Broadband News

Latest BDUK Performance Indicator data published

The BDUK process continues to deliver and with the 7 year term around clawback (gainshare) the recycling of funding as take-up increases is critical to pushing the UK behind the current 95% superfast goal by the end of 2017, the hope is that before 2020 a 97% superfast coverage target will be reached.

The premises figures are based around those who DCMS/BDUK have modelled as getting faster than 24 Mbps, for those who prefer the harder definition of 30 Mbps and faster our data indicates a 0.6% difference nationally, but this will be slightly different for the gap funded cabinets as they cover a wider footprint compared to the distinctly urban commercial footprint.

Cumulative to end of:Premises with superfast broadband service made availableBDUK funding (£)Number of premises covered per £million of broadband delivery programme expenditure
December 2012 254 £434,735 584
March 2013 16,638 £6,767,185 2,459
June 2013 38,343 £6,767,185 5,666
September 2013 111,968 £10,347,568 10,821
December 2013 273,731 £14,182,547 19,301
March 2014 508,801 £58,586,408 8,685
June 2014 888,113 £72,437,233 12,260
September 2014 1,383,777 £99,766,011 13,870
December 2014 1,908,725 £252,084,918 7,572
March 2015 2,411,395 301,444,870 7,999
June 2015 2,905,764 £331,828,330 8,757
September 2015 3,311,843 £372,153,178 8,899
December 2015 3,625,369 £406,918,848 8,909
March 2016 3,840,643 £476,742,422 8,056
June 2016 4,021,047 £492,573,929 8,163
September 2016 4,168,739 £497,656,699 8,377
December 2016 4,309,668 £513,598.393 8,391
March 2017 4,426,493 £550,832,876 8,036

For those keen to read the caveats to the data then the full document covers everything, in simple summary remember that devolved administrations and local authorities gap fund on top of this amount, plus some areas have ERDF (EU money) and then the area that makes a few people hot under the collar is the contribution from suppliers (remember that the projects are not just BT Group any more). Spending from vouchers is not included.

The heady days of the first half of 2014 are a long time ago now and there is a clear trend since then of less premises being delivered per £1 million of gap funding, and this is to be expected as even though there will be plenty of exchange only line premises with people complaining about not having been helped yet, there are many more in the last year who've seen network rearrangement so that their cable bundle gains VDSL2 (and in a few lucky cases full fibre FTTP). Another factor is the amount of FTTP being deployed which if part of any project has often been at the end of the roll-out and in the case of Wales a lot has gone live in the last six months and still more to come.

Change in superfast coverage across local authorities

English changes in superfast coverage between Dec 2016 and May 2017
Click image for larger version
A copy of the English map with labels is also available

Change in superfast coverage across local authorities

Scottish changes in superfast coverage between Dec 2016 and May 2017
Click image for larger version

Change in superfast coverage across local authorities

Welsh changes in superfast coverage between Dec 2016 and May 2017
Click image for larger version

The change maps cover both BDUK and commercial roll-outs, but show where the majority of the roll-out activity across England, Scotland and Wales is. Northern Ireland misses out on an image, but the change since the end of December 2016 there has been 0.5%.

Comments

So there is work to do, loads of money to do it, but progress has slowed.
What is holding up the plan for the £446m capital deferral? Is there a state aid issue beyond the first £130m?

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 year ago

Projects have been announcing their extensions via gainshare iften infill or FTTP

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

@Andrew In a comparatively piecemeal way, given the opportunity available. There is still no notion of 'reasonable demand' permitting SME's to order a direct fibre service for an affordable broadband service.

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 year ago

@VFM

There is a little matter of resourcing, Even if money is available, there is not a bottomless pit of people to do the work, and that includes within the BDUK local projects who have to make the decisions on how any money is to be reinvested.

  • TheEulerID
  • about 1 year ago

What is now becoming more apparent is that, in "white" areas where complete market failure has occurred (and infrastructure assets don't already exist), only community initiatives have any chance of success, because no-one else has any interest even WITH State Aid. But as State Aid is only available to schemes where communities contract with a private sector partner to install networks, FTTP schemes such as Broadband for the Rural North are almost impossible to replicate unless philanthropic capital investment is available to bootstrap such schemes - often, the back-haul simply doesn't exist.

  • GraceCourt
  • about 1 year ago

On no-one else being interested Gigaclear is gaining contracts and has also found investors willing to invest.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Andrew, Gigaclear have a number of employees whose role is solely to analyse BDUK contracts to selct those that fit their venture backers' very tight demographic specifications, and they do not bid otherwise.

Gigaclear has never bid for any contract to supply broadband in rural Scotland, where it can be argued that the market failure (and the need) is greatest. The only technology available in many exchanges is ADSL Max, which BT itself acknowledges has been obsolete for years, and they have no plans to change that. And I believe that R100 is doomed to repeat the mistakes of BDUK... :-(

  • GraceCourt
  • about 1 year ago

@Grace
I imagine BT have employees that do the same for evaluating their well-defined criteria too. Nothing wrong with commercial entities figuring out profit vs investment.

But it seems hard to square up your idea that no one has any interest even with state aid. The BDUK projects are continuing, and Gigaclear notwithstanding, BT are still upgrading 150 cabinets each week. Work will certainly continue past the end of this year, possibly on into 2019.

You're right about the lack of official support for DIY projects like B4RN. A fear that it goes like SYDR or AB Internet probably.

  • WWWombat
  • about 1 year ago

@grace 2
Are you sure BT have no plans to upgrade from ADSLmax?

Even ignoring the upgrades to FTTC going on, which obviously bypasses ADSLmax for many, BT does have a programme to upgrade to 21CN.

In February, ISPReview reported that BT had started a programme to upgrade all IPStream exchanges to 21CN by the end of 2018. That's about 1600 exchanges. Nearly 3 exchanges per day.

  • WWWombat
  • about 1 year ago

@WWWombat @Eulier 117,000 new customers passed does not equate to 150 cabinets a week, perhaps less than 100. Interesting to see how much FTTP a week is being enabled. This is now more relevant.

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 year ago

VDSL2 roll-out pace is dropping significantly (I'd half the estimate), but this may mean some of the FTTP (commercial and BDUK) starts to appear, i.e. resources mean doing C and P in volume at same time appears difficult.

GEA-FTTP is a 2-3 thousand a week (it bursts but that may be us spotting it too), but then as getting fibre to a DP is roughly same work as fibre to a cabinet then you can see the difference in resource, i.e. save on cab and power costs but spend it on people and time.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

@VFM

You continue to use broad averages. As the roll-out proceeds into ever less densely populated areas, individual cabinets supply fewer properties, especially as in many cases further ones have to be added to reduce the distances for for EO lines. The all-in-one cabinets have a maximum capacity of 128 lines, and simple statistics mean that many support many fewer properties than that due to simple geography.

Whilst the smaller cabinets are a bit lower, for more remote locations, the costs for backhaul fibre and power provision are likely considerably higher.

  • TheEulerID
  • about 1 year ago

@ndrew - placing a splitter on a pole is the same as a cabinet? Not so sure, no power, no planning, no plinth, or tie cables! Extending cable over poles maybe easier than the duct clearing.

TheEulerID - You need to contrast the current effort <£40m a quarter with the now £446m owed. And these cabs add little when population density drops. Really peculiar if the default plan is to hand the money back. Given all the aggregation nodes in place when is it practical to make ordering a fibre connection a 'reasonable' request?

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 year ago

@vfm read carefully, maybe I needed to be more explicit so lets try again...

Getting fibre to each DP or manifold (which will involve 1 or more splitters too) is same work as running fibre to a cabinet. There are savings in terms of power can cabinet hardware costs/plinth but that is eaten into by the extra labour from having to run the fibre to a manifold that serves 8 to 12 premises, compared to one location that services 75 to 500 premises

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

On the £446 of gainshare/clawback

The contract is such that BT don't automatically re-invest the clawback monies, the local authority has to make the decision and its something like

a) Recycle the money with BT and extend by a few thousand more premises, and decide on the P/C mix and the priority areas
b) Recycle the money with BT, but beyond that decision give no direction on what and where
c) Don't recycle the money and get it back into public purse at end of 7 year contract
d) Don't recycle money but use the fact you know £Xm is due in Y years and award a contract to another operator

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

@ValueForMoney I believe you want the notion of Fibre on Demand to return, but with a LOT lower costs involved for the public, and this is a return to the desires of BDUK in the 2010 to 2012 era when FoD was seen as the solution for beyond reach of superfast or those wanting ultrafast speeds

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

@Andrew £446m is not a few thousand but 500K more than the total FTTP available today.
It is not just about recycling but why given the monies was it not planned in the first place.

FoD or fibre extensions is not a return but a requirement to be fulfilled, see BT representations and promises to Welsh PAC last September.

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 year ago

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