Northamptonshire marks passing over 10,000 premises with full fibre in its latest BDUK phase
Gigaclear and Northamptonshire County Council via phase three of its BDUK project has delivered FTTP to some 11,000 rural properties under the contract. Once combined with the urban and other commercial roll-outs this has seen the county rise from 0.4% full fibre coverage to 5.4% in 2018 and currently in 2020 11.9%.
We lay our fibre cabling below ground for longevity and to decrease environmental impact and visual blight. In rural environments, that means working with heavy duty equipment on very small roads, negotiating wayleaves on private property, navigating river and rail crossings, and, of course, working to minimise visible indications of our presence in what are often very beautiful environments. These challenges are why rural Northamptonshire has gone so long without decent broadband, other providers simply weren’t willing to go there.
Although COVID-19 has slowed us down, we are continuing to work to connect further properties in Northamptonshire where safe to do so, as our work is considered essential by government. This situation has highlighted just how vital ultrafast connectivity is to modern life.Catherine Warren, regional manager for the East Midlands at Gigaclear
Gigaclear is not the only FTTP operator in the county, there is of course Openreach, CityFibre, OFNL and others. The coverage levels for the county and its constituent district councils is shown below. Figures are from 20th May 2020, the rural and urban splits are from 17th May and the urban split is missing a few hundred premises of Vodafone Gigafast in the Wootton area of Northampton found on 20th May.
thinkbroadband analysis of broadband coverage in Northamptonshire
Figures 17th and 20th May 2020
30 Mbps and faster
100 Mbps and faster
|Full Fibre (FTTP)||Under 2 Mbps (USC)||Under 10 Mbps (USO)|
|Northamptonshire County 335,813 premises||98.4%||68.8%||11.94%||0.2%||0.7%|
66.3% of premises
33.7% of premises
|Corby Borough Council||99.7%||84.1%||21.95%||0%||0.1%|
|Daventry District Council||96.1%||32%||22.93%||0.8%||1.8%|
|East Northamptonshire District Council||98.5%||64.9%||14.32%||0.1%||0.4%|
|Kettering Borough Council||98.9%||83.3%||10.33%||0%||0.6%|
|Northampton Borough Council||99.2%||88.8%||4.11%||0%||0.2%|
|South Northamptonshire District Council||96.4%||30.9%||20.47%||0.4%||1.5%|
|Borough Council of Wellingborough||98.6%||69.8%||2.95%||0.2%||1%|
The public figures for the different councils were last published on Saturday 16th May when the county was showing 11.61% full fibre coverage. We have since then found some OFNL, Openreach and CityFibre full fibre in the county hence the increased figures in the table, the latest figures will be published as usual on the Saturday of each week.
The target/ambition for the county is to get the superfast coverage to 99% by March 2021 and further to that 75% Gigabit capable in 2023 and 40% full fibre coverage by December 2023.
The BDUK contracts along with little bits of gainshare work are likely to creep the county to the 99% mark and with 55.7% availability of Virgin Media cable broadband which will be Gigabit capable once the DOCSIS 3.1 is switched on in the county the 3 out of 4 properties with a Gigabit option looks achieveable. CityFibre via its Vodafone Gigafast service is starting to appear in Northampton and if that makes it to 85% of Northampton then then 40% FTTP figure is almost a slam dunk. The 85% CityFibre figure is taken from generic statements from CityFibre they may manage to build to more or less of Northampton in the next two years, but there is also Openreach building FTTP in Northampton so any shortfall is likely to end up covered by Openreach.