Round two to bring better broadband to South Yorkshire close to starting
While very few expected otherwise it looks like the South Yorkshire project to get more widely superfast broadband available that replaces the failed Digital Region project is close to being signed.
The funding of £7,425,000 from the four councils involved should closely match the amount allocated by Westminster and the amount added to the project will vary according to how good the negotiators are, in some areas BT has matched both pots of money, in others just the Westminster allocation.
The demise of Digital Region while it only ever had 3,000 customers smarts more than most broadband provider failures as for some it has meant a return from VDSL2 type speeds to slow old ADSL2+. Current speeds for July 2014 in the four district councils gathered from our speed tests which exists in two versions (one for when at home on the computer and another for phones and tablets.
|Speed test results for councils involved in Superfast South Yorkshire project|
|Authority||Median Download Speed||Median Upload Speed||% of tests currently superfast||% of tests under 2 Mbps||Virgin Media Coverage|
|Barnsley District||21.7 Mbps||2.3 Mbps||39%||8.6%||34.7%|
|Doncaster District||20 Mbps||2.3 Mbps||40.4%||5.5%||32.7%|
|Rotherham District||22.1 Mbps||2.8 Mbps||38.6%||4.5%||32.1%|
|Sheffield District||19.5 Mbps||1.9 Mbps||38.9%||5.4%||43.6%|
The situation in South Yorkshire is interesting as it seems to be one of those areas where contrary to the urban myth that BT will overbuild every competing network large chunks of the area were left to Digital Region, with some anecdotal stories of Openreach VDSL2 cabinets appearing to disappear once a Digital Region cab appeared.
The presence of the old Digital Region cabinets will probably only make a difference to the extent that ducting with power is likely to be in a suitable location and as one of the large cost variables this may help to keep price per cabinet slightly lower.