Broadband News

2,500 premises in Nottinghamshire to benefit from £2.7m ultrafast broadband investment

The progress of superfast roll-outs in Nottinghamshire has been pretty static with figures hovering at the 97.5% mark since December 2017 but with news of a new phase three contract signed between the council and Openreach to deliver ultrafast broadband things will start to change. The most important question of when is answered with the news that roll-out will start in Spring 2019 with six months to deliver the 2,500 premises of FTTP (full fibre).

The details of the contract are online and reveal the 2,500 premises is the result of £2.7 million of funding, £1.3 million from the council and BDUK funds plus £1.4 million from Openreach.

We looked at what the many BDUK phase 1 and phase 2 projects and the number of premises we have attributed as delivered by each project back on the 12th June but using those figures and a few others we have not published it is possible to get a back of the envelope idea of what the costs have been so far, based on the notion that £30 million has been invested in total so far.

  • Phase 1 - ~371 VDSL2 cabinets and around 459 FTTP premises. Average number of superfast premises per cabinet is 122, estimated cost per VDSL2 premises £460 (FTTP £1,000 assumed)
  • Phase 2 - ~150 VDSL2 cabinets and around 177 FTTP premises. Average number of superfast premises per cabinet is 45, estimated cost per VDSL2 premises in range of £900-£1,100, with around £1,100 FTTP premises.
  • Phase 3 - plan 2,500 FTTP which gives a £1,100 cost per premises.
  • NOTE: Cabinet footprints are invariably larger, but we are counting just superfast premises, lots of phase 2 cabinets are deep infill i.e. addressing a community that was previously too far from the cabinet to get superfast speeds, in some cases deep infill is done via FTTP i.e. all depends on the economics.

So before commentators celebrate a major change in vision from Openreach, it is clear that the rough and ready financials suggest that FTTP is likely to be the most cost effective way of delivery as you get deeper into the final couple of percent in each county. Hence why so much of the smaller phase 3 projects are using full fibre. NOTE: Figures do not take into account any administration costs incurred by projects and are not a substitute for a fully audited analysis, but a full audit takes a lot of time and money.

The 2,500 premises of ultrafast from the phase three contract should increase the level of superfast coverage by around 0.7% across the County of Nottinghamshire as a whole, and the levels of ultrafast coverage are already increasing in the county from the Virgin Media Project Lightning roll-out in areas like Worksop. So far the Project Lightning roll-out in the area has not had any impact on the superfast figures due to overlap with VDSL2.

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