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Milestones broken as Wales improves superfast coverage
Wednesday 30 September 2015 12:38:08 by Andrew Ferguson

The Welsh Governments Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology has announced one important milestone for the SuperfastCymru project and that is that the project has made superfast available to 504,352 premises since the project started.

"That’s over half a million premises in Wales which would otherwise not have access to faster broadband without the intervention of Superfast Cymru.

The way we do business today and the way we live our lives means fast and reliable internet connections are vital.

That’s why the Welsh Government has invested in Superfast Cymru, ensuring Wales is one of the most connected countries in Europe.

This is a great day for Superfast Cymru, but the work is far from over. It is a challenging programme and BT engineers are continuing to work day in day out to bring superfast broadband to communities across Wales.

Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology

While the Welsh Government is talking of 79% superfast coverage due to the time it takes to sign-off on these releases coverage has continued to improve and our current figures show Wales 82% having access to a 24 Mbps or faster broadband service (80.7% at 30 Mbps) and full FTTH availability slowly climbing at 0.19% of premises. It may be worth remembering before complaining about lack of progress that in January 2015 coverage was down at 69% with access to 30 Mbps or faster.

Summary of download speeds for Virgin Media August 2015

The map above showing availability at 30 Mbps or faster by parliamentary constituency shows the disparity across the country and while there is going to be a wave of negative reaction to any positive coverage on how the project is progressing.

The projects current target is 96% with broadband access via FTTC or FTTH (no speed qualifier applied) and the coverage figure for this measure as of 29th September was 87%.

The other milestone passed is that by our figures over 1 million premises in Wales have access to superfast broadband at speeds over 30 Mbps, with another 200,000 or so still waiting for the project to deliver which means lots more work especially if the aim of 80,000 FTTH premises is to be met.


Posted by mabibby about 1 year ago
Interesting... North & South inequality within Wales evident for all to see.

Also, interesting use of Green to represent coverage of only 50%+ surely green shades should only start at 75%-80%?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Colouring is a standard HSL transition from red to green and same scale has been used for a while, so switching now would confuse people looking at older items and not checking with the scale.

For the more densely packed maps we use a black and white scale.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
Reduce that figure by at least 10....According to Superfast Cymru, they have "made it available" at my location 2 months ago but actually neither myself nor any of my neighbours has been able to get it, Openreach is so far refusing to install and there is no reason forthcoming even though ISP has escalated it. ISP hopes some day we may be able to re-order. SFC won't chase it up because as far as they are concerned OR have fulfilled their contract to "make it available".
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@csimon is this FTTP or FTTC? What do we say is available at which will show if we need to investigate and exclude the 10 premises.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
It's FTTP, your page says "possibly available". Thing is, what SFC and spin say is "available" and what customers can actually get installed are two different metrics. The only info coming back from OR is "error in ducting". No info as to if and when they are going to correct that "error", but superfast remains inaccessible to us until they do. But SFC thinks that it's been made available. They don't seem to have quality control on that.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
And you wonder how many other orders have failed yet are still included as being available and accessible to customers.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
If you want us to pester and find out more then email us with your details and will take a look and then pester Openreach for something better in terms of explanation for 'error in ducting'.
Posted by Llety about 1 year ago
If you can't sleep try reading which shows the intended direction of travel.
Posted by danielmec about 1 year ago
As this is a Welsh Government project, perhaps it would be more interesting to display the map by single-member constituencies and with a regionalised aggregate, rather than from a Westminster perspective.
Posted by JoanArcher about 1 year ago
My area has just been enabled and my line should be activated next Monday. Even though it's classed as fibre I wouldn't as it's only fibre to the cabinet then it comes over my original copper wires. The speed though will be a lot better than I get now, these are the lines from the confirmation email.
We estimate your download speed will be between 39Mb and 40Mb.
We estimate your upload speed will be between 9Mb and 10Mb.

The lowest speed you can expect from your BT Infinity will be 35Mb.

Posted by rkimber about 1 year ago
I wonder how these % coverages are calculated. Parts of my village have it, but I don't. Have they included me?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Without knowing your specific postcode we cannot say.

We do consider distance from the cabinet, and what services are available from the different cabinets. lets you look up postcode and gives the constituency coverage results.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@danielmec if there is a nice and simple Postcode to the single member constituencies file available along with the appropriate GeoJSON map file available then yes its possible, but not sure what difference it will make. The granularity is not much better 60 AM seats versus 40 constituencies.

The result will be that the more densely populated south will continue to do well, with the more rural areas doing worse.
Posted by Gadget about 1 year ago
Andrew - not sure if you are aware, but just in case
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Yes aware of that - but GeoJSON files make life easier, rather than have to write yet another boundary rendering routine, plus while given boundaries you can work out the postcodes within it, working from an official cross reference file would be easier.

We could plot stats right down to the ward level if we wanted, but not sure of the benefit other than being a nice to have feature.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
@Andrew: re post 7 above. Still no progress, ISP unable to get information, but suspects it's just a huge backlog with inefficiencies and not enough staff. Anyway, they simply can't supply the product at the moment, so figures released by SFC should actually be taken with a pinch of salt as "availability" is months behind what they have said. If a product can't be supplied due to demand outstripping supply then it's not "available". The only thing that's available is ordering.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
FTTP is still just a fraction of the coverage in Wales (0.23% in fact). So not panicking about removing a handful, but will do if you can show its not available.

BTW the figures in the article are NOT from SFC. We are more pessimistic on FTTC range and have removed some areas for FTTP where 2nd part of a cab is on build hold.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
A little more info today after coming home from work and having a visitation from a neighbour who is at home all day and can speak to actual engineers when they appear on site. Apparently Scottish Power have refused permission to put the fibre on shared poles, even though they already carry copper phone cables, so they are looking at places where they can put new poles for the people who've ordered the service. This is more info than comes in via official routes...
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