The £21.96m Superfast West Yorkshire project in England, which is working to roll-out BT’s “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to cover 97% of local homes and businesses (708,000 premises) by the end of Autumn 2015, has started the second phase of its local deployment. There’s also some good news for Exchange Only Lines (EOL).
So far the scheme (phase 1) has finished building 37 new green FTTC Street Cabinets (32 of those are taking orders), although it should be noted that a total of around 100 have already been installed or are in the process of being upgraded. Overall 6,957 premises have now been linked up to BT’s “fibre” network as part of the programme (roughly 10% of the “project area“) and engineers have laid 56,864 metres of fibre optic cable.
Apparently the only problem area has been Sowerby Bridge, which has taken a little longer than anticipated to complete but should now be pretty much done. The Tour de France has also caused some juggling of plans because BTOpenreach didn’t want to disrupt that event by building on the same roads.
The latest Phase 2 upgrades, which began this month and will run through summer and autumn, contain a familiar mix of new exchanges and infill (expanding coverage in areas that can already get some FTTC).
Phase 2 – New Exchange Areas
Phase 2 – Coverage Extention (Infill) Areas
Interestingly there’s also some mixed news for those who have to suffer on Exchange Only Lines (EOL), which equates to around 19,000 premises in the project area. “We do have a solution which involves building around 80 new copper cabinets in the street as well as the new superfast broadband cabinet,” said the West Yorkshire Council. But as usual customers affected by this will be forced to wait until the projects “later phases” before they can benefit. At least they’re not alone; most of those on EOLs across the UK will have to wait until the later stages.
As a side note this update was actually released on 18th June 2014 but we, like many others, overlooked it. Sorry about that, but better late than never :).
UPDATE 26th September 2014
We’ve noted that a number of additional areas appear to have been added to phase two (running until December 2014), including Bretton, Elland, Guiseley, Harehills, Horsforth and Idle. Meanwhile the project, which is running roughly one month ahead of schedule, has now helped 21,500 premises to get “fibre broadband” via 220 new street cabinets (121 of which are live and taking order). It’s now expected that the total premises passed will reach 36,500 by the end of phase two.