Broadband News

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

Council/AreaSuperfast
30 Mbps and faster
Ultrafast
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%

Urban Northamptonshire

66.3% of premises

99.3% 81.3% 6.35% 0.2% 0.5%

Rural Northamptonshire

33.7% of premises

96.4% 43.6% 22% 1.7% 2.2%
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.

Comments

Quote from article: "We lay our fibre cabling below ground for longevity...."

I live in a Northants village and Gigaclear was installed at end of 2019 but the cables are not in ducts. There is a development of 16 houses under construction but will not have a Gigaclear connection. If they want it then the footpath will have to be dug up again back to the cabinet.

One part of the installation has already been excavated, presumably to fix a problem, so the word 'longevity' seems inappropriate.

  • zhango
  • 5 days ago

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