£3 million of public money to boost ultrafast coverage in Wiltshire
Wiltshire County Council has announced that in its latest round of broadband procurement two contracts have been awarded and importantly the services delivered will be ultrafast (i.e. 100 Mbps and faster). In the north of the county Gigaclear has a contract to deliver 5,800 premises using their Gigabit FTTH network and the southern part has gone to BT which is also contracted to deliver an ultrafast service.
Thousands upon thousands of premises are seeing the benefits of an improved broadband service thanks to our programme, and we're delighted even more will do so soon. We're pleased to be working with both Gigaclear and BT to provide this next phase of work which will have a positive impact for householders and businesses alike. We are committed to providing an improved broadband service to as much as of the county as possible and will continue to look at all opportunities to help us achieve this.John Thomson - Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband
The public funding of £3 million comprises £1 million raised by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and £2 million from Broadband Deliver UK and is addition to the various phase I roll-outs and superfast extension projects previously announced. Each contract winner will have been expected to add their own funding towards the roll-out, i.e. the principle of gap funding continues.
|thinkbroadband calculation of across Wiltshire Constituencies|
figures 15th June 2017
|Area||% fibre based||% superfast|
24 Mbps or faster
30 Mbps or faster
100 Mbps or faster
|% Virgin Media Cable||% Openreach FTTP||% Under 2 Mbps USC||% Under proposed 10 Mbps USO|
|Wiltshire County Council
Excluding North and South Swindon
|North Swindon Constituency||90.2%||89.7%||89.6%||71.9%||70%||2.42%||0.1%||2.4%|
|North Wiltshire Constituency||95.7%||81.6%||79.4%||13.6%||13.3%||0%||2.9%||8.2%|
|South Swindon Constituency||90.6%||90.1%||90.1%||84.7%||82.5%||0.77%||0.3%||2.3%|
|South West Wiltshire Constituency||97.1%||90.4%||89.4%||58.7%||58.7%||0%||1.4%||5.1%|
The coverage table above does include the North and South Swindon constituencies, just in case at the very edges some areas may fall within the remit of these contracts, the coverage figures for Wiltshire only includes those premises identified as part of the council rather than the ceremonial county. Swindon as its own unitary authority is funding its own roll-outs outside the BDUK framework having initially opted out of the BDUK process in its first phase.
The 5,800 premises in the Gigaclear area represent around an additional 2.5 to 3% of coverage for Wiltshire and with additional premises from the BT contract if the existing projects deliver superfast as expected it seems likely that the county will push past 95% superfast coverage and at the same time boost ultrafast availability. The SEP contract with BT is still delivering VDSL2 with a recent addition being cabinet 7 near the A4/Box Hill on the Box exchange and with the high levels of coverage when you ignore range performance issues we expect to see plenty more infill solutions and its possible some of the areas covered via these new contracts will also provide infill. Performing infill with a later contract does not mean money has been spent twice as the BDUK framework means public money should only be used to pay for premises that were uplifted to superfast and beyond.
Update Saturday 17th June: Have added the premise figures for Wiltshire, but note as with the percentages that this excludes Swindon Unitary Authority which are tracking as comprising 96,725 premises. This is important to note since the BT statement in the council press release talks of 277,000 with access to superfast including commercial and clearly includes Swindon itself and when we add the superfast premises of Swindon and Wiltshire together we get 278,816 premises with the option of a superfast connection over 24 Mbps.