SuperfastCymru the difference between 96% and 88%
The SuperfastCymru project has always had a difficult time with what its targets are, the original delivery date of June 2016 has come and gone, but while that was the official completion date, a date of end of 2016 has been mentioned several times and we were using that as the marker for the project being properly late.
On the coverage targets we are highlighting the differences between what 96% and 88% means because of the latest coverage by BBC Wales on various politicians comments about the project. The SuperfastCymru project target of 96% is referring to coverage of VDSL2(FTTC), cable broadband and FTTP/FTTH without any speed qualifers, and our tracking as of 1st November 2016 records this as 93.8%. When we add our speed qualifiers coverage drops to 88.27% at 30 Mbps and faster, an additional 1.2% are expected to get between 24 Mbps and 30 Mbps and a larger 4.3% have VDSL2 available to them but not at superfast speeds (using either the 24 or 30 Mbps definition).
Map showing in red/yellow/green VDSL2 speeds, black FTTP postcodes and blue highlighting under 10 Mbps postcodes
So will Wales hit its 96% fibre based broadband target? Well based on performance in the last couple of months it might make it to 94.3%, but we are aware and with changes to the Openreach checkers the public will be to that Fibre to the Premises (FTTH/FTTP) is on the way to numerous parts of Wales, we believe that this being built segment may amount to 1 to 2% further coverage, and as its pure fibre every premise delivered is automatically superfast. The problem with FTTP roll-out is that it is more time consuming compared to a VDSL2 roll-out, this often means it ends up costing more i.e. extra labour involved outweighs the cost of the VDSL2 hardware. The current FTTP picture is that 1.22% of Wales has access to Openreach FTTP (same wholesale price as VDSL2 importantly) and an extra 0.16% can access Hyperoptic services in Cardiff.
A parting word on the map, the amount of blue dots (under 10 Mbps speeds currently) postcodes looks a lot more than just 6.35% of premises in Wales, but this is down to the distribution of premises where in the towns and cities it is not unusual to see postcodes with 60 or 70 premises, but in rural areas sizes of 4 to 6 premises are much more common.