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1 in 4 in Gwynedd still not able to access superfast broadband
Wednesday 03 February 2016 12:00:22 by Andrew Ferguson

Wales may be on track to hit a VDSL2/FTTP/Cable coverage target of 96% by the end of 2016 but this headline does hide some realities, the first one is that it is likely the coverage will be around 90% at superfast speeds, which should be acknowledged as a great achievement but will leave more work to be done.

The Superfast Cymru roll-out recently announced that coverage in Gwynedd had hit 75% superfast, which while well below the overall project aim is impressive when the first cabinets started appearing at the start of 2013 (in Dwyfor Meirionnydd FTTC only started arriving in Q3/2013). The increasing levels of coverage and the effect on the average speeds in the area are obvious on our coverage checker.

Superfast Broadband Coverage and Speed Tests Results for Gwynedd
Gwynedd, Wales Superfast Coverage Detail and Average Speeds

When the announcement by the project was first made we were showing superfast coverage of 72.8%, but some checking of the model in the area and also finding more FTTP has raised the coverage at 24 Mbps and faster to 75.1%. The difference between the fibre based figure of 11.3% is representative of the rural nature of the areas covered and with native FTTP coverage at 2.69% the area is one of the better parts of the UK for availability of fibre to the home.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage for Gwyneed and its component constituencies
Figures 3rd February 2016
Area % fibre based
% superfast
> 24 Mbps
% superfast
>= 30 Mbps
% ultrafast
>= 100 Mbps
% Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 10 Mbps USO
Gwynedd 84.2% 75.1% 72.9% 2.7% 2.69% 2% 17.3%
Arfon 91.1% 84.7% 82.2% 3.6% 3.62% 0.9% 9.1%
Dwyfor Meirionnydd 78.3% 66.9% 65% 1.9% 1.9% 3% 24.4%

The real question is how much further will the roll-out push coverage in the area and we cannot accurately predict this as the decisions around exchange only lines and access to VDSL2 or FTTP are hard to second guess but if the last 12 months are repeated Gwynedd may be looking at 83 to 85% superfast coverage, with hopefully the majority of this in the Dwyfor Meirionnydd which has 1 in 4 stuck with speeds under 10 Mbps.

The very observant may have spotted an 'Estimated Maximum Mean Download Speed' figure has now appeared for the various areas we display and this based on the premise that everyone in an area buys the fastest service available to them and the gap between this and the observed average from speed test results shows the lag between availability and take-up and also even where people do upgrade that they often opt for the product that provides just enough speed for their needs at a reasonable price e.g. even where native FTTP is available purchases of the faster 200 and 300 Mbps versions are pretty rare.


Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
"...lag between availability and take-up..."

Should have "Openreach backlog" added to that, becuase as I keep mentioning they are not actually able to install at the moment, there is a 7-12 month backlog due to underesourcing and maladminstration, at this location in Gwynedd at least. (Remember the aborted installation on 31st December because the detailed surveys had failed to spot a tree next to the pole? And my neighbour reports this morning that they turned up to install in the house but no cables had yet been brought to the house from the pole).
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