CityFibre claim Stirling full fibre build over half way
The questions over when is half of something done are very difficult to answer when its not clear what the total task is meant to be and is very much a topic as CityFibre is claiming that its full fibre build in Stirling is over half way.
We are proud Stirling is well on its way to becoming the nation’s first completed Gigabit City project and believe it is the start of a huge digital opportunity for businesses and residents in the area. This forward-thinking approach and strategic partnership with CityFibre and Vodafone ensures we are securing the critical digital infrastructure we need today, as well as helping to safeguard the digital future of our residents and businesses.Councillor Scott Farmer, Leader of Stirling Council
As many who do not live in Stirling itself will look at our statistics showing 19.7% full fibre coverage in Stirling and wonder what CityFibre is talking about or assume we have missed out lots of the build. The first lesson is that our stats site is actually showing Stirling council area which comprises some 43,100 premises, Stirling itself is a lot smaller around 24,000 to 25,000 premises - this estimate is based on the footprint from the two Openreach exchanges Stirling and Bannockburn but these also include some rural elements.
What we can say is that in the five areas Cambusbarron, Broomridge, Bannockburn, Braehead, and Raploch where CityFibre say they have reached we have found 8,400 premises passed by the CityFibre FTTP network and there are very few premises left within those areas of the city. Using the two Openreach exchange footprints this gives a coverage of 33.2%. If there is a public map (or one that can be shared in private) showing the extent of the area CityFibre are going to build then feel free to point us towards it and we can work out the number of premises in that area.
One other issue with announcements from numerous full fibre builders is that when they say x% of their build is complete this often seems to mean something different to x% can order the service, what usually happens is we see the x% announcement and then over the following weeks we find more premises released into the order systems eventually reaching the previously announced figures. The difference seems to be that the amount built is announced, but the testing and commissioning phases need time to catch up. We should add this is not going to be a uniquely United Kingdom issue and is very likely to be happening with other builds around the world, especially in areas where there is little oversight as to what is actually available.
The next areas of Stirling set to enjoy the beauty of full fibre options are Bridge of Allan, Riverside, Torbrex, and St Ninians and we will hopefully get an idea then whether Stirling stands a chance of competing against Kingston Upon Hull for the most fully fibre'd city.
While we are not sure how much higher the coverage level really is from the 33.2% we have confidence in what we can state is that in Q2 2019 the mean download and upload speeds for Stirling council area surged from 24.8 Mbps to 31.5 Mbps (upload 5.7 to 8.7 Mbps) due to the effect of people buying the 100, 500 and 900 Mbps services (there are some also on a 200 Mbps product which is only on sale as a promotion occasionally). This surge is characteristic of a Gigabit service starting to be used by the public and can be seen in other areas where Gigabit services are affordable.