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400th cabinet delivering superfast speeds arrives in Dorset
Thursday 14 January 2016 12:28:13 by Andrew Ferguson

Dorset celebrated fairly recently its 400th cabinet going live and we already can report a speed test on the cabinet showing superfast speeds. There are actually several tests with the characteristics suggesting that some of the tests may be over Wi-Fi but the speeds are still in line with the relative position of the cabinet and postcode.

So with the project reporting 400 cabinets delivered and 70,000 premises helped what is the result, well for Dorset county they have gone from 29.5% superfast coverage in January 2013 to 86.2% coverage, the project though does include Poole and Bournemouth so we have added up the premises covered in all three to produce a the following summary, along with the usual constituency level summary.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage for Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole
In descending order of population size - figures 14th January 2016
Area % fibre based % superfast
> 24 Mbps
% superfast
>= 30 Mbps
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 10 Mbps USO
95.5% 91.9% 91.0% 41.85% 0% 0.8% 4.7%
Dorset County 92.4% 86.2% 84.7 9% 0% 1.4% 8.3%
Bournemouth 99.6% 99.5% 99.4% 84.2% 0% 0% 0.3%
Poole 98.8% 98.4% 98.1% 80.6% 0% 0% 0.3%
Bournemouth East 99.6% 99.5% 99.5% 89% 0% 0% 0.2%
Bournemouth West 99.4% 99.3% 99.2% 80.9% 0% 0% 0.3%
Christchurch 97.8% 95% 94.1% 31% 0% 0.2% 1.4%
Mid Dorset and North Poole 95.8% 92.8% 91.8% 38.8% 0% 0.4% 2.5%
North Dorset 88.5% 77.2% 75.4% 0% 0% 2.7% 15.5%
Poole 99.1% 98.8% 98.7% 81.2% 0% 0.1% 0.1%
South Dorset 96.1% 92.3% 91% 3.6% 0% 1% 3.3%
West Dorset 87% 79.3% 77.3% 0% 0% 1.8% 14.2%

The overall result of 91.9% means the project is ahead of the UK total and the project set itself a goal of 95.6% superfast by the end of 2016 which looks feasible and so far no sign of any FTTP as part of the project. Tactical deployment of FTTP in areas where FTTC is not superfast or otherwise not cost effective in some other counties has helped keep the gap between superfast and fibre (NGA) based small.

We are currently in the process of mapping the CityFibre/Gigler footprint in Bournemouth itself which given the already existing superfast footprints is not going to make a difference but for the next battleground which is ultrafast it will make a contribution.

Even when you ignore the large urban areas of Poole and Bournemouth that comprise around half the households, the performance is still good and shows that while VDSL2 is not a total solution, with work to convert EO lines to have their own VDSL2 cabinet on top of the existing cabinets a quick roll-out is feasible. The goal should now be as with the rest of the UK to encourage people to upgrade to the better services when available and push take-up rates so that the next wave of claw back is delivered quickly and coverage extended further or maybe eventually money going back into the public purse.


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