Broadband News

Scottish Affairs Committee to hear evidence on Digital Connectivity in Scotland

On the morning of Tuesday 23rd January, Andrew Ferguson from thinkbroadband will be delivering evidence on digital connectivity in Scotland and the Commons Select Committee should be available as a live stream from 9.45am to around 12.30pm and generally the video is available for playback after, along with a transcript.

We will leave the detail of the data we have to talk about until the actual evidence session, but almost all of it has featured in our news feed over the years and one key point is that the world of broadband is very dynamic even though it may not seem that way for those who have not seen any improvements for years either from commercial or BDUK funded roll-outs.

The first session will feature alongside Andrew Ferguson, Brendan Gill CEO at OpenSignal and Pete Moorey, Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs, Which?

Comments

Please use Cabinet P23 Stepps as an example of missed areas! Haha.

Any exposure to get that cabinet upgraded ASAP would be greatly appreciated...

  • hippyharry
  • 7 months ago

@ hippyharry Is that a new cabinet? I only see up to cabinet 21 on Stepps exchange.

  • AndyCZ
  • 7 months ago

New build, no idea when the first properties started to appear, but if developer still on site then LOTS of pressure from residents and making potential residents aware of ADSL and distance to exchange might get developer to co-fund a VDSL2 cabinet.

When site was in planning if developer had done something a choice of ultrafast options in addition to VDSL2 were possible.

Some of the estates postcodes are in the R100 list, so fingers crossed once contracts are awarded the others will have got added too.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

The big postcode is G69 9FG for those looking for the area

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

Evidence to support reported success of roll out to date or evidence to contribute to the discussion for the need for more help (e.g. USO versus R100)?

  • craski
  • 7 months ago

It’s the usual!

Developer is not interested in it. The copper cabinet is right at the entrance to the estate.

About 180 properties within the estate and looking like 2020-2021 before anything will be done with the R100 contract not being awarded until late on.

Pressured MSP’s and MP’s and it’s like speaking another language. Made a map here of entire STEPPS exchange here.

https://goo.gl/maps/FXfTUpkZPFL2

Virgin are coming to Muirhead soon but there’s an embargo on the new build estate for new work, so we’ll get missed on that too.

We need help!

  • hippyharry
  • 7 months ago

And first properties went in about 20months ago!

Site was registered with planning Back in 2015.

  • hippyharry
  • 7 months ago

@hippyharry As a new development it is the developer's responsibility to arrange and pay for the necessary services rather than sit back and expect either BT or the state to pick up the tab. If the developer is still on site you need to put pressure on them such as putting up signs saying No Broadband Here. Start hurting their sales and they will start to take notice.

  • MCM999
  • 7 months ago

You could try this form https://www.formwize.com/run/survey3.cfm?idx=505d040e0b080d and also this one https://communityfibre.openreach.co.uk/ to see what can be done.

  • AndyCZ
  • 7 months ago

Another potential possibility is FoD.

When the new pricing comes into effect, Openreach will build the network to support as many homes as possible. The build charge will take into account the number of properties that could be served.

If there's strong demand in your area and the nearest aggregation node is within a practical distance, this certainly could end up being a cost-effective possibility.

  • AndyCZ
  • 7 months ago

FoD is no use since it requires you to be connected to a vdsl2 enabled cabinet already

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

@ Andrew - That will be changing in due course.

  • AndyCZ
  • 7 months ago

For those saying people should try and hurt their sales, it's not that easy. The properties on this estate are well sought after and most of the estate is full.

For some people needing to move house or buy a bigger house, the prices on the estate are within budget and although internet is poor, its not the deciding factor for moving into this estate.

I'm obviously detracting from the purpose of this blog post, so apologies Andrew, but trying to put pressure on everyone from us in the estate isn't working. Until media get involved, we're left to R100.

  • hippyharry
  • 7 months ago

Is there any form of community group yet? Or put it another way if you were to say try and raise £30,000 from residents to fund VDSL2 via the CommunityFibre scheme (note actual cost will vary so just using a ball park figure) is that feasible?

The issue here is if some pay in more, that those who don't contribute would still benefit, and if you do nothing its likely by some point in 2021 you'd have something - remember no R100 contracts signed yet so no idea on technology choices.

100 homes paying in £300 is £30,000, or put another way less than the price of a new 4K TV

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

That hasn't even reached discussion yet as to whether people would be willing to put their hands in their pockets. The emphasis has been on that "well, they've rolled it out for free to everyone around us including FTTP to those on overhead lines which is next to our estate".

The estate is made up of 150 private homes and 30 affordable housing (council housing), so part of the estate will be local authority housing.

Would those in the affordable housing or will the council pay the cash? I doubt it.

  • hippyharry
  • 7 months ago

@hippyharry Please explain why you feel that BT, a company answerable to its shareholders, or the state should pay to make good a deficiency due entirely to the developers building on the cheap and the new tenants/owners failing to get the developer to provide the necessary infrastructure? The time to put on pressure was before cash changed hands. Our development of 75 properties was built in 1989 will all properties on long slow EO lines. Being in London with no BDUK funding available we collectively raised nearly £19K so that we got to enjoy fast broadband in 2016 rather than wait for 2020.

  • MCM999
  • 7 months ago

Hopefully there will be a discussion around the existing FTTC enabled areas getting a roll out of G.Fast. Those speeds are needed in KA8 9TL, as Virgin Media chose to leave us out of Project Lightning when they cabled everywhere elese in Ayr & Prestwick.

  • Spitfire400
  • 7 months ago

MCM999: "we collectively raised nearly 19k"

"collectively" being the operative word. Not everyone in a community is willing to dip into their own pockets to fund fast broadband since a lot of the public believe (rightly or wrongly) its the Govt's/BT's responsibility to bring fast broadband everyhwere.
But I agree with you re: new builds, the onus is on the developer/builder to pay for it and if they don't, falling sales will soon make them take notice - whether its a sought after estate or not, money talks!!

  • baby_frogmella
  • 7 months ago

@Spitfire400 G.fast got a mention, but as a sweating copper assets comments in the second session. Remember you need to be within ~370m of green cabinet to benefit from G.fast.

In terms of the DigitalScotland and other gap funded roll-outs G.fast is not in the picture for funding, it is a pure commercial enterprise.

Maybe in a decade when ultrafast is available to 75% of premises and full fibre coverage at 50% things may change, but essential services such as online banking should never need ultrafast speeds.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

@Hipharry, baby_frogmella
If you buy a property knowing that you don’t have fast broadband then you ought to assume that the purchase price reflects that. You can therefore assign some of the saving you’ve made towards the cost of acquiring fast broadband.

@HipHarry
If 150 people have saved on their purchase price by not having fast broadband there ought to be ample budget available to rectify the situation. If not then it’s clearly not that important to the community. Either way it should be down to you and your neighbours to fix, not the government or BT or any other network operator.

  • New_Londoner
  • 7 months ago

Just watched it - nice to put a face to the name Andrew and thanks for your efforts on out behalf.

  • dewt
  • 7 months ago

Just watched/listened to it. Managing expectations came up a few times.
It doesn't help when the likes of Digital Scotland tells you that work will take place in your postcode in 3 years time, and when the 3 years is up say, oh no our information was incomplete, there will be no work in your postcode.
Also there is a problem with definition of what counts as remote, certainly would not coincide with what the man is the street would think. 1.5m as the crow files to the exchange and 2.5m as the cable travels would not normally be thought of as very remote.

  • brianhe
  • 7 months ago

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