Broadband News

CDS publishes phase 2 decision on project portal

Connecting Devon and Somerset has published its official release on the recent phase 2 contract debacle and it seems the lack of any reassurance over hitting the 95% target by 2021 or 2022 were a major issue.

"As you may be aware from the media reports over the weekend, BT was unable to commit to achieving the target of 95% superfast broadband coverage by the end of 2017. In addition, BT could not give us any reassurances that the 95% target could be reached by 2021/22.


On behalf of local residents and businesses, the local authority partners of CDS are hugely disappointed and feel let down by BT and their lack of ambition, as well as their unwillingness to agree a good deal for the residents and businesses of Devon and Somerset! What they were offering did not represent good value for money and would not have addressed the issues of providing universal provision.


We are sorry that we are unable to give you better news, but CDS is committed to achieving a better deal and will work hard to secure that in a fresh approach to the market."

Extracts from CDS phase 2 decision

The task for who ever bids now is clear, any proposals that do not bring superfast broadband to around 35,000 premises dispersed across the large footprint of Devon and Somerset by the end of 2017 will not be considered worthy. The current phase 1 project is likely to be one of the last to hit the 90% target by the end of 2016.

It should be pointed out that while the UK Government has an ambition for 95% superfast in 2017 that is a UK wide ambition and with some 63 local authority or district councils already past 95% at speeds of 30 Mbps or faster there is plenty of scope for other areas to be below the target and the goal still be reached. We cannot help but wonder based on the various comments of various players involved whether the falling out on the contract was less about the overall target, but guarantees that each specific district council in the CDS project would hit 95%, rather than some hitting 97% and another just 93% and it is unknown whether Plymouth which already exceeds the 95% target was being allowed into the equation.

The clear and present danger for Devon in particular is that small business may see this uncertainty and slip across the border to Cornwall which while still needing plenty of work to improve superfast coverage does have FTTP available to 1 in 4 premises.


This all looks like assumption of risk refusal.

i.e. neither side wants to take on the risk where failure to achieve targets (be they achievable or not) in the given timeframe is shared or piled into one person plate.

  • themanstan
  • over 3 years ago

Only 1200 premises/month if they started now.

  • Somerset
  • over 3 years ago

Given Openreach still has commercial cabinets waiting, I suspect that there is very little slack if any left to add an extra 1,200 premises within the CDS footprint, premises per cab ratio is lower as you get more rural, or more FTTP involved too.

Interesting to see what gets announced for the national park contract soon.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 3 years ago

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward.

Danger is no-one else bids and they go back to BT with lower targets, extended dates and a "sorry for the bad press, fancy coming back?"

  • GMAN99
  • over 3 years ago

It would be nice for BT to refuse to bid in the open procurement, just so we can see how open all the many other bidders will be.

My money is on it being a consortium bid with 1-2% of FTTH and remaining 3% as fixed wireless.

Will make NAO reports more interesting for sure.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 3 years ago

Ah well. I'm going 3G/4G. Probably cost me £50 - £100 per month but will work.
Getting weak 3G at the mo and EE might just get 4G to me before Christmas.
Got a Huawei router and just ordered an external Mimo panel antenna to go on the roof.
Was holding out for the contract but no more.
I need upload as well as download so 4G should give me 30 - 60 down and 10 - 20 up.
Quite angry about all this. Businesses will suffer and fail.

  • ahockings
  • over 3 years ago

ahockings what your exchange / cab are you on

  • fastman
  • over 3 years ago

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