Broadband News

Connecting Devon and Somerset confounds critics by hitting target

The Connecting Devon and Somerset BDUK project was the largest of the ones operating in England and those involved are now celebrating a success and we may not be as fast as some outlets in carrying this news but we wanted to complete the number crunching first to see if we agreed.

"Connecting Devon and Somerset and its partners have been a driving force in solving the challenge of bringing next generation access to businesses and communities in the region.

Completion of our phase 1 programme means that thousands of homes and businesses now enjoy the benefits of having much faster internet speeds, which supports modern day living and working practices as well as being critical to the local economy. We recognise there is still a long way to go to ensure everyone can enjoy the same speeds and benefits across the region. CDS has now launched a further publicly funded programme (Phase 2) to reach even more properties.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for economy and growth for Devon County Council

The BT press release gives details such as the project involving a quarter of a million miles of optical fibre and more than 1,460 fibre broadband (VDSL2/FTTC) cabinets. Importantly the take-up is now running at just over one in three (33.5%) for those areas where the project has delivered service and this is double the level of 18 months ago, showing the increasing awareness that better services are more widely available.

thinkbroadband calculation of what has been delivered as part of Connecting Devon and Somerset Phase I
Figures 14th March 2017
Area fibre based
> 24 Mbps
% superfast
>= 30 Mbps
Openreach FTTP Under 2 Mbps USC Under 10 Mbps USO
CDS Phase 1 99.4% 83.7% 81.5 0.20 4% 14%
Premises 327239 275135 267880 6701 13190 30668
Where cabinets overlap with Virgin Media cable broadband which was just 2% we have taken these into account.

There are 16 cabinets we believe are part of the project that we've not seen live yet and we will double check later today, these represent 0.5% of the total project premise count of 328888, thus when you add these 1,600 to the you are extremely close to the 278,000 premises stated by the project itself, though these cabinets may be part of what Bill Murphy is talking about, in which case our figures being slightly under is likely to be down to the pessimistic model we operate for how crosstalk and distance will impact lines. Additionally there may be some more FTTP that is in the final stages of delivery. So boringly it does look as if the project has delivered.

"The target of making fibre broadband available to 320,000 premises has already been easily exceeded by more than 12,000, whilst the target of making superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above available to 278,000 premises has also been achieved and, indeed, we expect to comfortably exceed it in the coming weeks.

The successful roll-out of this exciting technology is great news for Devon and Somerset communities because whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband. When BT’s commercial programme is also included, it means that we have been involved in making fibre broadband available to more than 868,000 premises across the two counties."

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT


Salut to the 1,460 cabinets and the smattering of FTTP.

If you could estimate the finances then there is much bigger success to be had.

If your OTT and say a cab/fibre costs £30k each we are only at half the headline budget available. This is how good this could become.

  • ValueforMoney
  • over 4 years ago

Unluckily my cabinet no 4 was among the last phase (and delayed due to cabinet siting issues) so had to wait but bow I am getting over 60meg as apposed to the 3.5meg before. Now just need some exchange congestion issues resolving at wwstal

  • adamtemp
  • over 4 years ago

@valueformoney So long as things are under budget and given risk of spending more to hit target falls in the BT side of contract, not going to expend an additional four years of effort into also tracking the money side.

Plenty of qualified auditors who are paid well for doing that already exist.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 4 years ago

Keri reported that £4.7m of "clawback" was confirmed to be offered by BT for infill, and that CDS will take that offer - planning will happen from June.

The £4.7m was all from "takeup clawback". The aspect of underspend would be finalised over the next 6 months, but she didn't expect there to be any.

  • WWWombat
  • over 4 years ago

Well done BT/Openreach on deciding to place our village's FTTC cabinet WWOAKF/2 in the middle of nowhere and a mile away from the village. The end result is that much of our small village is marginal for VDSL2 with a cabinet-to-premises cable run in excess of 2km for part of the village.

  • jaybee2017
  • over 4 years ago

jaybee was there a copper cabinet next to it and have you always been on cab 2 -- I assume there must be enough premises close enough to gain a > 24 m/bps service otherwise the cabinet will not have been enabled --

  • fastman
  • over 4 years ago

fastman, if that were the case it would seem a reasonable decision. However this was a new cabinet and FTTC box installation on a windswept crossroads around halfway between the exchange and the village. Previously our ADSL connection was over a line direct from the exchange.
I would estimate that there are, at most, half a dozen subscribers (isolated farms, barn conversions, etc.) close enough to the cabinet to take full advantage of FTTC speeds.

  • jaybee2017
  • over 4 years ago

very odd looks quite a specific location -- so bit stranger and if not many premises getr 24/mbps wont cost the county as supplier only get paid on premises > 24 m/bps

  • fastman
  • over 4 years ago

The cabinet location may have made sense to someone, but the situation on the ground is visible to anyone by looking at the OFCOM map ( for postcode EX16 9QD. The FTTC cabinet (on the fork in the road to the south-east of the postcode flag) is responsible for just 3 "superfast" green squares (or about 5 properties), and 3 or 4 addresses seeing >24Mb/s in the next village.
So how to embarrass OR into to re-doing the job properly?

  • jaybee2017
  • over 4 years ago

@jaybee - maybe CDS Lot 4 will help you.

  • Somerset
  • over 4 years ago

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