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Bromley Council refuses to match fund to help rural parts of Borough
Monday 13 April 2015 17:27:27 by Andrew Ferguson

The pain of statistics means that no matter how good a target for coverage or speed has been set, unless it is really 100% there will be those still missing out. Step forward the villages of Downe, Cudham, Keston and Chelsfield just inside the south east corner of the M25 and part of the London Borough of Bromley rather than Kent.

Local press coverage of a campaign to bring superfast connectivity to the around 3,000 residents tells us that Bromley Council has refused to match fund the £586,000 of funding that has been put on the table by Westminster. While the decision seems harsh, a lot depends on what the council felt it would have to cut back on and coverage for Bromley as a whole is outstanding with 95% able to access a superfast service, and the 1.7% under 15 Mbps seems to pretty much comprise of these villages.

thinkbroadband calculation of current fibre, superfast and new USO broadband coverage in London Borough of Bromley and the Orpington Constituency - 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
Bromley London Borough 95.9% 95% 84.7% 0% 0.6% 1.8% 4.1%
Orpington Constituency held by CON 94.6% 92.8% 81.9% 0% 1.1% 3.6% 7%

The difference between the Bromley council footprint and the Orpington constituency relects better the local picture. The cabinets that are missing out on FTTC appear to be cabinet 42 (Orpington), cabinet 23 (Farnborough), cabs 9 and 22 (Biggin Hill) and cab 6 (Knockholt), they all have a more dispersed set of postcodes connected to them, meaning that while a good number would get superfast from a VDSL2 upgrade, the upgrades would leave significant numbers of premises missing out or only getting marginally faster speeds than the 1 to 5 Mbps that seem possible now. In effect it is easy to see why these cabinets missed out on the commercial roll-out, and even in a phase 1 BDUK project they might have missed out.

As things stand until the Government (which of course may change in a few weeks) provide funding to actually go beyond the 95% figure we will keep hearing from areas like this. One option might be for small and medium businesses in the area to pool their £3,000 connection vouchers and fund the build of a fibre cabinet, or maybe a FTTH/FTTP roll-out. If the estimate of 1,000 businesses affected is correct then plenty of scope to build up a funding scheme away from Bromley council.


Posted by chilting over 2 years ago
These are affluent villages, therefore, the contribution that the residents make in council tax must be quite considerable. They are probably paying more tax than the services provided to them cost.
For Bromley Council to fail to fund their superfast broadband is totally unjustifiable and goes against everything that the BDUK scheme was set up to provide.
Posted by ribble over 2 years ago
Bromley has no BDUK funding.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
No BDUK1 funding but the article says that £586K government funding is available. It's a shame that no such funding appears to be available for other London not spots or for those on EO lines.
Posted by chilting over 2 years ago
No BDUK funding but the sentiment is the same.
Central government cash matched by local authority cash.
If you let things slip and standards fall a task is never completed!
Posted by nervous over 2 years ago
@chilting Really
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
vouchers cannot be used to fund cabinets --that against state aid rules -- connection vouherts are to enable cabs -- nto fund infrastrcuture
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
the areas in question are in london and there is no BDUK money spend in london
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff
The two Cabs 9 and 12 on Biggin Exchange do they have customers that are over the Surrey border that will not get the 15 meg target.
Posted by KarlAustin over 2 years ago
chilting - I very much doubt that. Council tax is banded, it's based on a formula. It doesn't work the way you think it does. Also, the council tax receipts will account for at most, about 20% of the total receipts of the council that are needed to provide the services.
Posted by chilting over 2 years ago
The point is that if superfast targets start slipping we will end up with "Superfast Not Spots".
The aim of giving the whole country Superfast Broadband must continue to be a priority to the point that the very final 0.5%, or less, have to rely on satellite.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@chilting and it is continuing, Bromley looked at their current 95% coverage and probably decided to do no more, but once funding for final 5% appears then things will change, or Virgin Media expansion may have covered a few more areas as they expand their network on the fringes.
Posted by ribble over 2 years ago
Spot the DSLAM cabinet
Posted by themanstan over 2 years ago
The DSLAM cabinet is even listed on the infinity checker for TN16 3AD postcode as a location. But the area shows as under review...
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
under review -- means is waiting for funding in this case its not part of commercial prgramme, no budk so waiting for other form of funding
Posted by ribble over 2 years ago
That cab is commercial not BDUK and is already stood. Just not completed
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
may hav hit high cost of power / spine so will be stuck until it can be unstuck
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