Lincolnshire sets a 90% superfast target
Lincolnshire County Council is one of the latest to release information about matching the BDUK funding, an agreement by the council to add an extra £10m to the £14.3m of allocated BDUK money has been announced. The goal of this project is to provide a 90% coverage of superfast broadband, and we would assume that a minimum of 2 Mbps to meet and exceed where possible the Universal Service Commitment for the remainder.
For those not aware of the county boundaries in that part of the UK, North and North East Lincolnshire are distinct unitary authorities, so their previous 30 Mbps for all announcement still stands. The three authorties when combined form the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire.
The funds will obviously not be used to fund work in areas where providers such as BT already consider it commercially viable to provide its FTTC service, but about extending access to superfast services. The time line is currently such that we can expect a contractor to be appointed by the end of 2012, so if you are a business struggling in the area, there may be at least a year or more to wait before things improve.
The topography of Lincolnshire tends to lend itself towards a fixed wireless solution, to cover the less densely populated areas where FTTC or FTTP may be more expensive to provide. A wireless solution also provides the most promise for those in that final 10%, as fixed wireless solutions can easily exceed the 2 Mbps USC.
In an ideal world, it would be good to see council's committing to future proof solutions, that will not require further spending to meet EU 2020 targets but given the amounts of money made available from central and local bodies if full fibre to the premises were deployed we would be looking at lot lower geographic coverage levels. For a county like Lincolnshire if we assume £1000 per property for full fibre, and that they would only need to invest in half the properties then an investment ten times the current size at £220m would be needed.