Another contract signed and this time its the extension for the ConnectedCounties project, with the new contract aiming to extend superfast coverage to 95%. The Open Market Review completed in December 2014, and the project website is one of the few give a nice running tally of which cabinets are live.
As this is a large project combining two counties we are just going to list the two counties, and the worst performing constituency in each county. It is interesting to see that Hertfordshire has already hit the 2015 90% superfast coverage target, with Buckinghamshire 10 percentage points behind.
|thinkbroadband calculation of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire progress towards 90% superfast goal - 5th April 2015|
|Council Area||% fibre based||% superfast (>30 Mbps)||% cable||% Openreach FTTP||% Under 2 Mbps USC||% Under 5 Mbps (new USO)||% Under 15 Mbps|
|Buckinghamshire County Excludes Milton Keynes)||86.2%||80.3%||31.6%||0%||1.2%||5.4%||16%|
|North East Hertfordshire Constituency||69.5%||67.4%||58.4%||0%||0.6%||10.2%||21.5%|
As with other counties, the two least served areas appear to be those with the largest landmass, and the situation in Hertfordshire also highlights how the targets can be hit without the need to bring every community up to the headline coverage figure.
There have been vocal complaints about the shifting of the Universal Service Coverage target from 2012 to 2015, but comparing Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire you get a feel for what benefits FTTC can bring, i.e. enabling a cabinet that is 4 to 5km from its exchange with VDSL2 can virtually remove the USC problem in that area. We say virtually as once you are more than 2km from a VDSL2 fibre cabinet the performance is decreasing to the point where 2 Mbps may not be possible.