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Surrey announces formal completion of main phase of fibre roll-out
Thursday 19 March 2015 15:25:06 by Andrew Ferguson

The Superfast Surrey project aimed high in terms of fibre based coverage across the county and it has now announced the completion of the first phase of the project, which means high-speed fibre broadband is available to an extra 82,000 homes and businesses than if the project had not been run.

"This roll out has been delivered at an amazing rate of nearly 200 homes and businesses per working day, transforming lives across the county, and making Surrey the best connected county in Britain.

Whilst celebrating this achievement, I recognise that there is still work to do to reach those remaining premises located in the more technically challenging and harder to reach places of the county. This is not, therefore, the end of the story and as a council we would like to do more.

To understand the full scope of the remaining challenge, we intend to run a further investigation known as an Open Market Review (OMR). The results will enable us to identify how to prioritise the use of any remaining funds to address issues of broadband coverage and speed across the county.

Surrey County Council Deputy Leader Peter Martin

Looking at the claim to be the best connected county, we have looked at where Surrey stands in respect to some 420 local authorities comprising the UK (this includes counties, unitary authorities, district councils etc) and Surrey is certainly the highest county in terms of fibre based coverage.

Relative ranking of Surrey in UK fibre league table
Click image for full size version

Update 6:45pm After one person in the comments thought the coverage percentages were from the county council, we feel we should highlight that the percentages are independently calculated by thinkbroadband, and the fibre figure carries no speed qualifier, hence we usually also include a superfast figure. The difference between those two figures reflecting those too far from their cabinet to get superfast (30 Mbps or more) but many will get a speed boost still.

The areas ahead of Surrey County include a number of cities and London Boroughs such as Brighton and Hove, Portsmouth, Harrow, Harringey, Kingston upon Thames, Plymouth and Derby to name a few. Even when we add the qualifier of premises able to access a connection of 30 Mbps or faster Surrey is still the top county.

Relative ranking of Surrey in UK superfast league table
Click image for full size version

Hertfordshire appears to be the next closest county at 90.1% superfast, those areas with more superfast coverage is again the urban areas like Bristol, Camden and Bournemouth.

The actual figures for Surrey are 97.6% availability of fibre based solutions, 93.4% are capable of accessing a superfast service and 2.6% of premises have access to the Openreach GEA-FTTP product. There is still more FTTP expected from the Surrey project and interestingly in some areas as the size of the remaining budget became apparent there has actually been overbuild of a limited number of slow FTTC areas with FTTP. It is highly likely that in the few days since we did our calculations that some extra areas have been enabled so we will continue to track activity in Surrey, and also aim to start producing 5 Mbps and 15 Mbps availability data to help judge the amount of work a new 5 Mbps USO would require. The 15 Mbps has been a target speed in a number of the BDUK projects, with some critics of the BDUK process claiming superfast has been dropped down to 15 Mbps - which it never was.

Comments

Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
It would be interesting to know how much money the Surrey BDUK project has left in the pot after this phase of the project when, presumably, BT has met the contractual requirements. In addition, it would be good to know how much money might be expected from the "clawback" provisions of the contract.
As far as a need for an OMR is concerned, I assume this is mainly for "notspots" in otherwise commercial areas.
Posted by wetherbypond about 1 year ago
I do object to statements like "Surrey have 97.6% availability of fibre based solutions" Availability to who? So can we all have Superfast? No. The reality is that statement is disingenuous: it strictly means "no you can't have Superfast unless you live within 1.8km of a cabinet". That is very different to 97% availability of fibre.

So it is rather rich for Surrey CC to crow about being the best County when Surrey residents are clubbing together to buy their own cabinets for £30,000, £56,000, £83,000. How does that square with 97%?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
The 97.6% are sourced from our own calculations, i.e. independent of them and confirm their comment about most fibre'd county. Note that we did include the figure for the number able to get superfast speeds, and thought the inclusion of two different charts with different labels made that clear.

Surrey is a large county in terms of population, so some areas with no fibre is no surprise, hence the 97% rather than 100%.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
If it's 97% coverage (by premises) it's an absolute guarantee that there will be some without cable or FTTC/P coverage. As there are approx 455,000 premises there will be around 14,000 of them, and the nature of networks and geography being what it is, there will be clusters of no service.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@andrew
The 6:45 update says that the "fibre" figures have no speed qualifier.

Does that means it includes properties who can get no speed (no service) whatsoever?
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
They doe not mention the USC. Does complete mean everyone gets at least 2Mbps?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Main phase not total completion - two diffent things.

Correct, no speed qualifier. So the difference between 97.6% and 93.4% may vary depending on how optimistic or pessimistic you want to be with line length versus performance and all the other factors.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
When councils say

Fibre based coverage, they generally mean those connected to enabled cabinets, i.e. out fibre figure.

High-speed fibre, often means 15 Mbps or faster.

Superfast fibre can vary between 24 and 30 Mbps, we work to 30 Mbps to give a more worst case scenario.
Posted by wetherbypond about 1 year ago
Hi Andrew
The distinction is clear. I am connected to a fibre cabinet, so I am part of that 97% fibre is available figure. But i can't get a VDSL service. And 150 of my neighbours are excluded too. That story is repeated throughout the outskirts of our town. It must be made clear - connected to a fibre cabinet is good for headline statistics but not a guarantee that VDSL is available to residents.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Correct and hence why we endeavour to include both fibre and superfast figures.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
What I wondered was whether your figures for 'availability of fibre' was guided by just the physical connection to an enabled cab, or came with any kind of proviso that a connection could be made.

I assume that council figures don't assume the connection can be made. But I wasn't sure about your calculations...
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
The Surrey project money only provides 100 VDSL broadband services per cabinet, limited by the number of tie cable pairs. BT pay to increase capacity when the 100 services are fully allocated. This has taken BT 6 months in some places with roadworks repeated to add ducting, with many cabinets still waiting for such an upgrade. How can anyone claim such high "access to fibre" when the basic infrastructure in the ground is not present?
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
coppe4 actually the infrastrucutre is there but additional work / cost needs to be factored in once over 100 connections per cab and the cabs will have been profiled by the number of premises there is -- i assume there has been major challenge by the la to get cabs connected and project completed -- those cabs are are connected are then in life
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Of course councils were and are at liberty to fully populate the line cards and install copper and second cabs if needed to serve every premise, but that would be at cost to the council.

Once demand has been shown e.g. hit the 100 you mention its down to Openreach commercially to add more.

If satellite broadband were sold on the basis you wish to impose on FTTC then they could only advertise that less than 0.1% can actually subscribe with satellites in Sky at present.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
There seems to be confusion here. Putting more line cards into a cabinet is a simple operation. It requires no roadworks. Even if not all the tie cables were pre-installed, the ducting for that will be there and not require roadworks either. Of course if a second cabinet is required, then that might well involve roadworks, but how often is that?
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
I understand the argument that you make, but what is the cost of installing a bit of plastic duct and tie line in the trench when the job is first done compared with the costs of delay and in some cases having to re-excavate the trench for a second time? The same split of LA/BT costs, which would be less if the job was done once, could still have been made. Too late now. Expect more delays and disruption as demand grows.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
@TheEulerID. No confusion. In Surrey there are documented cases of repeat roadworks, complete with road traffic disruption (used by BT as one of the reasons for delays). We have seen extra ducting installed as the job was not done properly in the first place.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
I can imagine things being done wrong or due to complications. However, it surely isn't a capacity issue. The only duct that matters there is the one from the DP to the FTTC cabinet which is never more than a few tens of metres long and is, in general, under the pavement, not the road.

Roadworks are more to do with exchange backhaul and power provision.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Euler and John doe.
Remember when FTTC /P starts to kick in the customers are off loaded from the FTTC as they are diverted to fibre to the home this is in operation in Surrey.
The main figure to look at is how many customers who are unable to receive 15 meg at the post code over the 450K lines. The customers that are paying for a service over the 15 meg that is their perogative so they have no gripe.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
I am talking about repeat work on tie cable runs, some across roads, some under pavements but still needing traffic lights. Recently in Albury. Same problem in Shere. Total delays of up to six months, but annoyingly announced in one month bites. Similar works in the commercial areas in the past.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
BM - maybe BT are increasing capacity by giving up on FTTC upgrades and providing FFTP, but no evidence yet of it being widespread? Is that is what is happening in Elstead cab 1? The BT wholesale checker suggests not, with ADSL upgrade now promised for 1st April. Has been not available since end of last year.
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 year ago
@ Blackmamba - Where in Surrey are people being removed from FTTC and moved to FTTP?
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 year ago
@ cooperfarncombe - The cabinet is full, new capacity is expected by 1 April (although the dates on this one keep being moved back).
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Cooperfarncombe.
I think you may have got it in one please remember the checker can change in 24 hours. Could it be the 1st of Aprial that the Cabs are designated to go to FTTC /P and the DP,s will be marked by the Post Code this is just a gess.
I have no link to Surrey project or Openreach hype.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broodband Watchers.
The Elstead Cab 1 provided under BD/Uk when it was opened the old Cab was in the old post office garden the reason for the move not know but has been shifted to a new location by footpath. The area could be fibre cabled much cheaper than providing a new extra Cab if all the ports are used on the Exesting one.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Cooper GG.
The above starts to cascade to Elstead Cab 2 this I feel will be bypassed by fibre DP,s are showing ducting on main road 10 days ago no FTTC standing by the river over the bridge. I have noticed these works when going shopping.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@cooper
I watched the FTTC cab outside my window get new tie pairs a couple of weeks ago. Telent engineers pulled cable through existing ducts - which went across the road.

Chatting to them, they said they were constantly busy on adding more tie cables at different cabinets, but that the majority of them needed new ducts adding, not just the cables.

I can understand that there is no need to provision all tie pairs in one go (the guys' time is better spent on a new cab than on over-provisioning an old cab), but it seems daft to not fully-provision enough empty duct space in the first place.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
BM
Going shopping in/through Elstead? Strange route to take!

Are you saying that, since adding an FTTC twin to Elstead's cab 1, BT have moved the original PCP out of the garden?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Gerarda.
I think if you check on Thinkbroadband map you will find there is not many post codes showing below 2 meg across Surrey.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
WWWombat- absolutely. Especially daft as this omission of sufficient ducting was pointed out by me to Surrey County Council before their project started. At that time the lack of duct capacity was observed in the commercial deployments.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
@bm - while the Thinkbroadband data is a good guide the data I have from the BT wholesale checker for < 2Mbps provides the BT estimate for the Surrey intervention area. When I get back to my PC I will extract number of premises less than 2 Mbps. From memory it is not insignificant. The data I have was at end of 2014, so maybe now is the time to refresh my database. How do Surrey derive their data?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi cooper.
As I am not linked to Surrey project Katie would not say where they get there data from I did asked her if it was from Thinkbroadband she left the request open. If you have this information please send it via E/mail I am sure you can work it out name Brusher.
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 year ago
@ Blackmamba - Where are you getting all this information from!? Elstead Cab 1 is full and awaiting new capacity. It looks like a Huawei 4 card cab and they are putting in a 6 port cab which also needs another fibre fed back to the exchange.

FTTP for Elstead was completed in 2014 - there is no more planned rollouts there!
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
Either BT, Andycz or Blackmamba will be "fooled" on April the first! My bet is that Andy is correct, but that there will be more delay, probably not announced on the BT Wholesale checker until just before April the first if previous form is followed. Happy to be proved wrong though.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
It seems bizarre to me that a sufficiently big enough diameter duct (or ducts) had not been installed in the first place. Just how much does a slightly bigger diameter tube cost compared to that of digging up the road again?

As usual with these things, I suspect cock-up rather than anything more sinister. I simply can't think of a single valid reason why it would have been done that way.
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
It seems absurd to suggest that it's cheaper to deploy FTTP to an area that's already filled a 4 port Huawei cabinet than to deploy another FTTC cabinet.

I have no issues believing that FTTP has and will continue to be used in BDUK deployments throughout the country to plug gaps at the edge of FTTC areas, but to render the cabinet redundant because it's full? That seems absurd.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
On the fttp to replace a cabinet, waiting to see actual situation actual happen, and how Openreach handle providers that do not want to provide GEA-FTTP but have customers on FTTC
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
I can imagine some premised served by a cabinet being FTTP enabled if they are too far away for an acceptable service (which very likely involves roadworks), but I cannot forsee the circumstances where an existing enabled cabinet was actually replaced by FTTP.
I suppose a change in plans before a cabinet was fully enabled is just about possible, but I seriously doubt it.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@TheEulerID the long distance lines has happened in a limited number of cases but if this was a policy for all cabs I would bet Surrey would be shouting about it
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
I believe the duct problem is Surrey wide and probably nationwide. See here for more.

http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=3861&cpage=1#comment-1038

Surrey were told of the inevitable consequences of not installing sufficient capacity in the first place, but took no action.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
Yikes. So is this some shortsighted accountancy decision? The extra cost of installing two plastic ducts at the same time would surely have been marginal.
I suppose this way BDUK aren't picking up the cost of installing the second, but short-sighted or what?
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
Surrey should have insisted on the second duct intalled at the first pass and paid for by BT if only to demonstrate that tax-payers money was spent in such a way to minimise future disruption. Too late for Surrey, but other LAs still have time to ensure common sense prevails.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Cooperfarncombe.
This scenario above did happen at Cab 6 Churt when the Openreach crew contacted BD UK and they offered to provide an extra duct as they had to replace a dropped duct over the weekend. The request was turned down due to cost.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
As the ratio of 1 to 5.5 for the Cabs in Surrey one being in ( Lucies and Katie's section) when their target was 94% and with the results from Thinkbroadband stating 93.4% backing it up. I think when all the data is in it will show near 95.5+%.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@eular Id 600 cabs at the NAO rate of £23k average is £13.8m, FTTP 2.6%x 138,000 x £800= £2.8m, total £16.6m from a contract headline of £40m (est £30.3m if we exclude BT's operational costs) where Surrey/public contribution £23m.

The game begins on BT's contribution which is self certified.

Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@eular ID IA of 138k is too big so £2.8m is an over estimate.
@wwwombat a little help please, so Surrey FTTP,
a cof205 cable from AGN to DP + a manifold serving average 5 customers. How much? average 1500m of cabling + a manifold.
Posted by RAConnell about 1 year ago
Rubbish. I'm in Guildford much less that 1.8km from cabinet and still no FFTC fast broadband. there are very many local variations.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Value.
The total Cabs for Surrey is 620 stated by Lucie and Katie at the start of the contract but no location given also there was no indication of fibre to the home.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Blackmamba so we add a futher £460k and while Surrey need to ask where is the money, the more interesting question is about the quality and depth of the rollout planned.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Value
The depth will be how many customers who are in the band 500-- 1500 who will not get 15 meg on the post code over the 450K lines. Eg 99.7% that is my interpretation of the project from the BT consultant I did ask him three times.
SCC can estermate the clawback and I exspect Lucie/Katie will have paid all the bills by the end of Aprial .
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Value.
I have checked on Sam Knows and there are many exchanges showing FTTC/P
In Surrey this pushes fibre further towards the long lines many have fibre to the DP,s in situ.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Blackmamba - not quite, VDSL is a stop gap,so it about the foundations for a full transition. It appears a smash and grab for subsidy. You have not referenced BT's investment, which in normal gap funding would be spent first.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@Blackmamba An exchange being marked as FTTC/P is no guarantee that native GEA-FTTP is available to order.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Andrew staff
I think you will find that service will be available in the next Q1 on certain locations on many exchanges in Hindhead one has already been provided.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
Here is more smash and grab!

http://www.guildford-dragon.com/2015/03/23/campaigner-says-superfast-broadband-upgrade-in-rural-areas-is-causing-unnecessary-mayhem/

My data for each premise from the BT Wholesale checker for the Surrey intervention area shows 9.6% / 16.12% less than 15 / 24 Mbps respectively (may have improved slightly since Dec 2014). This taken with the report by "The Dragon" casts a different light on the SCC claim.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Many exchanges in Hindhead? How many does Hindhead have?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
In terms of worst parts of Surrey, Tandridge District looks worst 10% under 15 Mbps. 3.2% under 5 Mbps. 2.8 under 2 Mbps with fibre coverage at 95.7%, superfast 84.3%.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@vfm
Sorry, no idea of actual costs for those bits, either alone or including the civils work to install & connect.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@bm
The FTTC/P label only means there is FTTP somewhere, but no indication of where or why. It certainly isn't an indication that it is used for *any* lines with long d-sides, let alone that it is used systematically for all such lines.

Of course, given the high percentage needed for the contract, Surrey would likely be the first place it had to happen.
...
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
...
But frankly it stinks trying to converse with you on here, limited to 600 chars. It makes most of your posts unintelligible too.

Why do you persist in not bothering to use the forum? Laziness?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@wwwombat sorry time! NAO confirm generous average of c£23k for cabinet/path before BT contribution. Will seek to get a public confirmation of an indicative FTTP cost per DP. cof205 cable, install with manifold. Working estimate is about £4k assuming customers then pays the final drop cost.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@VfM if native GEA-FTTP is deployed to an area, then JUST the £99 Openreach charge to do the final drop, which providers often spread across an 18 month contract. Like they do the £50 charge for self-install FTTC.

Some may see excess construction charges, if cost would be high though.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Andrew, native GEA-FTTP could be a single splitter connecting to 2/3 DPs. ECCs could be tackled if the all the clawback monies (capital, take-up and BT's bid contribution) - were rehashed as a state aid measure for those left behind. Good deal of it already in Cornwall and some in Surrey, so it will be more affordable than we imagine. Incremental cost of overlay (man/cable/fibre) is about £2 a metre - whether in duct or over pole.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Urm I think you missed my point, for areas where GEA-FTTP shows as available to order as WBC-FTTP on the checkers then its available to order for an install of JUST £99 which is often spread over the term of the contract with the retail ISP.

Was trying to show that the customer (home-owner) should pay a fixed fee for the final drop, apart from in a small number of situations.
Posted by davidnye about 1 year ago
@andrew, Am I right in thinking that these estimated coverage figures are based on an extrapolation of TBB speed test results using estimated line lengths by post code?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@davidnye Nothing to do with our speed test results at all, the lag in take-up of superfast services would mean we are a long way behind what is available.

A whole new data set and lots of 7 day weeks.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi cooper and dnye.
It is impossible for the data to be incorrect because the results are only a small % out over Thinkbroadband results and Surreys target.
Posted by cooperfarncombe about 1 year ago
BM - I cannot put my finger on it, but I think there is something wrong with your logic. A target is not met just because the target is close to a third party's estimate of the actual situation. An assessment of whether the target is met can only be made when the actual situation is measured using the contractually defined methodology, and Surrey will not say what that is.
Posted by davidnye about 1 year ago
@andrew, Nevertheless, sadly we cannot rely on your estimates if you do not publish the methodology.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi broadband watchers.
As Thinkbroadband map was down today but is running know so unable to reply to your remarks as the results show yesterday.


Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi cooper.
I think the Surrey,s method is using the information taken off Thinkbroadband map data speed at 1610 mtrs under 15 Meg.
Posted by wetherbypond about 1 year ago
The Thinkbroadband map is helpful but the VDSL coverage filter would be more helpful if the criteria was set to 15Mbps and above. The yellow 2-24Mbps FTTC estimate band is too broad as it covers a lot of people from a quite usable fibre service to those that will be refused a fibre service because of long lines. 15 Mbps is the Superfast Surrey's definition of Superfast - so knowing who is under 15Mbps would be more menaingful in seeing if their data is correct. Can that data be overlayed on the map?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi wether.
Yesterday Thinkbroadband staff did quote 15 K customers are under the 15 meg window in Surrey giving 97%.
Posted by wetherbypond about 1 year ago
I'd like to see the data overlayed on the map to corroborate our local data. Our local data shows 50% less than 15Mbps on 2 fibre cabinets.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi wether
Are the speeds correct to the post codes 50% seems rather high on two Cabs.
Posted by wetherbypond about 1 year ago
Hi BlackM, I have data for phone numbers that can't get >15Mbps. I logged everyone with distance/ speed. The Postcode level data is inaccurate. one FTC cab has 50% >15Mbps and the other has less than 50% >15Mbps. We are sub-urban and rural.

I would like to see the data to justify the 97%/94%. I'd like to see data for my cabs so I can co-rroborate. We are a minority but there are a lot of rural cabs with lots of long lines, and a lot of groups now trying to raise money to buy their own cabs to give superfast - a mockery of "we are the best County in the UK" PR.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi wether.
I agree with you over the post code data it is not correct on Thinkbroadband map but unable to convince them over the position GPS.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Wether
Just place the the post codes and I will check for you in my d/base.
Posted by wetherbypond 12 months ago
Data for individual properties shows only 56% of our two local cabinets can get a VDSL service. Surrey CC count our two cabinets as "able to get fibre based services" so we are counted as part of their 97%. Using this figure is disingenuous.
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