Milton Keynes and Surrey carrying out broadband surveys
Surrey County Council has started an online survey to canvas residents and businesses in the area on what the current levels of coverage are, and ask a few questions about what download and upload speeds people would like. This is part of Surrey County Council's superfast broadband project, which aims to get 'high speed broadband' to all Surrey residents and businesses. To access the survey visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/superfastbroadband and follow the link on that page.
The Surrey FAQ on their broadband project, suggests that download speeds of 20 Mbps and faster with an upload of at least 5 Mbps is superfast, but no firm definition is on the table. Since it is still being discussed and with a self imposed deadline of 2013, a definition is needed quickly.
Milton Keynes has been in the broadband news for many years, and to a large extent has suffered over the years from ambitions to be first with various technologies that have either never scaled to cover the whole area, or proved to be technological dead-ends. The city has now created a new Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG) and to address slow-spots in the city is carrying out a survey for residents and businesses to fill in at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mylocalbroadband.
Milton Keynes has a mixture of FTTP and FTTC available, which can result in properties in the same street getting widely varying speeds with someone using FTTC getting 25 Mbps down and 7 Mbps up, compared to others on ADSL/ADSL2+ getting 2.6 to 4.1 Mbps down and 0.5 Mbps to 0.76 Mbps up. Then there are some people getting speedtests under 100 Kbps very close to others receiving 7 Mbps or faster.
Hopefully councils around the UK will look more closely into any survey results, as it is entirely possible that slow-spots may simply be because of poor wiring or poor choice of provider, rather than an actual infrastructure failure. Given the limited amount of money available to councils, targeting money to the correct areas is very important.