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.
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.
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.