subsequently? This seems extraordinary, the intervention area would've been defined by the OMR at the start.

Or is what you're saying that full cabs will be entirely overbuilt with FTTP? This would, surely, depend on the definition of 'coverage', but seems vanishingly unlikely.

Why you felt the need to run your ongoing Superfast Surrey advertising stream on this news article on Wales is beyond me. There's a forum for this.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Not thought perhaps that those cabinets which are currently closed off to new orders may just need new line cards and perhaps tie pairs?

It seem likely to you, for even a moment, that building out FTTP to the entire cabinet and splitting uptake between existing FTTC DSLAM and FTTP is going to be a better commercial proposition than standing a second cabinet in an area that's been previously surveyed and has power and fibre nearby?
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
I think you will find that BT/Openreach covered all the premesis that are covered on the post code using it as one telephone line eg the postal address.
This then is calculated in the claw back money in the BD UK contract giving a % I have not seen the contract it is just my observation. If you divide the total exchange lines by the planned ports on the FTTC it gives you a price per exchange area.
Posted by dvvrue95 over 2 years ago
All seems a bit a bit academic really from my recent experience. The cabinet serving my telephone line was recently upgraded to FTTP but being approx 3km from the cabinet was too far away to benefit Not only that though, because the cabinet has been "upgraded" to FTTP there is no further option in the current Fibre roll-out to improve my line speed. I also live in a heavily wooded area that makes options like 3G/4G and satellite impractical.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
If a cabinet is upgraded to FTTP, then it means that they've rolled out infrastructure usually to within 50m of each property and it is just a case of ordering.

Are you sure that you did not mean FTTC, which is distance limited in terms of the possible speed.
Posted by dvvrue95 over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew, yes quite right I got my C and P's mixed up it should have referred to FTTC
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.