Skip Navigation

A study of what the BDUK projects delivered in phase 1
Thursday 16 June 2016 10:19:46 by Andrew Ferguson

A week ago when the central BDUK team in Westminster published the take-up figures for the various BDUK projects we published our own data alongside the BDUK figures on what we have seen in terms of take-up. As part of that analysis we are now able to share our analysis of what each project has delivered, i.e. how close is it to its phase 1 goal and with VDSL2 as the dominant technology it may help provide some data for those that said VDSL2 while quick to deploy was the wrong technology to use.

Our usual coverage reports include the effect of the commercial roll-outs too, and also in the next few weeks will integrate operators such as Gigaclear into the superfast columns now that the 90% at 30 Mbps or faster goal has been reached (Gigaclear et all feature in the Ultrafast figures coverage currently).

BDUK Project Area - Phase 1 Projects 'fibre' Based Broadband Coverage
(A figure of 100% would mean project has delivered to all cabs it has announced in its plans)
% superfast
24 Mbps or faster
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Under 2 Mbps USC
Berkshire 98.4% 87.5% 84.8% 3.7%
Bucks and Herts 99.1% 89.6% 87.9% 2.5%
Cambridgehire & Peteborough 99.2% 91.5% 90.2% 3%
Central Beds, Bedford and Milton Keynes 97.5% 91.3% 90.3% 1.9%
Cheshire 98.8% 87.1% 84.6% 2.5%
Connecting Devon and Somerset 96.2% 81.6% 79.6% 6%
Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire 98.8% 87% 84.7% 3.9%
Cumbria 97.7% 87.9% 86.3% 4.1%
Derbyshire 99.5% 90.1% 88.7% 2.9%
Dorset 98.8% 89.2% 86.6% 3.3%
County Durham 98.9% 91.7% 90.1% 2.3%
East Riding of Yorkshire 99.7% 88.7% 87.2% 5.5%
East Sussex 100% 83.4% 80.3% 4.3%
Essex 97.7% 89.1% 87.4% 2.2%
Greater Manchester 99.2% 97.9% 97.6% 0.2%
Hampshire 98.7% 87.4% 85.2% 3.8%
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire 96.1% 83.3% 81.1% 5.3%
Highlands & Islands 91.7% 73.1% 70.6% 8.6%
Isle of Wight 99.7% 89.5% 88% 3.4%
Kent 99.9% 86.7% 85% 3.8%
Lancashire 99.9% 95.9% 95% 1.1%
Leicestershire 98.3% 90.9% 88.9% 2.2%
Lincolnshire 99.8% 84.3% 82.2% 6.7%
Merseyside 99.5% 98.4% 98.1% 0.2%
Newcastle Upon Tyne 100% 98.6% 98% 0.1%
Norfolk 100% 87.9% 86.2% 4.5%
North Lincs & North East Lincs 100% 92.1% 90.5% 2.4%
North Yorkshire 99.9% 84.3% 82.6% 8%
Northamptonshire 100% 96.4% 95.9% 1.3%
Northern Ireland 98.1% 47.6% 41.4% 18.8%
Northumberland 99.8% 82.8% 80.6% 8.7%
Nottinghamshire 99.5% 93.7% 92.4% 1.8%
Oxfordshire 95.2% 88% 86.2% 2.2%
Rest of Scotland 90.5% 82.5% 81.2% 3.9%
Rutland 100% 92.6% 91.3% 1.9%
Shropshire 92.6% 73.9% 72.2% 8.6%
Staffordshire 98.2% 87.3% 85.9% 3.4%
Suffolk 99.8% 82.9% 80.3% 6.3%
Surrey 99.9% 91% 88.5% 1.3%
Wales 97.2% 89.3% 87.5% 2.7%
West Sussex 99.5% 83.7% 81.6% 5.8%
West Yorkshire 99.9% 92.4% 90.8% 1.2%
Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire 99.9% 84.6% 82% 4.8%
Worcestershire 96.3% 82.9% 80.5% 4.2%

There is a caveat to the table, we have not fully resolved the issue of commercial versus BDUK funded FTTP deployments, but those premises are not included in the 'fibre' figures in this analysis. Further work will allow us to more accurately split them out of the 'commercial' bin that we have generally placed the FTTP. For areas where long lines in a VDSL2 cabinet area have had infill to bring premises into the superfast (and ultrafast region as its FTTP) they do appear in this analysis with Northumberland, Surrey leading the pack at 0.28% and 0.24%.

In terms of the number of premises the Scottish and Wales projects are obviously the largest, but in England those leading the pack in terms of size of the phase 1 intervention area were Devon and Somerset, Lancashire and Norfolk.

The difference between the level of 'fibre based' and superfast coverage is important to the projects themselves since their contracts mean they should often only be paying for premises likely to receive a superfast service. Our projections on speeds at various distances are relatively pessimistic but this reflects the way that Ofcom, ASA and BCAP want to move.

Many of the phase II projects are well under way too and once we have resolved some of the FTTP issues and also integrated operators such as Gigaclear we will report on their progress in a couple of months as well as an update on the phase 1 projects.


Posted by Blackmamba 4 months ago
Hi Andrews Staff.
The Surrey result of 99.9% (.1) is the Cabs that have not been made available to a FTTC or waiting direct fibre or work in hand. The results of the 2 meg areas that are showing I feel the results are two high as many are very close to the exchange, Cabs so would be eliminated if a customer did a speed test on the post code. Surrey did state in the beginning a target of 99.7% at 15 meg by using the claw back money.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 4 months ago
As I have repeated many times and have to again, users running speed test will not eliminate the 2 Mbps areas. The coverage tables are based on what is available.

If you have postcodes close to exchanges where we say its under 2 Mbps (i.e. USC warnings) on then report the errors via the email address on there.
Posted by SLAMDUNC 4 months ago
As a one-off, would it be possible to get number of properties as well as percentages in the list? We always see percentages - which I know are the targets so a good way of measuring - but occasionally a reminder of what this actually means on the ground is useful.
Posted by chilting 4 months ago
The figures for West Sussex illustrate perfectly the challenges Openreach and others face here.
The 5.8Mbps below 2Mbps are mainly semi-rural properties between the main villages and towns that are strung along main roads and lanes.
The problem is that significant expenditure would be needed to give them FTTP unless LR-VDSL is deployed.
Posted by ValueforMoney 4 months ago
It is progress, now it is on to the in-fill.
Posted by WWWombat 4 months ago
For this particular table, am I right to understand that the three rightmost columns:
- Do not show coverage across the county/LA
- Do not show coverage across the intervention area
- Instead, they show the coverage outcome of just the cabinets that were actually part of phase 1?

That, ultimately, the table shows the effectiveness of the technology chosen (largely FTTC)?

Who'd have thought that Lancashire, home of B4RN, would turn out to be one of the most effective places?
Posted by WWWombat 4 months ago
The notable outlier here is Northern Ireland.

Can you confirm that the figures really do apply to Northern Ireland's first phase that was run within BDUK?

Just checking, because, NI's first BDUK phase isn't really the first "subsidised FTTC" project in the province. It is closer to what the other projects would be running as their phase 2; more of an infill project.

If true, then it is working predominantly on lines that were "too long to benefit" in the original subsidised rollout, rather than working on lines entirely left out of the commercial coverage. A very different grouping.
Posted by WWWombat 4 months ago
I wonder about what the relatively low rate signifies in NI? That all-in-one deployment, to extend superfast coverage to long lines, isn't very effective on the lines that are selected (ie they're still far too long)?

Or perhaps it shows that deployment (of all-in-one or even FTTP) has only been attempted on a subset of the lines that were "too long" within a previously-upgraded cabinet.

I suspect the latter, which means the low rate is a consequence of fragmentation (in the case of AIOs) or a consequence of the high cost of FTTP (where low coverage would be a choice)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 4 months ago
Instead, they show the coverage outcome of just the cabinets that were actually part of phase 1? BINGO

NI First phase within the BDUK process.

NI is very fragmented, but keep finding new little bits of FTTP, so it is improving just not at the pace of the rest of the UK.

Will publish phase II once projects are further in, as experience says people would shout down the figures even though projects got some time to run.

Posted by WWWombat 4 months ago
Perfect, thanks.

I imagine the NI stats give us a flavour for how the phase II stats will turn out for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, back in phase I, it looks like FTTC gives superfast ability to
- 80-85% of a cabinet in the most rural counties
- 90% of a cabinet in ordinary counties
- 95%+ of a cabinet in more urbanised counties
Posted by WWWombat 4 months ago

I see the "labs ... local" site is showing that we've reached 90.01% coverage of EU Superfast speeds, 30Mbps, now.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.