Warwickshire BDUK project moves to open market review stage
One of the difficulties for local authorities as part of the BDUK projects is identifying what commercial services are planned over the next few years and avoiding duplication of effort. With the increase in the number of commercial FTTB/H projects there is a distinct possibility that some new commercial operators may have as yet undisclosed plans for an estate/development that current is in the BDUK remit.
Warwickshire has just moved into its Open Market Review phase that runs until 26th October 2012, which is the precursor to the full public consultation and bid submission and final announcement of the winner. The main website for the project is www.cswbroadband.org.uk.
An interesting insight into the situation in Warwickshire is available in another document Moving to Superfast Broadband 2011-2015. This document provides a summary of what the council already knows with respect to broadband in the area, and explores some of the possible options. In terms of problem areas three locations are highlighted, Alscot Estate which is a rural business park where backhaul is expensive, the village of Bubbenhall comprising 600 homes which has poor ADSL/ADSL2+ due to the distance to the exchange and an old TPON area Warwick Gates.
TPON was at one time seen as the future, but proved to be a dead-end, Openreach has rolled out FTTC to the estate in 2011, but has only enabled 4 of the 6 cabinets leaving 393 homes without access to FTTC and stuck on an 1 to 3 Mbps ADSL service (cabinets 112 - Glendower Approach/Jourdain Park and cabinet 124 Miranda Drive, Bolingbroke Drove).a
The problem facing all local authorities is that while full fibre to the premises is easy to identify as the gold standard solution, when estimates of actual delivery costs are mentioned of £250 to £750 for fixed wireless, £1000 to £1500 for community delivered FTTH/P and £5,000 to £10,000 per connected premises for traditional telco fibre, the £100 per home subsidy from the BDUK looks very small.