Broadband News

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.


?? Central Bedfordshire BDUK ?? Surely South Yorkshire!

  • MCM999
  • over 6 years ago

Lol my copy and paste has been spotted. Fixed it now obviously, blames lack of coffee and a 4am start on Monday.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 6 years ago

It's a bit less than the reputed £100,000,000 or according to some sources £150,000,000 which was spent, to get 3,000 customers which works out at 50,000 per customer. I was on this network, was promised migration by Origin, both at home and work and we've been stuck without anything - I had mobile internet from EE and what a fiasco that has been.

  • shaunhw
  • over 6 years ago

I was with Origin Broadband getting nearly 24mb download and 10mb upload.I'm now back on ADSL with another isp getting under 3mb download and 0.60mb upload.Its a massive drop after 2 years of having FTTC.And this is less than 3 miles from a major UK city centre,not out in some tiny rural hamlet.

  • rayvon
  • over 6 years ago

I wish BT would just take over the Fibre lines and convert the equipment to theirs, I have gone from 65Mbit to 1.05Mbit on my last test, I'm surprised it even usable at that speed, I wish I was getting anywhere near the median speed listed above, and only a couple of mile from the exchange

  • OxenTwins
  • over 6 years ago

In the same position as rayvon - I can actually SEE my exchange, but because of the convoluted route the copper takes I am now connected at stone age 2Mbps. Furthermore, we are not likely to benefit from the BDUK project because we’re not rural. The large number of small businesses connected to my exchange, who have been forced to take leased lines to get the connectivity required may be coincidental, or it might explain why BT/OR steadfastly refuse to upgrade it to fibre. There can't be a technological or engineering obstacle because DR managed to do it.

  • essenby
  • over 6 years ago

@OxenTwins - its not just a simple task of "taking over the lines". Firstly BT would have had to bid for, and win the sales of the equipment, and secondly probably put in a completely different backhaul to their exchange and not to the SYDR network, involving more cost on top. Add all that up and it may not have made economic sense.

  • Gadget
  • over 6 years ago

Anybody have any idea when cab 63 (middlewood road north ) on wadsley bridge will be done a friend of mine is on this cab and despite only being 2km from the exchange he only gets 2.5meg

  • 2doorsbob
  • over 6 years ago

BT already had a massive push to bring FTTC to Sheffield, and mysteriously progress halted when the news broke about DR going under.

  • TWeaKoR
  • over 6 years ago

The south part of rotherham (the metropolitan borough of rotherham) is part of the worksop exchange. Because of this we are classified as extreme rural and there are no plans to give us modern broadband speeds. If the exchange passed us over to Rotherham we would get proper service. It is a discouragement to business investors, and house buyers, in a deprived area, but inside BT the size of your empire matters more than customer service and government policy.

  • nickgillies
  • over 5 years ago

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