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£3.4m in Cheshire to be re-invested to take superfast further
Friday 13 November 2015 12:50:30 by Andrew Ferguson

Another £3.4 million sized chunk of the claw back announcement money is now spoken for as Cheshire has announced its intention to re-invest this money and thus build the network out to more premises.

The Cheshire project via BT is declaring that it has helped some 85,000 premises so far and once combined with the commercial roll-out this has taken fibre based broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in the Cheshire area. The 96% figure is significant as this was the declared target for the project

As with the rest of the UK we have been tracking the roll-out and with 96.7%, 95.9%, 94.6% and 94.4% fibre coverage for the four local authorities comprising the projects the 96% figure looks believable. Our table gives our breakdown of what we believe has been delivered in terms of superfast coverage, rather than just the fibre coverage figure that tends to make peoples blood pressure rise.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage in Cheshire
Data from 10th November 2015
Area % fibre based % superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 10 Mbps USO
Cheshire East Council 94.4% 89.4% 88.2% 27.1% 0.45% 0.8% 5.4%
Cheshire West and Chester Council 94.6% 89.2% 87.6% 16.1% 2.12% 0.7% 5.1%
Halton Council 96.7% 95.9% 95.7% 70% 0.15% 0.1% 1.6%
Warrington Council 95.9% 94.5% 93.9% 68.1% 0.02% 0.1% 2.4%
Parliamentary Constituencies
City of Chester 95.7% 91.9% 90.5% 0.2% 7.16% 0.8% 3.3%
Congleton 96% 90.9% 89.3% 0.2% 0.39% 0.7% 4.2%
Crewe and Nantwich 97.2% 93.1% 92% 0% 0.89% 0.6% 2.7%
Eddisbury 85.9% 74.2% 71.7% 0% 0.11% 1.8% 14.9%
Ellesmere Port and Neston 96.8% 94.4% 93.8% 60.9% 0% 0.5% 2.4%
Halton 96.6% 95.9% 95.5% 70.2% 0% (*) 0.2% 1.4%
Macclesfield 95% 90.8% 89.8% 69.9% 0% 0.7% 5.2%
Tatton 92.7% 86.9% 85.6% 39.7% 0.46% 0.6% 6.9%
Warrington North 93% 91.5% 91.4% 72.1% 0% 0.2% 3.7%
Warrington South 98.4% 97.1% 96.2% 64.5% 0.03% 0.1% 1.3%
Weaver Vale 96.2% 92.4% 91.2% 23.5% 0.22% 0.3% 2.9%

(*) People may expect the Halton constituency FTTP coverage figures to be identical to the council, but this is because the FTTP available in the district is falling into the Weaver Vale constituency.

Eddisbury is clearly the area where hopefully most of the re-investment will be spent to bring its level of coverage more into line with the rest of the area. The levels of native FTTP coverage are also encouraging and it is interesting to see that with the small scale of work needed to meet the USC that some careful targeting of FTTP might resolve the USC issue permanently for those living in Cheshire.


Posted by jumpmum 11 months ago
7.1% FTTP in Chester must make this one of the highest density FTTP deployments around, can't see any obvious speedtests on the map, so must be mainly taking the lower packages
Posted by jumpmum 11 months ago
Ok Spotted Lewisham West with 15.7% FTTP are there any higher? ( I would love to see a spreadsheet with all the areas and figures in?)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Trawl the news or our twitter, am sure we did a top 10 not so long ago.

A full constituency list went into our blog back in June
Posted by jumpmum 11 months ago
Andrew: Thanks I have the June data from the blog. There has been a lot of change since and it would be good to see how many were how close to meeting the 10Mb USO already. ( It does say it would be updated regularly). Cannot find a top 10 list in the news feed. I can see that Norwich South and Holborn are close at 0.2% under 10Mb.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
The ones that were high in June are still high so just use which is updated at least once a week
Posted by jumpmum 11 months ago
Thanks, Have been browsing through but had noticed that some that are now low 10Mb that were low in the list,( e.g Newcastle East @ 265).

I have spotted a couple that already meet the proposed USO already Hackney North@30 and Bristol West@118 but it would have been easier to filter the whole list! ( I am aware that there may be odd premises due to the 0.1% scale.)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Newcastle East has not climbed that high as now just 223, in fact 383 constituencies with 90% coverage or better at 24 Mbps and faster.

Posted by jumpmum 11 months ago
Yes but it only has 0.1% under 10Mb so a lot to eyeball to pick the low ones out!
Posted by leexgx 11 months ago
warrington FTTC has worked mostly very well some areas not covered by virgin media need to be covered by FTTP

still some stupid problems on new housing estates where they did Not run them all of one cab so only the houses at the fount of the estate can get FTTC all the others stuck with 1-2mb ADSL on long lines (i see a lot of estates been split between 2-5 cabs that are not even remotely close to the estate)
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
This is just the begining, BT will still owe their capital contribution of about £6m, and their should be accumulated underspend of about £7m from original subsidy of £19m for phase 1.
Like most counties a much more complete upgrade is possible.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Owe? Or do you mean show that it has been spent, and how are you arriving at this £6m when BT accounts don't break it down to the county level.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@Andrew I am certain it is owed, unless you believe cabinets cost >£50k on average. You can estimate it by taking the £356m in the NAO report and apportioning it. £65-£75 per premise passed is owed. It is in addition to the clawback on take up.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@andrew Cheshire is less than 450 cabinets and fibre paths. Total cost is likely to be less than £12m, a little FTTP on top.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Is the NAO £25k figure the total cost of the cabinet deployment, i.e. gap + commercial, or just the cap funding level expected?

Original project split

The little bit of FTTP at around 4,000 premises has the potential to jump the costs a fair bit, even though in volume terms its not that hight.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 11 months ago
Don't believe you can extrapolate for cabinet cost in that manner, why?

Cab A 100 premises - £6,500
Cab B 250 premises - £16,250
Cab C 50 premises - £3,250

There are other indicators suggesting cost per premise is higher, e.g. recent BDUK price per million passed.

Posted by WWWombat 11 months ago
Still can't get mu head around the concept of BT "owing" capital to anyone.

When BT make a capital payment, it goes to a supplier - Huawei, ECI, or the various contractors performing civils. It doesn't go to the council.

You will never see this money. You will never know how much it was, unless BT choose to tell you. But, as it is the very thing the NDA is meant to hide, don't hold your breath waiting for it.
Posted by WWWombat 11 months ago
After Sky's recent rant at BT, they published some figures showing the Openreach capex, and expenditure on the FTTx rollout.

However, the graph only showed the figures net of grant, so I thought I'd add the gross grant details...

Or, if you want to see the deferral:
Posted by jumpmum 11 months ago
WWWombat:- Thanks for the figures I was going to try to put them together for VFMs analysis this saves me the effort.
I reckon this shows that OR have matched the grant funding (£504m grant / £504m BDUK out of £750m FTTC capital over the last 2 years, £246m commercial).
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@wwwombat I will check your graphs - thank you, but do not loose sight of £682m in state aid receipts for c 17,500 looks nuts or
@jumpmum £1bn for how many cabinets/fibe paths installed. This is not credible. Callflow happy to provide indicatives for the same component list and PIA charges but will check again.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@Jumpmum - can you expand how you reached £750m FTTC capital from BT?
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@JUMPMUM - look at WPQ 13628 ..The answer includes. 'BT have incurred £230 million spend to date for these projects'. It does not confirm that BT has paid these, as it can pass them on. We will eventually get claity on this.
@WWWombat BT can owe capital if the budgets were inflated sufficiently to allow all costs to be billed .. followed by a 'true up'. NAO confirmed the excess modelled costs in clause 3.7.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@wwwombat, can you include the number of cabints on your graphs. Gavin said 50,000 by May 2014, and the OR power application point to 30,000 the year before. I think TC made a reference to some £800m of the £3bn spent at the end of 12/13 on FTTC -the £350m was the max not an average. We do not how BDUK grants are treated in BT's accouts yet. Ofcom said this will be the subject of secret reports.
Posted by AndyCZ 11 months ago
@ VFM "Cheshire is less than 450 cabinets and fibre paths."

Erm nope - 485 cabinets, with a further 41 still to be completed.

"Total cost is likely to be less than £12m, a little FTTP on top."

6,188 premises can order FTTP - nearly double that is planned.

Once again, you've been shown how your analysis is flawed.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@WWWombat PWC signed off £1,082m for capex - 14/15, where does your split come from? I am not sure you entitled to quote BT or Frontier Economics for your analyis. I will check with both PWC and Frontier.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
AndyCZ my anslysis is an estimate so thank you for the improvements, 485 - +6k FTTP so you take me to £14m total cost ish, which still leaves a huge gap. £5m underspend and still the BT capital is due.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@wwwombat, see if your analysis holds with
10/11 4m premises passed (6,000 cabinets)
11/12 10m passed (18,000 total - 12k incremental)
13/14 15m passed (30,000 cabs - 12k incremental)
14/15 19m passed (50,000 cabs - 18k incremental)
That's the commercial roll out estimate.
Posted by AndyCZ 11 months ago
VFM - Funny how you never seem to say, "I estimate".

To me you make a lot of statements which are just incorrect and show a total lack of understanding of accounting.

"We do not how BDUK grants are treated in BT's accounts yet." Yes we do know, it's just you want the breakdown £ by £, which they will never provide.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@WWWombat so using your capital estimate and GPs cabinet total, we just about get to £30k a cabinet and your numbers are not audited. In the final we get to £20k a cabinet. Just aiming at proportions here. The £20k it can be shown to be consistent with the Catesian findings and this includes all costs.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@AndyCZ My estimate, or I estimate or NAO estimates or Oxera estimate?
See Ofcom's deliberations on Financial Reg Reporting on this matter.
What is wrong with using the available money to go further?
I am happy to be corrected, there is a 25 page document for you to comment on in full with all the sources specificed.
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@wwwombat I can show how you capex representation is impossible, if we reconcile total premises passed with BDUK premises passed with total cabinets installed. Abobe 12/13 at 15m, 13/14 at 19.5m 14/15 at 22.5m which includes 2.4m bduk. I will to that doc in a future version another appendix.
Posted by Somerset 11 months ago
@VFM - why are counties not ensuring money goes further?
Posted by ValueforMoney 11 months ago
@Somerset - The question ought to be why not more ambitious plan in the first place given the monies available. The answer then is, 1)councils have to wait until BT plays its cost gambit and 2) BT bluffs its way on the capital gambit for as long as it can .. all under cloaks of commercial confidentiality agreements.
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