Broadband News

No help for long lines in South Gloucestershire broadband project

Planning and deploying a solution that will deliver superfast broadband to 94% of premises in a county is no easy task, but in South Gloucestershire there has already been complaints about areas excluded and this time we have a business that is too far from its existing commercially enabled cabinet to see any benefit from VDSL2 being excluded by a council that believes EU rules mean that the postcode is excluded.

The Stroud News has the original coverage and we have done our checking and at 3 to 3.5km from cabinet 42 on the Chipping Sodbury exchange Williams Automobiles and other premises in surrounding postcodes are too far for VDSL2 to deliver anything.

"Mr Williams is connected to a cabinet that has been upgraded to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) by a commercial provider. The cabinet is therefore unfortunately not legally able to be included in the council’s current Superfast Broadband Project."

Council spokesman

We believe that this is wrong, while the cabinet may have been updated, the postcodes that will NOT benefit can still be considered for intervention. We believe that the council may be misunderstanding the EU regulations or trying to avoid a reality that with limited funding and a goal that is less than 100% there will be people left out in the cold. Unfortunately in politics telling people you are having to ration out funding rather than giving it to those who feel they deserve it most is not a way to win votes.

Cabinet 35 is located in Horton and is closer, and we calculate that if BT were to re-engineer the local network to put the affected postcodes on cabinet 35 and this cabinet was to get a fibre twin via the BDUK project, they might see speeds in the 17 to 20 Mbps range, which is a big jump from the sub 2 Mbps we believe the area gets now. Another option might be Fibre on Demand, but at 3km or more it will be expensive but technically possible. Interestingly we believe some native FTTP may be deployed on the Chipping Sodbury exchange via the BDUK project to resolve Exchange Only lines near Kingsgate Park.

We went looking to check the 94% superfast figure for the project, but seems the council has moved the announcement again as well as other announcements on the project. 94% at superfast speeds is still present though in the FAQ pages. Our estimate is close if South Gloucestershire just enabled all the street cabinets, 90% at 30 Mbps or 92% at 24 Mbps or faster would be the result. In Wiltshire the situation is very different figures of 74% and 79% at 24 Mbps or faster are what we calculate.


This looks the same as we saw in Suffolk that Openreach claimed they would roll out to all premises connected to cabinets in the commercial area only to renege on that promise when they had been awarded the tender for the rest of the county. However in Suffolk's case this is being addressed by a new OMR whereas South Gloucestshire seem to be putting BTs interests above those of their residents.

  • gerarda
  • over 6 years ago

When is everyone gonna realise what a superfarce it all is, and that copper can't deliver over distance, and that the digital divide is growing ever wider as millions are on long lines? 'Homes passed' they are called.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 6 years ago

On my exchange, SDWSTCH, once again the BT wholesale figures are proving wildly optimistic. Having been given two results with the 'new' service it seems it would be sensible to divide the BT predicted speeds by 10 to see what might appear. We have one at 1.8km and one at 1km (same cabinet), BT giving figures in the 50's, actual installed speeds around 4. If you recall, BT gave 4mb ADSL for a house with only dial-up here too. It is a farce. Probably down to the state of the wires, I guess.

  • mikejp
  • over 6 years ago

Was this estimate both for telephone number and the full address?

Location information can be wrong in the BT databases

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 6 years ago

Need to correct the 1.8km figures - I have checked myself and the figure was 4.9 low/impacted.

Don't know about the 1km one - image came from customer. I'll see if I can check.

Do you know how the 'results' of the BDUK spend are to be determined in terms of achieved speeds across an exchange? Is anyone going to monitor?

  • mikejp
  • over 6 years ago

Figures the same for either.

  • mikejp
  • over 6 years ago

Well if it's any consolation I have been in email with a lady from the department of the council dealing with this - and she is not very helpful/usefull at all.

And I live in an area they are supposed to be doing in the Autumn ( Or August I am told)

  • fabrettitd
  • over 6 years ago

I had similar stuff from Wiltshire Online. My cabinet (Cabinet 7 from SSMAL Malmesbury) is now fibre but it is far too long a run to get to me (SN15 5JS) but I got the "I can confirm that your postcode has been picked up as part of a telecom provider’s commercial programme" opt-out saying I get nothing from the council project. What annoys me is that you're just abandoned to try and sort out your own project, I'm currently talking to a wireless provider but that isn't without issues. Sigh.

  • SlowSomerford
  • over 6 years ago

The 'targets' on the South Gloucestershire Council website mean nothing. They are purely 'aspirational'. This is why they have changed countless times, enabling the Council to claim they are 'on target'.

The actual contractual targets cannot be released because they are subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

  • a_j_w
  • over 6 years ago

Is it possible to explain how the coverage map in the link above ( was generated? It implies more than just 'VDSL vs distance' knowledge as the boundaries of the cabinet coverage area seem uncannily accurate (based on my anecdotal local knowledge). Now that cabinet 35 has been FTTC enabled, the impact on the businesses in the Stroud News article have been proven. BT are refusing to move impacted lines to that closer cabinet due, apparently, to the effect on voice circuit performance.

  • sidcrighton
  • over 4 years ago

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