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£3.9m cashback for Better Broadband for Suffolk project
Wednesday 05 August 2015 17:51:05 by Andrew Ferguson

Suffolk is getting ever closer to its 85% of premises with the option of 24 Mbps or faster broadband, and it has signed its phase 2 contract with BT to push further. For those who have yet to benefit from the project the news that some £3.9m is going back to Suffolk to be re-invested in the project will be welcome news, though since it will take time to build the network we can still expect moans and groans for another couple of years.

The £3.9m is because the county has passed the magic 20% clawback threshold and thus this money is part of the much larger amount announced by BT last week. The clawback is almost 10% of the total value of the original phase 1 contract.

"This cash injection into the roll out programme is great news as we pass the 20% take up for high speed broadband in Suffolk.

This money will help us to maintain our current momentum in getting communities across Suffolk switched on. We are on course to hit our target of reaching 100,000 properties by the end of this year and entering our second agreed contract with BT to deliver even more coverage in 2016 and beyond.

We are committed to reaching 100% of properties by 2020.

It is important for all residents and businesses to understand that where high speed broadband service is available, they must contact their service provider to make the switch. It is not an automatic process.

Specific plans for the use of this additional money will become clearer in the next few months."

Leader of Suffolk County Council, Cllr Colin Noble

The declared total for Suffolk is just over 92,000 at the moment and our own figures suggest that they may need to deliver another 10,000 to 12,000 premises passed to hit the original 85% 24 Mbps superfast goal. Part of this difference may be down to new build activity in the county over the last couple of years since the original phase 1 market review was carried out.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast Broadband Coverage In Suffolk and its constituencies- coverage as of 5th August 2015
Area % fibre based % superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
(change since 11/07/15)
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 15 Mbps
Suffolk County 87.3% 79.2% 77.8% (+0.7) 21.9% 0.7% 2.3% 15.3%
Bury St Edmunds 87.4% 77% 75.2% (+0.5) 0% 0.3% 4.2% 17.3%
Central Suffolk 76.1% 67.1% 65.1% (+1.1) 24.6% 0.4% 1.4% 24.8%
Ipswich 98.4% 96.5% 96.4% (=) 88.8% 0.4% 0.7% 2.7%
South Suffolk 83.2% 71.2% 68.2% (+2) 4.4% 2.5% 2.4% 21.2%
Suffolk Coastal 81.9% 73.3% 71.5% (+0.1) 16.3% 0.6% 1.8% 18.5%
Waveney 94.6% 87.4% 86.9% (+0.9) 0% 0.9% 3.1% 8.9%
West Suffolk 87.2% 79.3% 78.2% (+0.7) 15.3% 0% 2.2% 16.2%

The level of FTTP coverage is climbing in Suffolk but as one family in Lavenham found recently in areas where native GEA-FTTP is available (cabinet 1 on EALAV in this case) it is not always straightforward and excess construction costs over £2,000 kicked in due to the fibre manifold being on the wrong side of the street and we presume no ducting being available requiring an expensive dig to run the fibre to the home. Fortunately the gotcha of excess costs is fairly rare and many may not realise that this can also affect you if ordering a telephone line to a property and the cost of deliver would be over several thousand pound.

For those keen to hold their councillors to account, the comment about 100% coverage by 2020 at what is presumed to be superfast speeds based on the context we recommend framing the statement so it cannot be denied in a couple of years.

Comments

Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
To see what the councillor meant as a 2020 goal, you probably need to go back to a local broadband plan that predates BDUK funding.

It looks like their "vision" is for superfast speeds, typically 100Mbps, to 100% of homes & businesses.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
Apparently Suffolk CC are still committed to upgrading all the sub 2Mbps lines by the end of they year though as they are not going to announce the plan until the autumn this does not leave much time for implementation
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