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Community, council and BT to deliver FTTP to Cotwalton
Monday 26 September 2016 14:37:28 by Andrew Ferguson

One postcode may seem insignificant in the overall picture with regards to the overall UK superfast and ultrafast broadband picture but for the 12 to 18 premises in Cotwalton, Staffordshire once the Openreach FTTP service goes live in 2017 it will see them jump out of the old slow 1 to 3 Mbps world of long line ADSL into the 21st century.

The small community is getting news coverage because it is the first one to see FTTP rolled out as a joint community, BDUK project and BT Community Fibre installation.

The roll-out is set to involve 3 km of fibre running from either Stone or Hilderstone where the Staffordshire BDUK project has already gap funded cabinets and while some premises in Cotwalton in theory have access to VDSL2 it is down at the bottom end with 1 to 4 Mbps speeds and generally when VDSL2 is this slow we have seen people get a more reliable service from the ADSL/ADSL2+ products.

It is possible the community might have seen improvements at a later date via the later phases of the BDUK project in the area or the USO but with the later not due to be in place until 2020 it is perfectly reasonable to shortcut the long wait, or put another way given the costs involved in moving home or a business channelling that money into better local infrastructure may be more productive and involve less disruption.

Comments

Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Good to see underspend used in this way and community benefitting from the state aid process using a change request to the contract.

I do hope these FTTP extensions can benefit from some BT investment where the sum invested is acknowledged in WLA 2017 cost recovery process.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
Where does it say the council money is via the underspend, rather than general phase II funding.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Why is that important? Every single project has underspend and clawback and possibly BT capital to come as well. There will be room for some 50k such extensions if the will is there, more if the cost recovery for FTTP allows for the possibility.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@ValueForMoney You said 'Good to see underspend used in this way' - so was wondering how you knew whether it was underspend or just the normal project funding pool.

50k extensions? Do you mean an extra 50,000 premises with FTTP?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
LA's are using underspend in Phase 1 in phase 2 anyway. It was new work so it was more likely to be underspend.

If you take £200-£300m underspend, the now £270m clawback (neither disputed) and in my opinion the capital owed, then you could plan 500k FTTP.
Posted by fastman 2 months ago
VFM these are Gap funded and so have investment in them -- - they were also over the price per premise Threshold so that why not it BDUK as not value for Money but adopting this approach community does not have so raise so much Gap -- looks like a win / win -- but no !!!!
Posted by themanstan 2 months ago
Still ignoring all of the upgrade costs from every exchange to core?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
@themanstan - there done and included in the costs billed to BDUK.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Fastman, publish the numbers so we see it. You may well be denying BT the opportunity to argue for substantial cost recovery in WLA 2017 in exchange for increased FTTP.
Investment against a proxy cost, or investment against the actuals.
Why a community fund when you owe each County so much money?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Themanstan, here the handover point is probably Stafford. The fibre spine to stone will have come from the commercial investment as many cabinets stone were commercially funded, the incremental cost is low hence the underspends, and take up is high so subsidy not really needed for most of phase 1 so the opportunity exists to go much further.
Posted by PhilCoates 2 months ago
As a resident in the area (but not part of this development) the Superfast Staffs team have said that they would like to support such initiatives. I couldn't tell you if the money came from BDUK funds or clawback.

What I do know from the team is that as a result of clawback, my own location which is not even in Phase 2 is now likely to benefit - either in this phase or Phase 3.
Posted by themanstan 2 months ago
It's not billed to BDUK...

It's part of the BT contribution.

Only OR costs are an invoiceable component.

The allowable cost to CORE and backhaul between exchanges and CORE are BT contributions...
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Fastman, I reckon your trying to charge LA and these customers, the BSG/AM 2009 rate of £2,500 each, where the 3km of oh/ 2/3 splitters and 12 drop wires will be half that.
The payment within contract will catch up with that hopefully.
It has taken 4 years to acknowledge the cheapness of FTTC, surely you not going the same with FTTP?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
So install of FTTP to 18 premises is a total of £1,250?

60 hours of labour from a single person is all £1,250 buys, and that does take into account the transport, planning and a myriad of other costs.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
'The Man Stan, the core of 10Tbps of which 3Tbps is lit does not qualify and the capacity to the handover points exist for the most part, apart from H&I. What you describing is part of the commercial investment.- loose change in capacity terms and BTW are charging for the incremental bandwidth anyway. I hope it is analyised. Your argument does not hold but keep them coming.
Posted by themanstan 2 months ago
So a rural exchange with ADSL has a few 1 gig connections back to core would be upgraded as part of the commercial investment? Why on earth would that be done? You are not talking any sense at all... commercially...

I think my bucket has a lot less holes in it than yours does...
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew - each. What is important to acknowledge is the possibility it is not £2,500 each but a number much lower than this. No different to folk saying cabinets were averaging £100k, or £50k when for phase 1 it was closer to half this. We should not need to wait four years to find out the actuals.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
So where has Staffordshire/BT said it is £2,500 each? Or is your assertion that BT is invoicing based on BSG projection from 2009 and therefore not related to costs at all?

Do you have any actuals from phase 1 yet? i.e. actual invoices, all the NAO did was a limited analysis of sampling of cabinets.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew - there is three sets of BT evidence to the CMS select committee, one of which confirms a £26k total average cost per cabinet for phase1. That is BT. NAO have done three separate bits of work.

The £2,500 +-10% per property is an assertion which I am happy to bet on.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
So you assert that BT is invoicing based on a BSG study in 2009, rather than any costing analysis done for that actual deployment?

Interesting assertion and would give a 100% FTTP cost of around £72 billion
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
I am asserting that in this case it is likely £2,500 per property is being charged and this is will be found to be a significant over estimate and monies will need to be returned under the contract.
You know this is rural so the cost is not an average.
Posted by New_Londoner 2 months ago
@VFM
Based on your assertions above, I'd respectfully suggest leaving the review of costs to the auditors. They will have a better understanding of both the facts and accounting practices.

Throwing random numbers around does not add anything to the debate.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
@NL We should not wait an indefinite period for the auditors, when so many people were excluded from Phase 1.
The number is an assertion but it is not random. Previously most of these cases had the overall budget, why not this case?
Posted by New_Londoner 2 months ago
Just making things up helps no one (although admittedly that hasn't stopped Trump or Dido).

Your base assumption continues to be that there are hundreds of millions of pounds unaccounted for and available to spend solely on fibre broadband. Oddly your complaint to the authorities appears to have got nowhere and the auditors seem to have missed it entirely, as have your former colleagues.

Why do you assume local authorities will keep spending once targets are achieved and not recycle the money elsewhere?

Posted by Somerset 2 months ago
@VFM - would you please confirm the sources and dates of all your information.

Please remind us how you calculate 'it is likely £2,500 per property is being charged'. To who?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
NL it is accounted for. The underspends are being reported individually. The £270m is in BT accounts, and the capital is to be resolved.
Each audit has made progress and there is more to come. The consequences are yet to be dealt with in any meaningful way.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
@Somerset. I will compile the sources, but the charge will be to the county project.
What important is that more communities should not be denied service if BT decides to use a reference cost unrelated to the underlying cost. This has occurred before so the question is legitmate.
Posted by New_Londoner 2 months ago
@VFM
And to my broader question "Why do you assume local authorities will keep spending once targets are achieved and not recycle the money elsewhere? "?

Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
NL, Connectivity is the cheapest of all infrastructures to fix.
Gaps in service will need to be fixed at some point and the last 5% is probably closer 15-20% if the gaps are counted,
The relative cost could fall if Ofcom declare a cost recovery process for FTTP - I would suggest £500 budget to start a discussion.
BT can remove copper costs in time.
They will lose half the underspends and clawback if they do not.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
NL - staying engaged in rural will give councils the confidence to demand of Ofcom their towns centres and business parks are upgraded sooner rather than later.
Showing rural was so much cheaper than expected will keep the pressure on for urban areas to get upgrades.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
NL - it does revitalise a rural area, it allows young families to live in rural valleys, where parents can home work and then travel to say Manchester when they need too.
It helps rural areas to become more viable.
The provision of adequate connectivity is a great leveller.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@ValueForMoney "the last 5% is probably closer 15-20% if the gaps are counted"

Care to explain what this means?

Removal of copper needs LLU operators to agree and a myriad of other interested parties, e.g. systems that rely on power of a line
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
@Andrew Your constituency data is a good place to start and homes beyond the reach of a cabinet is another.
For some reason there are just too many examples where the aggregate report do not support the level of poor experience reported.
That number by the way was used by a public official recently. We may need to move to structures and customers served data to get a better picture. Constituency data is enough to work on.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew, removal of copper in a hamlet requires all customers in that Hamlet to take an FTTP/ATA or an intergrated Femto in the router.
Redcare can fund itself. Customers are well ahead of ISPs.
Posted by Somerset 2 months ago
@VFM - can all ISPs transfer to FTTP for all in the hamlet?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
Well the gaps are counted in our data, so while I expect premise level data to show a small variation perhaps 0.5% at the county level when you also model in factors such as size of drive/garden to not differ by a factor of 3 to 4 times, which is what you and 'this official' is suggesting.

Of course UK wide results don't match an individual constituency, and the same when you compare a constituency to a village, then a village to a postcode.

Sure you are well aware that an average is arrived at from a range of figures. Some are not.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew, Indeed, the number of structures also bothers me. Gavin Patterson has said commercial equals 51k first time structures, and BDUK phase 1= 22,500 (est) but the PCP total in BT presentations is 87,000 + EO. That still points to a lot of work.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Somerset, Customer is king, customer decides. There is nothing stopping Sky, Talk Talk re-selling FTTP. If they split Openreach, they will not be building their own infrastructure, just re-selling Openreach on slightly more favourable terms.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@ValueForMoney Given your position on average costs that you don't know the number of cabinets delivered and are saying estimate raises questions over any of your figures.

The number of structures is changing weekly too, new infill, new cabs for EO areas, some cabinets being removed totally.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
Nothing guarantees a fully split Openreach PLC will offer FTTP at a lower wholesale price, doing so would increase payback term/risk for what TalkTalk want which is a massive roll-out

Believe TalkTalk is chasing £4/m as price point for entry level wholesale costs.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew - The number of cabinets delivered is confirmed in the Cartesian/Ofcom working for the NGA Cost Modelling consultation, my doubt on coverage was attempting to correlate this number to the total number of structures in BT presentations.
It may account for some of the apparent variation in what the statistics show and what customers are reporting.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew - more favourable terms referred to 'equivalence' to BT Retail. I actually think prices will need to rise to facilitate FTTP and that is independent of what happens to Openreach.
Posted by tlewis 2 months ago
For those interested, as many of you seem to be. For their initial estimates the price quoted by BT for installation to the area is £60k. 50% paid by BT's Community Fibre, 25% by Superfast Staffordshire and 25% by the community. This however is only for the infrastructure to the area. On top of this will be the installation fees paid via the ISP when ordering the service. Based on Openreach's current prices for FoD (which can only really serve as an estimate for now) this would be an additional £1k per premises.
Posted by tlewis 2 months ago
Its worth bearing in mind however that this is only the initial quote from BT and I believe this to be an over estimate. A more detailed survey is in progress and we expect to see that in the next few months.
The money is from a substantial pot that Superfast Staffordshire have allocated to schemes such as this to occur in the future if this is successful. I'm unsure of if the money is underspend for phase 1 and 2 or additional funding from BDUK or from the council.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@tlewis FoD pricing should not apply at all, but rather the standard GEA-FTTP install cost of £99+VAT, which some retailer charge just £49 or absorb over 18 month contract.

If you are from the area and people are under the impression that they are just getting FoD then happy to chase up within BT to confirm the rumour one way or another.

Other FTTP areas via projects get the usual FoD range, you know by the range of speeds on offer rather than just the single 300 Mbps service.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@ValueForMoney Not sure why a Cartesian model would apply to the number of primary cabinets (note I said cabinets not structure, since structures runs into massively highly numbers). It is a single figure.

On equivalence the noticeable campaigns are not campaigning for that, since they already have it i.e. same wholesale prices and product options.
Posted by tlewis 2 months ago
@andrew Ahh thats great I assumed installation cost was by distance to the node as in FoD and I couldn't find the GEA-FTTP prices
It is certainly FTTP not FoD

Obviously the FTTP speeds are currently limited to 330Mbs by Openreach, do you expect that these maximum speeds will be bumped up in the future? If they are to increase the speeds, would they require new local infrastructure or is it a case only of increasing capacity at the exchange?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
Follow links at http://www.thinkbroadband.com/isp/bt/package/1481.html and should see the BT Consumer FTTP options i.e. 1,2,3&4

Others like AAISP, Zen, PlusNet do some too. Alas Sky/TalkTalk are not an option as don't do GEA-FTTP at this time.

On faster speeds, yes once the Gig Premium FTTP trials are over no reason it should not appear, and they've trialed 10 Gbps over the infrastructure too XGPON looking even further into future.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
tlewis - thank, so you + council are paying £2,500 each ish. BT claiming to pay another £30k? Can you confirm?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew - the 87k structures referred were PCPs.

Cartesian work is on NGA Cost Modelling to inform WLA post 2017.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
Perhaps someone should get a quote from someone like Gigaclear to provide service to this 12 to 18 premise in that actual location, rather than all the modelling.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew your attaching cable to existing poles, Sky wrap is £8m a metre over electric poles, it is $2.50 a metre in the US for running fibre on existing telegraph poles. That includes the fibre and the crew.
Good to see the £60k and the £30k confirmed. Thanks. BT pay the first £30k I guess!
Posted by themanstan 2 months ago
Streetview puts things into perspective...

Narrow single track road, trees along the route, wires going through mature trees...

They'll need tree surgeons first and then the crew can do their job. Couple of weeks work there...

Road closure required.
Posted by fastman 2 months ago
Posted by ValueforMoney 4 days ago
Andrew, removal of copper in a hamlet requires all customers in that Hamlet to take an FTTP/ATA or an intergrated Femto in the router.
Redcare can fund itself. Customers are well ahead of ISPs -- This is badly incorrect this would be outside Openreach Condition of licence and would seriously disadvantage Copper only service providers - so we be completely unequivalent -- do you understand this market at all ?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Fastman - matter is understood, please appreciate the impact of telephony sunset dates. Regulations change and one of the lessons is that Fibre is so cheap, telephony sunset dates can be considered and can be planned.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Fastman, indeed both the excess rural funds and the forthcoming WLA 2017 will allow that discussion to begin.

Ofcom would very much welcome your proposals how PST can be switched off where FTTP is going in.
Posted by CarlThomas 2 months ago
Wonder how many premises this will cover?
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
CarlT - The excess Phase 1 funds (underspends, clawback and BT capex due) would allow 500k FTTP to planned in rural.
The 7,800 in North Yorks is an example of the good work taking place. There is lots more, which is why this example of £60k needs to be challenged and it is fair challenge.
Moving to FTTP does require a 'fair' or acknowledge BT contribution per premise.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
Am sure the councils that have FTTP projects with Gigaclear will share their experiences and costings, and if significantly cheaper in terms of gap funding than BT Group more might use operators like Gigaclear.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@CarlThomas it is between 12 and 18 premises in a single postcode. Classic 1 to 2 km away from any built up town/village.
Posted by AndyCZ 2 months ago
VFM - Please please stop making these crazy claims, like "excess Phase 1 funds (underspends, clawback and BT capex due) would allow 500k FTTP to planned in rural."

You completely contradict what Clive Selley recently said in the Q1 analyst call.

Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
AndyCZ you cannot deny the underspends as every council has then, you cannot deny the clawback as that is in your accounts.
The only thing we can dispute is BT's capital.

I will study Clive's Q1 message, thanks.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew, Gigaclear are quite open with Councils and in their presentations. For where they are working the new build (not overlay) is being quoted £800-£1,000.
Most BT do not mind referenced £1,000 to £1,200 for BDUK Hamlets so this £5k per premise (£60k) is worthy of testing given customers are handing over cash.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
Andrew, a AndyCH has confirmed 77,000 cabinets in a ISoreview posting, some will be dual cabinets so my estimates have not been too bad, phase 1 BDUK to March I estimated at c22,500. BT commercial c51,000 plus extras for capacity.
Posted by New_Londoner 2 months ago
@VFM
Gigaclear has quoted around £1200 or so for some builds, for example in Gloucestershire. More importantly, this cost can mask some quite significant costs to the householder to connect as it doesn't go to the premises- the customer is responsible for that. So there is usually another £100-£500 in connection costs to pay, although it can sometimes be £1000+, as well as £100 activation fee.

In other words, £1500 - £1800 per connected premise in rural villages is not unusual. Much more than that for outlying properties.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
@ValueForMoney perhaps its escaped your notice buy as I populate https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local that I might have a bit of a clue as to how many cabinets are enabled or not.
Posted by ValueforMoney 2 months ago
No so I wonder why you might have questioned the BDUK phase 1 cabinet estimate of 22,500 to march?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 2 months ago
As of now believe over 25,600 cabinets delivered via gap funding.

So probably did look back in March and found no reason to question their figures.
Posted by CarlThomas 2 months ago
I'm actually trying to assess the BT contribution, and if it's especially high what makes this so much more worthy of their money than urban and suburban areas that merited perhaps 80 quid per premises passed for FTTC.
Posted by Somerset 2 months ago
@VFM - Norfolk was announced as 600 cabinets by end 2015, £11M BT, £15M county and £15.4M BDUK.

What do you think has happened?
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 month ago
Somerset, I will send you my workings, more than 600 structures for less that the public subsidy available. BT capital will be owed in my opinion and this is on top of the £5.3m clawback form the £129m. More clawback will due from the increased capital deferral to £270m as take up climbs.
REally good news if the money can be used to push fibre further. Might be too much good news for some.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 month ago
@ValueForMoney are you extrapolating pricing for the Norfolk 670-680 cabinets or have access to the invoices?

Have seen some pretty long digs needed to supply power, 50-60m rather than a more usual 3-5m.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 month ago
The Oxera report referenced a £32k total average, the third highest, this included the long fibre spines. The average may climb but with the spines paid early, the total average is sticky. I have allowed for more than 680 cabinets, but the principal learning does not change. A deeper more intense rollout is possible. From my perspective, given the funds available a deeper rollout was withheld, but at least the funds are not lost but can be recycled.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 month ago
@Andrew I think the biggest problem now is how you contract for what are fibre extensions and how you extract the monies stuck in BT and release it to do more work. It may take six months for folk to move from quite resignation to confession on this matter but it has to come I think.
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 month ago
The modelled range on cabs, including spines to handover points - is £8k to £45k - some exceptions of £140k in the H&I but this includes a new transmission chain and 18 submarine cables, all the latter still generates a total average cost of c£26k for the first c22,500. (my estimates)
Posted by ValueforMoney about 1 month ago
@Andrew - the BT capital in my view is missing, the inflated costs/low targets when combined with the rush to contract phase 2 without correcting the reference model, means the cash is piling up.
The latter is ok if we can acknowledge and plan more. Not so good if the position is being denied.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 month ago
I suspect most people don't care about what you do, so long as roll-outs continue.

Unlike aircraft carriers we have you mainly you complaining that a public procurement exercise has come in under budget and that more is being done with that money.

How far it will go all depends on those variables and the differences between say Norfolk and Surrey geographically.
Posted by AndyCZ about 1 month ago
I am not too familiar with this, but how do the on-going maintenance/upgrades etc. cost factor into the BDUK bids?
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