Broadband News

Orkney reaches end of its phase one fibre roll-out

When as area had no commercial superfast broadband options at the start of the BDUK process any roll-out will be an improvement, but as ever those who have not seen their area get upgraded or are too far from a cabinet to benefit will be looking for the roll-out to continue, and so while there is a mini celebration over Orkney passing the 75% fibre based broadband target the news that effeciency and take-up levels mean more roll-out will take place is the biggest news.

Change in fibre and superfast broadband coverage in Orkney
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Change in Orkney broadband coverage levels since 2012

Our tracking shows that at the raw level of any speed via VDSL2/FTTC coverage is sitting at 79.9% of premises i.e. 8,600 premises, once you add a minimum speed of 25 Mbps and faster i.e. superfast this drops to 60.7%. The general lack of ADSL2+ too on Orkney means that there is no difference between the level of premises with sub 10 Mbps download or sub 10 Mbps download with sub 1 Mbps upload 33.4%.

The big question now is how many more cabinets will the roll-out now deliver ahead of any work getting under as part of the R100 scheme in Scotland that has the ambition to give 100% of Scotland a superfast broadband option in 2021.

The median download speeds in Orkney in Q2 2017 may still have been just 8.9 Mbps, but the mean average is showing the impact of the faster services as people buy it with a value of 14.2 Mbps. Splitting ADSL and VDSL2 apart, we can see a median download speed of 4.5 Mbps for ADSL and FTTC 22.2 Mbps and while people complain about the lack of symmetry on VDSL2 the median upload of 5.1 Mbps is some 17 times faster than the ADSL service.

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