The usual pattern of stealth announcements for superfast broadband contract extensions continues (blame the General Election) with Peterborough and Cambridgeshire signing up with BT for the phase 2 improvements.
The current project is aiming for 90% superfast coverage by the end of 2015, with that original contract signed in March 2013. Our assessment of the current coverage for the councils in the area are as follows:
|thinkbroadband calculation of current fibre, superfast and new USO broadband coverage in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough- 13th April 2015|
|Council Area||% fibre based||% superfast (>30 Mbps)||% cable||% Openreach FTTP||% Under 2 Mbps USC||% Under 5 Mbps (new USO)||% Under 15 Mbps|
|Cambridgeshire County (overall)||88.7%||83%||49.6%||1.3%||1.6%||6.8%||13.2%|
|East Cambridgeshire District||77%||64.8%||22.7%||0%||2.9%||7.5%||18%|
|South Cambridgeshire District||82.7%||77.8%||47%||5.6%||1.7%||14.2%||19.9%|
To reach 95% superfast it is likely that some areas already enabled with FTTC will be revisited to improve the connectivity, which might be G.fast if the tech becomes available and power costs are reasonable, otherwise the use of FTTP (which many campaigners would prefer) may start to overlap with FTTC areas where the speed estimates are well below the superfast threshold. This overlapping is very much a function of the political and social media pressure on getting something rolled out as soon as possible.
With a roll-out rate of 200 to 300 cabinets going live across the UK each week, it is hard to envisage a FTTH roll-out of that speed covering maybe 25,000 to 40,000 premises every week. Not impossible, but it would require many more resources (i.e. workers) and the subsequent cost in terms of labour.