Broadband News

Hertfordshire is at 90% target, Bucks catching up as new contract signed

Another contract signed and this time its the extension for the ConnectedCounties project, with the new contract aiming to extend superfast coverage to 95%. The Open Market Review completed in December 2014, and the project website is one of the few give a nice running tally of which cabinets are live.

As this is a large project combining two counties we are just going to list the two counties, and the worst performing constituency in each county. It is interesting to see that Hertfordshire has already hit the 2015 90% superfast coverage target, with Buckinghamshire 10 percentage points behind.

thinkbroadband calculation of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire progress towards 90% superfast goal - 5th April 2015
Council Area % fibre based % superfast (>30 Mbps) % cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 5 Mbps (new USO) % Under 15 Mbps
Buckinghamshire County Excludes Milton Keynes) 86.2% 80.3% 31.6% 0% 1.2% 5.4% 16%
Hertfordshire 92.3% 90.2% 78% 0% 0.3% 2.7% 6%
Buckingham Constituency 62.3% 52.7% 0% 0% 2.7% 23% 39.9%
North East Hertfordshire Constituency 69.5% 67.4% 58.4% 0% 0.6% 10.2% 21.5%

As with other counties, the two least served areas appear to be those with the largest landmass, and the situation in Hertfordshire also highlights how the targets can be hit without the need to bring every community up to the headline coverage figure.

There have been vocal complaints about the shifting of the Universal Service Coverage target from 2012 to 2015, but comparing Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire you get a feel for what benefits FTTC can bring, i.e. enabling a cabinet that is 4 to 5km from its exchange with VDSL2 can virtually remove the USC problem in that area. We say virtually as once you are more than 2km from a VDSL2 fibre cabinet the performance is decreasing to the point where 2 Mbps may not be possible.


The cabinet count is good to 258+ a few,(great to see) serving 52k premises. Original IA looked to be greater than 100k premises?
Budget of £18m - BT bid of £8.6m - so in theory no public funding needed with 258 cabs - costing no more than £5.6m.
Apart from facilitating BT announcing a reduction in its commerical footprint, why are SEP's needed given the budgets already in place?

  • ValueforMoney
  • over 5 years ago

I concur with your USC comments, keep pushing fibre and in-fill with fibre to DP manifold.
I assume USC has to be recovered from the SEP areas anyway. Interesting to where that premium sits?

  • ValueforMoney
  • over 5 years ago

Can you give details of the 95% contract yet? I live in North Herts so would be interested to know if my exchange is in the 95% phase or whether the Con(nected) Counties team has left us out of the next round too...

  • victoriaonline
  • over 5 years ago

The USC issue could further be addressed by running "full fat" ADSL2 from the cabinets in those locations. That would push 2mbps out to 4km from the cabinet or more. It would, of course, require a new wholesale product and heavily impact exchange-based ADSL connected via those cabinets, so would require regulatory changes.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 5 years ago

Victoria, Look on the site linked in the article, if you know your cab it will show in the list if surveyed and due to be done tby Dec 2015. It is the best BDUK site by a long distance for info.

  • jumpmum
  • over 5 years ago

@Victoria, while the ConnectedCounties gives lots of detail, as the extension contract has JUST been signed then no precise detail is available yet on exactly which cabinets will offer a service because of the new project.

There will a rough idea, but plans change so committing to a particular cabinet would be a rash thing to do.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 5 years ago

Thanks Andrew. I haven't emailed the Connected Counties team in a few months, so will annoy them once more!

@jumpmum - thanks for the link. I check their website every couple of weeks just in case they release details of the extension program to see if they will deliver on connecting my exchange (SMAW) by 2020...

  • victoriaonline
  • over 5 years ago

Another round of my cab being missed out , ho hum.

  • kaycee
  • over 5 years ago

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