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10 million to have access to by end of 2020 and more superfast broadband
Tuesday 22 September 2015 09:53:06 by Andrew Ferguson

The BT Group which is under attack from various corners has laid out its wares for all to see today and is promising to take with speeds of 300 to 500 Mbps to some 10 million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of 2020. More importantly for rural broadband there is a commitment to participate in a Universal Service Obligation once it has been fully defined by Government/Ofcom of 5 to 10 Mbps.

The current wave of BDUK/BT projects are aiming at 90% superfast coverage which is likely to be met at the end of 2015 or in January 2016, then the phase 2 extension contracts will start to deliver in volume and are meant to provide the UK with coverage out to 95% of premises with speeds of 24 Mbps or faster. BT has already demonstrated the clawback mechanism with some £129m being re-invested and has today committed to a plan to take this coverage beyond 95% and this would mean that more premises in the UK will have access to superfast broadband than have access to mains gas.

For the speed freaks, Gigabit broadband will be made available on demand as part of the roll-out but no information on pricing, other than to say this will be a FTTP based product, it should be highlighted that some areas may actually get native FTTP rather than this will depend on the precise economics for an area - carefully no estimates have been given for the to FTTP ratio. The roll-out will continue once the 10 million premises passed mark has been reached and should reach the majority of UK premises within a decade.

To address some of the complaints over Openreach performance a new "View My Engineer" service will allow the end-user to receive progress updates about any engineer visits and provide information like engineers name and mobile number.

There is a good reason why BT cannot outright declare taking coverage at superfast speeds beyond 95% because the fate of the final 5% is in the hands of the Government and BDUK who are deciding very soon on what will be used for the final 5%. So for rural areas BT is saying it believes it can go further if given the opportunity. So today is about BT saying it is ready to deliver on various targets and is going it alone on the front to ten million premises.


Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Interesting, this will mean that VM will be the dominant market force for SFBB...
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Presume you mean ultrafast broadband?
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Yes, but I'm sure the definition will change to account for >1Gps being Ultra and >100MBps being super... we're running pout of superlatives!
Posted by zyborg47 about 1 year ago
LOL, some providers have difficulty providing 38Mb/s, they have no chance with 300

Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
It follows the £130m clawback, and this is encouraging. We are still awaiting announcements on the capital due for Phase1.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
VM might have (and keep) the edge on speeds, for marketing UFBB. I'm still not convinced that they can provide the performance in other aspects.

I think people are starting to realise that they're beginning to be offered more, on speed, than they need. I wonder how many will start to look into those other aspects, and how many will rate peak speed as the only point worth judging on.

Each to their own... if they are aware.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Ultrafast starts at 100 Mbps
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@themanstan 2
I'm heavily against the concept of "changing the definition" in the middle of widespread usage. You just end up with confusion, and everyone is left having to clarify whether they are using old or new usage. Old articles, dated before clarification was needed, become meaningless.

Why not just use ultra for >100Mbps, and hyper for >1Gbps?

BT have hit the problem with use of "NGA", "next generation access", as they are now onto "next next generation". They've chosen NGA2.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
superlatives are fine, a bit like getting a super sports car... speedo goes up to 300 MPH, but where can you find a road long enough and not 'controlled' to be able to get up to that speed??

It may lovely to boast you have 300Mbs, but I doubt many websites can go that fast!
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Can I request a slight change to the SFBB coverage pages over on the labs site?

In the historical graphs, the vertical axis ends up with some very odd intervals for the tick marks. It would make it easier to interpret if the intervals were a nice round number.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
"We are still awaiting announcements on the capital due for Phase1."

What do you mean by that? What we don't yet know is how far the projects will extend coverage from clawback and underspend (and there may yet be more clawback money to come), but what capital is due byaond what we already know?
Posted by taras about 1 year ago
"End of the decade" so thats 2030 .. right ? if so its poor, poor, poor,

Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
Nowhere does it say "end of the decade". It says within a decade, and my interpretation of that is a decade from now (or 2015).

Also a pedantry alert. Ultrafast, superfast and so on are not superlatives. Superlatives end in "est"; quickest, slowest, highest etc. I see this misuse of the word far too frequently.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
The graphing is currently on automatic, to do fixed means some nice logic so that changesvover time remain visible
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@TheEulerID -In addition to clawback, there must be £300m BT capital contribution to come for Phase 1.
theManstan contribution yesterday from the NAO confirmed the total costs are being paid. There are no costs excluded rom their analysis.
Posted by Somerset about 1 year ago
@VFM - can we please see all your calculations with links to sources.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Somerset - First NAO report refers to £353m capital contibution from the £1bn promised for rural. The remaining investment can accommodate operational costs, or base costs or which ever phrase folk wish to use.
Each press release supporting an LA win.
Oxera refers to the intervention rates for capital participation.
Costs are per NAO II and Oxera, supported with written confirmation reported yesterday.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Somerset Having created allowable cost budgets to accommodate all costs including the 38% excess modelled costs, as per the £100m per quarter state aid receipts. BT capital contribution now needs to re-enter the process.
Posted by Somerset about 1 year ago
@VMA - It would help you if this could be on a piece of A4 as Andrew requested.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Somerset I will prepare that, but it requires folk to accept that £3bn has not been spent on 50,000 cabs, a stance which seems to be too much for many to accept this possibility.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
They haven't said £3bn on cabs, just you.

They've said £3BN to deliver the projects, which incorporates many other costs which you like to exclude because they don't fit with your ideas.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Correct BT CeO stated £2.5billion several times today for fttc/p deployed commercially
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
As commercial project tailed off transmission equipment CAPEX (Ann Rep 2015) should have trended downwards if no commitments from BT were forthcoming and simple maintenance of estate became the costs, however as BDUK came online this kept the level of CAPEX up at roughly the same level... hundreds of millions of pounds would need to be false accounted for your assertions to be true... and given EnRon caused a big change in accounting practices I can't see PWC signing off any accounts with material errors of that magnitude.
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
Should also be noted that £2.5 billion figure includes both capital expenditure and operating expenditure throughout the lifetime of the project.

So things like electricity bills, a new NOC to monitor the network, maintenance of the cabinets, line cards as they fill, etc.

I believe 40%-ish of the £2.5 billion is operating expenditure from 'estimates' and 'rumour'.

FTTC's commercial case is premised on about £100 per premises passed.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan, the flat level of capital, where £100m a quarter is in aid leaves no room for a BT contribution, which is why it is yet to be accounted for.

If 40% of £2.5bn is ops and your extract c£300m for FTTP, then this would also show, BT capital contribution is due.
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 year ago
Your lack of understanding of accounting is worrying.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
The £300m due is premised on £75 capital contribution from BT per premise passed. The first £15k for a 200 premise passed cab. It is still only a fraction of total amounts promised by BT to each county.
Unless the NAO identified £40,000 total average cost, then this amount is due sometime. The BDUK monies can be treated as a loan, but I was expecting this rather than clawback on take up to be refereced.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
AndyCZ - Please grace us with your workings?
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 year ago
I'm not the one plucking random numbers out of thin air.

You will not get a break down, pound by pound of their capital spend on NGA. Exactly the same goes for VM.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@AndyCZ -The total average and median cost are from NAO, and used by Oxera. They are all, including BT's capital contribution are from publicly referenceable documents.
I am seeking politely for references to BT's capital contribution and none such references are forthcoming.
Posted by Somerset about 1 year ago
Where would expect to see such references?
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 year ago

You have BT's own capital expenditure on their own commercial deployment, you chose to ignore/dispute it though with no evidence.

As has been stated many times already, you cannot extrapolate an median cost per cabinet into BT's capital spend for NGA. Yet for some reason, you try to keep doing this...
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Do you actually understand what net of government grant means?
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago
Transmission CAPEX gross was 1.47BN, net of grant was approx 1BN, government grant was 0.39BN... 2011 Transmission CAPEX was 0.98BN.... there was no government grant... therefore BT CAPEX has remained level through the transition from commercial to BDUK. If BT was not contributing capital, the net CAPEX would be lower...

Tell me you understand... it´s so simple...
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
procurement cost of everything value of nothing !!!!!
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Oh For F's sake.

Another article on BT and/or fibre broadband, and it descends into another free-for-all over @VFM's understanding of accountancy, and his "expectations" of BT to make their capital expenditure visible - even publicly announced.

He writes a lot of posts on here, and he fundamentally ignores the content of the responses.

He seems to assume we're all pro-BT, therefore anti-VFM, and to be ignored. We're not. We just want VFM's figures to be correct, with valid assumptions made.

This troll deserves to be ignored.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@themanstan - We do not have the split of the capital expenditure to make the assumption you have just made. We need to see explicitly how much capital in excess of the £100m billed pq to Government was invested in NGA? This is not clearly stated.
@Fastman - It is £1.7bn of state aid so the value accrues to the UK economy.
@WWWombat - Transparent answers on these simple matters would help remove talk of splitting up BT. You have not offered alternatives to the total average costs identifed by the NAO and paid by LA's.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@ValueForMoney The splitting of BT is nothing to do with capital calculations and BDUK spending, it is about service levels and product options that Sky and TalkTalk appear to want and feel no-one is providing them with at a price point they are happy to pay for.

If they are delivering the BDUK coverage without spending any of their own money then at £100m per quarter for around 550,500 superfast households that represents exceptional value for money
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@andrew; Indeed, It is VFM anyway, but this is state aid and so to prevent distortion in other markets, the gap funding principle is clear in that BT pays its capital contribution, or only collects the incremental amount needed to make the case. GReat if BT's contribution is already in place but I cannot see it. The evidence can quickly emerge.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
But just because YOU cannot see it does not mean it is not happening.

I suggest that the amounts paid per quarter look pretty low for what is actually being delivered, remembering that there is some FTTP in there and also ongoing work to deliver more FTTP in areas like Wales.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 year ago
@Andrew, Sure, given the press statements it should be possible to see. For £100m per quarter it no more than 2,500 cabinets, plus <1% FTTP and work in progress.
In Wales, the budgets are very high and they are paying proxie costs rather than actuals. It should be possible to exceed 6% FTTP. The former is made clear in the Audit Wales report.
Thanks for tolerating the queries. I am happy to be proved wrong.
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