Broadband voucher pilot comes to an end
The Super Connected Cities scheme that has some £150m to spend on improving speeds for businesses (and in theory consumers) in 15 UK cities is progressing. The pilot scheme to test the system both in terms of interest and how the vouchers will work in practice finished at the end of September 2013 in five trial cities.
Some good news for once, Metronet UK who provide a variety of connectivity methods indicated back in the first two weeks of September that it had taken 13 orders via the scheme and has highlighted one example which has seen an audio engineering school jump from a standard 8 Mbps ADSL connection to a 30 Mbps wireless leased line.
It appears that VDSL2 via Openreach was not available as the cabinet was not 'commercially viable' and the voucher scheme arrived at the time the college was considering an upgrade to leased line type infrastructure. The 3 year contract at £20,000 may sound a lot for a 30 Mbps connection, but with true 1:1 contention Internet connections are not cheap and there appears to be plenty of scope to increase speeds if needed in the future.
The number of registered suppliers for the Connection Vouchers scheme at over fifty providers is impressive and demonstrates the level of competition that exists in the UK and importantly as with Metronet UK not all of them are dependent on Openreach for the last mile of connectivity.