Essex broadband project starts to deliver
While BT and the BDUK is the constant between the various BDUK projects, it is interesting to see the variation in the level of information being made available to the public. The Essex County Council project has at last started to deliver improvements with the news revealed on the EADT24 and hopefully in the local print editions too. The Superfast Essex twitter account reveals they are at the launch of a cabinet in Rivenhall on June 12th.
On 11th June the grand opening ceremony was held for a cabinet on the Severalls Industrial Park in Colchester. We are not certain which cabinet, but it is either PCP6 or PCP23 which are both on the estate and were within the scope of the Essex project and are both taking orders, which is good news for Essex Heating Supplies and ATS Euromaster who are served by these two cabinets. On that estate we believe six cabinets cover it, of the others there are no known plans to enable them, but we would not be surprised if a later phase enabled PCP17, PCP19 and 26 are borderline for this project, but should make it into the 2015-2017 funding round we believe. PCP27 seems to cover too few premises and might even miss out on the 2017 funding round.
Rivenhall has a slightly different view of the green, since in this view on the grass in front of the chain link fence is a new shiny fibre cabinet that is linked to PCP25 on the Witham exchange. PCP5 and PCP11 have been serving others in the Rivenhall area for some time as part of the commercial roll-out, the newest cabinet via the BDUK project covers around one third the lines of the other two, hence not commercially viable. Some properties in Rivenhall are on PCP31, which does not have a fibre twin yet, but we believe is on the list for getting one via the Essex project.
The final cabinet among the first to go live in Essex is in Harlow and seems to be PCP84 serving businesses on an industrial park (e.g. CM20 2SN).
The current Essex project with the first wave of funding was aiming for 87% of premises with the option of a fibre based broadband connection, which suggests that the 5% of Exchange Only lines in the county will miss out on the first project. With the cable coverage in the county at 34%, we estimate that if every green street cabinet got a fibre twin that 88% would get a speed of 30 Mbps or faster, another 2.6% getting 24 Mbps to 30 Mbps, once the later phases of roll-out become known it may be possible to revise the figues to reflect more the situation on the ground rather than a theoretical figure.