Broadband News

£17.8 million of reinvestment to connect another 6,000 premises in Scotland

The early release of gainshare money by BT is apparently behind the next micro project for Scotland that will see another 6,000 premises receive a significant boost in what is available to them broadband speed wise.

For those not aware the original BDUK contracts across the United Kingdom included clauses that as take-up increases and areas reached or passed what would be considered a commercially viable level of take-up that money would be returned to the devolved administration or local authority involved. In the case of Scotland it appears that the period for gainshare to be released was 10 years but take-up has climbed rapidly and BT has been triggering the various gainshare clauses. BT is not allowed to just recycle this money itself and relies on direction from the local authority/administration on what to do and therefore we find ourselves talking of another £17.8 million of reinvestment in Scotland.

Michael Matheson with FTTP infrastructure
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson with an Openreach fibre splitter

The £17.8 million is going to buy improved broadband availability for some 6,000 premises and most of these are going to be via fibre to the premises. At this stage we hope that no new VDSL2 cabinets will actually be considered unless the economics of full fibre are massively higher than the cost of VDSL2.

I am delighted that thanks to higher than expected uptake of services on infrastructure funded by the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, even more premises will now receive fast, reliable broadband.

The programme has not only delivered on time and on budget, but has exceeded its original aim of connecting 95% of Scotland to fibre broadband. More and more communities will now have the opportunity to benefit from investment in reliable and speedy broadband services.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson

This is the second set of reinvestment as £15.7 million was announced in March 2017. The Cabinet Secretary does talk of 95% fibre coverage, which will needs some explaining, since there is no where near 95% full fibre coverage in any single local authority in Scotland, partial fibre coverage i.e. VDSL2 or FTTP is currently at 97.5%. The Scottish use of the word 'fibre' in its broadband releases has always been confusing and history has suggested that they are using it in the sense of connectivity via something that is not ADSL/ADSL2+ and is delivering broadband speeds higher than somewhere in the 10 to 15 Mbps region. In plain superfast figures Scotland is at 94.2% or 93.7% if you use the 30 Mbps baseline rather than the over 24 Mbps definition.

There is a lot of variation across Scotland with Orkney being the worst council area at just 67.7% superfast coverage (the woolly 'fibre' definition gives a much higher figure in the region of 75% to 82% depending on your exact definition. The BT/Digital Scotland was split into two areas with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise area figures showing superfast coverage of 81.5% and is still climbing slowly each month.

No news on which premises will benefit but 6,000 premises is just 0.2% so the impact on the figures across Scotland will be minimal but massively important for those affected. The work from BT via Openreach was expected to end soon but with this extension delivery is set to continue into 2020 and we presume the R100 contracts will see their footprint adjusted accordingly.

Comments

What is R100??

  • mikejp
  • about 1 month ago

^^^ Reaching 100%

  • baby_frogmella
  • about 1 month ago

https://www.gov.scot/publications/reaching-100-superfast-broadband/

  • baby_frogmella
  • about 1 month ago

Ah! he said in a broad Scottish accent

  • mikejp
  • about 1 month ago

A total farce, that's what it is. Many of the exchanges were supposed to be upgraded by now; instead the incompetent SNP government is still negotiating contracts. I know of several exchanges - mine included - that have been Coming Soon in the next six months, and then as the end of the six months arrives it's pushed out another six months. This has been ongoing for three years! I'm currently due to get Superfast in December, and I know it'll then move to Jan-Jun 20 and then Jun-Dec 20.

I've now cancelled my landline and I use 4G, I gave up waiting.

  • jimwillsher
  • about 1 month ago

A more up to date link
https://www.gov.scot/publications/reaching-100-superfast-broadband-2/
A few changes in the text of the two statements, the By 2021 date had disappeared and now R100 isn't !00% its -' additional measures may still be needed to provide superfast access to some of those areas'

So its now the "R As many as we can manage" providing potentially when and if contracts are signed 30Mbs for however many get it, not quite as punchy a commitment.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

Same as Jim above, I've given up waiting and despite the increased cost I've now got a 30M 4g connection with EE, dithering over cancelling my landline right now but intend to, sick and tired of paying for a service that's worse than 10 years ago.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

For many of those ignored by BDUK to date and being years behind the majority that have been enjoying FTTC for some time, rolling out FTTP into not spots is welcomed. Being connected at the edge of a new FTTC infill cabinet now after Digital Scotland have been #ExploringSolutions for so many years would be a massive disappointment.

  • craski
  • about 1 month ago

Is this 6,000 in addition to the 60,000 extra referenced here? https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/07/digital-scotland-bring-more-fttp-broadband-to-rural-communities.html Combined would reduce R100 by a substantive amount.

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 month ago

Not a question to ask thinkbroadband about since the 60,000 figure is one ISPreview is talking about.

We know about the 2017 reinvestment and this latest one, also caution should be exercised on Digital Scotland figures as they flip/flop between definitions used.

Big changes in the R100 footprints would likely see the contracts delayed as bidders seek change requests ahead of the final signing e.g. removing 60k premises might change the economics significantly

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

Same again as Jim and Swac3 above. I'm also on one of the exchanges that were supposed to have benefited from gainshare as-announced in August last year. Not a single one of those seven exchanges has been touched by Openreach, and no sign of when they actually intend to get on with the work. "End 2019" (i.e. March 2020) is looking increasingly unlikely.
The cynical amongst us on the West Coast might suggest that this is just a way for OR to discharge their obligations under the impending USO for a further 12months from March 2020.

  • p6resthome
  • about 1 month ago

@p6resthome Surely any switch from Digital Scotland/BDUK to B-USO will be taken by Digital Scotland. There are many projects getting extensions to the completion dates from HMT but the process may be different in Scotland. Digital Scotland have funded so much BT work in Glasgow you would hope they will complete the rural work as these monies get returned.

  • ValueforMoney
  • about 1 month ago

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