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North Yorkshire UK Awards GBP70m Superfast Broadband Contract to BT

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 (11:48 am) - Score 2,043

The North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has announced that its £70m Connecting North Yorkshire (CNY) project, which aims to make superfast broadband ISP services available to “100% of businesses and citizens … by 2017” (90% by 2015), has unsurprisingly been awarded to BT.

The announcement, which was perhaps a foregone conclusion (i.e. Fujitsu withdraws from broadband project in Cumbria and North Yorkshire), means that BT will need to match-fund against a public subsidy of £17,840,000 from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. A further £8.6 million will also come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). BT has committed £10m to the effort, although it claims to have spent around £23 million to date on “fibre broadband” in the county through its separate private investment (the £2.5bn roll-out).

NYnet, a public sector controlled and private limited venture that was formed by the council in 2007, will also play a significant part thanks to its established fibre optic network. This platform has already helped to link-up a number of rural communities and business parks. NYnet are obliged under State Aid rules to ensure that public funds are only used to deliver faster broadband into areas where the private sector has chosen not to invest.

So far BT has grabbed contracts for Rutland, Lancashire and is the only option left for Wales, Cumbria and the Scottish Highland & Islands where Fujitsu is no longer taking part. The situation could fuel growing concerns over a lack of viable competition in the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework, which has seen Fujitsu fail to pickup any contracts.

BT intends to use a mix of solutions, which will be predominantly based off its 80Mbps capable FTTC and 330Mbps capable FTTP technologies. The operator hopes that some 365,000 premises will have access to its “world class broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps” by the end of 2014. Work on the network “will commence with immediate effect“.

The Government’s Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:

Superfast broadband is transforming the way we do business and live our lives. We want to make sure that no community is left behind, which is why Government is investing £17.8 million to help revolutionise the infrastructure in North Yorkshire.

I’m delighted that North Yorkshire has unlocked further funding and is ready to start rolling out fibre broadband. It’s an ambitious project which will bring huge benefits to homes and businesses across the county.”

Bill Murphy, Managing Director of BT’s Next Generation Access, added:

It is fantastic to see North Yorkshire be the first BDUK pilot to cross the finishing line. The race to provide the UK with the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015 is still very much on, and we’re looking forward to working with other local authorities and regions to bring the economic benefits of high speed broadband to businesses and communities everywhere.”

As usual the remaining 10% of premises will also see a speed uplift as the project aims to deliver speeds of at least 2Mbps by the end of 2014 to all homes and businesses. BT has also promised to “work with communities in the final 10 per cent to see if fibre can be extended further” through collaborative projects. According to Ofcom, North Yorkshire’s average downstream speed is currently 6.6Mbps, whilst 17% of premises receive less than 2Mbps.

Broadband – Connecting North Yorkshire
http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17168

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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49 Responses
  1. New_Londoner says:

    As posted on TBB, good to see another contract being placed to deliver fast broadband to rural areas. Looks like a pretty good deal for North Yorkshire, and fantastic value compared to what has happened in the south of the county.

    1. DTMark says:

      Pity the superfast broadband project was abandoned though, such a missed opportunity. But then, it was never really started. It begs the question “Why is BDUK money going into this, when it will not achieve the stated aims of the project”.

  2. Craig Brass says:

    I can’t help wondering how much that video cost :p

  3. desouzr says:

    Looking forward to my rural market town being upgraded to SFBB within the next couple of years as a result of the BDUK project here in North Yorkshire.

  4. desouzr says:

    DTMark – Can you clarify what you mean?

    1. DTMark says:

      The aims of the BDUK project were to provide 90% of premises in each local authority area with superfast broadband services.

      Watch the video back and see what percentage it quotes.

  5. Kyle says:

    Unless it’s blanket FTTH, then FTTC in a rural location is as useful as peddling backwards.

    1. desouzr says:

      FTTC/P in the market towns in North Yorkshire will provide SFBB to most properties because they are usually clustered close together and won’t be far from the exchange or a cabinet. In some parts of the North Yorkshire dales and moors FiWi is already being used to provide speeds of up to 50/20. I think these together will cover 90% of premises in North Yorkshire. I think the number of isolated properties whose only option will be satellite will be 10% or less.

  6. Deduction says:

    That is not what i got from the video either. Regardless FTTC does not meet the new 100Mb EU guidelines anyway.

  7. Mark Jackson says:

    30Mbps+ is the EU target for 100% coverage, while 100Mbps is meant to reach 50% by 2020. Setting aside FTTP / FTTP-On-Demand, future FTTC upgrades could do 100Mbps+ but it’s a matter of street cabinets and line distance. In any case you could probably get to 50% at 100Mbps with FTTC just by remembering that it would mostly come from city population coverage.

  8. Deduction says:

    For FTTC to do over 100Mb it would require profile changes. Correct me if im wrong MarkJ (though i imagine a troll with its normal spiel will interrupt) but there are no plans for that is there? Its also doubtful many in a rural location will get 30Mb from FTTC due to distance from cabinet. Some people which are only a few hundred metres on a 40Mb FTTC product only get mid 30Mb speeds, others further away it drops below 30Mb.

  9. desouzr says:

    Around 45% of premises in rural North Yorkshire are in the market towns. The properties in market towns tend to be clustered together with a centrally located exchange. Some market towns are all EO lines whilst others have a mixture of EO lines and cabinets. On this basis I reckon most of these properties will get 30Mb/s+ speeds. As I said earlier some more remote areas in the final 10% of North Yorkshire are getting 20Mb/s+ symmetrical connections over FiWi through NYCC funded projects. There will always be a small percentage of lone isolated properties who may have to go down the satellite route but today’s announcement is a positive thing for North Yorkshire.

    1. DTMark says:

      “Most” is incompatible with the stated aims of the BDUK project.

      Which are:

      1.Create a level playing field between incumbents and new providers

      Epic fail.

      2.Open up access to infrastructure to facilitate super-fast broadband in many areas

      Epic fail.

      3.Facilitate the introduction of super-fast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas

      Epic fail.

      Perhaps we could get confirmation from BDUK that the aims have now changed and the initially stated project has been completely abandoned.

    2. DTMark says:

      I’ve never actually read the whole document before. It’s so deeply flawed it’s hard to even know where to begin, so I won’t even bother to try.

      I’ll just mull over the £300+ per month quote for a very basic broadband service (15Meg down, 3Meg up) an ISP is putting together for me in our local “FTTC Ready for Service” town where no businesses (AFAIK) can get a fibre service, rue the day we ever moved out of a cabled area and observe some more of my taxes being wasted.

  10. telecom engineer says:

    11:48am – new breaks that contract is awarded to BT – deliver service plan to 2017
    less than 12hours later – plan a complete failure according to some

    I think the video was quite good. It explained a mix of technologies will be required – including the use of non BT network fibre – I believe this plan is very much likely to be a great success not only because of the sums being put in by all parties – but the projects ability to tap into existing fibre infrastructure and acknowledgement of other tech.

    by 2017 fttc will be pushing 100M – Openreach have said the tech is capable –

    “An Openreach Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk today:

    “With the current bandplan change FTTC will do up to 80Mbps down and 20Mbps up. We believe other technologies such as vectoring could see some FTTC lines deliver 100Mbps or above though these new technologies will not be applicable on all lines.

    If BDUK funds help to get fibre to more than 90 per cent of UK premises then the majority of UK premises could have access to speeds of 100Mbps or more (thanks to a combination of FTTP, Bandplan and other technologies such as Vectoring).””

    others already doing it – http://www.origin-broadband.co.uk/our-services/origin-max/ – (i believe DR dont use ssfp just microfilters? if so there would be significant gains again by using Openreach install standards of mandatory ssfp). Plus all the much argued about future upgrades such as vectoring.

    Sat is now pushing 18Meg (could such a system be bonded to give 30+?).

    Then there is the wireless option, and digital pumps.

    This should prove an interesting project indeed and I see no reason why it should be called a failure before the first spade hits the ground.

    1. DTMark says:

      The superfast broadband project is not about “up to” speeds.

      Actually, I’ll rephrase that.

      The superfast broadband project was not about “up to” speeds.

    2. zemadeiran says:

      With all due respect,

      Copper is dead as an ip transport and has been for some time.

      2017? Five years into the future and we are only running 100mbps while the rest of the world moves onto 10gbps?

      By all means roll out fttc but please do not try and push vdsl2+ even WITH vectoring or the application of fairy dust as any way future proof.

      Openreach will sooner or later be forced to upgrade the last mile to full fttp via the existing cabinets. Whether BT is milking current funds or not remains to be seen, one thing that is clear is it’s insistence on using old technology to maintain it’s current copper monopoly.

      I am in no way knocking Openreach/BT, I am simply stating the obvious for everyone’s clarification. If BT focused on providing us with the worlds best fiber network and then exported it’s services/solutions to other countries THIS would bring huge benefits in GDP which in turn helps pay for everyone’s pension.

      Act local, think global, fuck IBM…

    3. FibreFred says:

      lol, copper is in use as a ip transport service in every office block in the UK/world and will be for many years to come

      FTTC is not “future proof” I hate that phrase anyway it is one that should never be used. The provision of FTTC has a “future” though, through further profile enhancements, vectoring and possibly even g.fast and then on top of that it is possible to to full FTTP on demand should a customer require it, so its not doom and gloom, its about providing speeds for now, faster in the future and then even faster again if the customer requires it

  11. desouzr says:

    As a result of the BDUK project in North Yorkshire I will go from ADSL1 of around 6Mbit/s to around 60Mbit/s FTTC. I will also have the option to upgrade to FTTP on demand. I’m happy about that progression.

    DTMark – isn’t the BDUK project in your County going to infill the cabinets that Openreach have not deemed to be comercially viable for FTTC?

    1. DTMark says:

      I have no idea.

      We were all set to move back to a cabled area for the second time until partner’s father died recently, so that’s gone on hold.

      Leaving me with the same options I’ve always had:

      1. Have broadband installed here. Cost circa 42,000 GBP setup and 2,000 GBP per month @ 2.5km from exchange (leased line). Current service is very slow narrowband HSPA 3G @ 4Meg down and 1.5Meg up; that’s the best on offer.

      2. Lease an office in our local town and take an EFM service to deliver really basic broadband speeds. Cost 300 GBP to 600 GBP per month for connectivity and another 300 GBP per month for the office.

      3. Drive to Aldershot and back every day to get a cable service. Round trip of 34 miles. And apologies to anyone who lives there, but most of Aldershot is a cesspit. Farnborough is quite nice, round trip of 46 miles.

      4. Try getting an answer from Kijoma about specific coverage. Given up with that one.

      5. Try the “move back to cabled area” again in six months or so.

      Broadband in the UK has always beeen an utter shambles. Nothing much has really changed. Trying to run any kind of business that relies on modern, useful broadband has always been a nightmare.

    2. FibreFred says:

      “Trying to run any kind of business that relies on modern, useful broadband has always been a nightmare”

      Unless you are willing to pay for a leased line, which… a lot of businesses do.

    3. DTMark says:

      I won’t be paying for it, but my customers will via an increase in their monthly maintenance charges; quite a steep one too if I go ahead with the EFM service, mind you I have little option since the nearest thing that faintly resembles a broadband network is miles away.

      At a time of economic turmoil and the wasting of so much of their taxes propping up an unsuitable, poor quality ancient network rather than building something fit for this century.

      No cable, no broadband. So much time, so little change, other than the continued march towards corporatism, which should more correctly be called facism.

    4. FibreFred says:

      But the network you speak of exists Mark, the difference is that you (unlike other businesses) choose not to pay for it?

      You want something good for relatively nothing? i.e. using residential broadband for a business. The way I see it is if you can get good residential broadband and can use it for your business good on you, but don’t moan if its not available when you can readily buy a service (Ethernet/leased line etc) like other businesses do up and down the country.

    5. DTMark says:

      You’ve never worked in a commercial environment, have you 😉

      Do you really think that the needs of this country, which depends so much on SMEs, are best met by those SMEs having to pay up to a thousand pounds a month for really basic broadband connections?

      I’m not sure where your “residential angle” comes from. The only reason I am forced to use HSPA for broadband is because there is no broadband network here, just an old phone company, and unsurprisingly I don’t have forty thousand pounds.

      If a broadband network existed, I’d have a business service running over that. Actually, when we moved here, I did have a Zen business ADSL service with extended care on it which cost something daft like £59/mo for narrowband throughput @ 1.5Meg. Then we upgraded to HSPA. The £59 wasn’t that unreasonable, but the performance was too abysmal.

      All I want is to be able to go to our nearest town (I accept that our rural area is not a commercial case, and always have done) and call a broadband company to buy a 15Meg down 3Meg up broadband service.

      Except there are no broadband companies in the nearest town, just an old phone company which is capable of supplying said connectivity for ridiculous amounts of money as a bespoke exercise.

    6. FibreFred says:

      “You’ve never worked in a commercial environment, have you”

      Everyday 🙂

      You get what you pay for I guess, you don’t pay, you don’t get.

    7. FibreFred says:

      It sounds like you are saying SME’s should be charged less for broadband than larger enterprises just because their turnover is less?

    8. DTMark says:

      You are still missing my point.

      In the year 2012, it should be possible to go more or less anywhere in any major town and order broadband.

      No, not some naff old ADSL service which “ought to provide” or “should be able to provide” depending on how many joint repair boxes, blue bean crimps and bits of aluminium there are along the way, whether the Christmas lights are on and so forth. I mean, order broadband.

      Say you want a 20 Meg service. You place an order. Someone pops round, pulls a cable through, and in half an hour you’ve got the speed you ordered, at least most of the time. If you need more – say, 30 Meg – you call the ISP and they flick a switch and you restart the modem. Job done. If you need more, same again.

      Not only do we not have that nationally, but there remain no plans to deliver such a service to any particular coverage levels anywhere.

      Availability is the issue. In 2012. Still.

      Charging SMEs literally hundreds of pounds for really basic services remains as farcical as it always was.

      And the very reason that it’s necessary to pay small fortunes for really basic connectivity is because nobody has yet built any semblance of a national broadband network. All we have is an admittedly quite good cable network, a naff old phone network and some fibre cabinets here and there. In this case, neither here, nor there.

    9. FibreFred says:

      No I’m not missing your point, what you describe exists, the difference is it doesn’t exist at the price you want to pay.

      If your business relies on such a service it needs to be factored in like rent, wages etc etc

      If you can’t afford it your not in business or you move

    10. DTMark says:

      Yes, it does exist. The company that does it actually offers it way too cheaply, in my opinion, but is able to be much more efficient and effective and offer superior services because of investment in their network over time.

      However coverage of said network has barely expanded in the last ten years.

      No cable, no broadband.

    11. FibreFred says:

      Who are you referring to? Virgin? I’m talking (as you know) about leased line/Ethernet/MPLS etc from C&W or BT

    12. DTMark says:

      Yes, I am talking about a network which brings widespread broadband connectivity to the *home or premises*.

      I should apologise regarding my comments about you not working in a commercial environment, because I’d always imagined you worked for BT – which, as a commercial entity probably sits just above the NHS and somewhere below the BBC.

      What does your commercial experience tell you about what happens in the following scenarios:

      – Choice is abundant

      What happens to prices then?

      – Choice is restricted

      What happens to prices then?

      – There is no choice, or a choice of one

      What happens to prices then?

    13. Somerset says:

      Gas, electricity, water and drains each have a single supplier of connection.

    14. Deduction says:

      and each of those are subject to far tougher regulation than the joke that is the next gen broadband rollout

    15. DTMark says:

      Allow me to let Janet Daley, of all people, make the point for me.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9416809/You-cant-blame-capitalism-for-this-shambles.html

      “Those of us old enough to recall what it was actually like to .. be put on a six-month waiting list for a telephone by the General Post Office”

      “But then the Tory record on privatisation has not been covered in glory. It will not do, for example, to dismantle a state monopoly in telecommunications only to hand it to a private monopoly. BT may not make you wait six months for a telephone, but they will rip you off with the joyous alacrity of a company that knows it has no effective competitors.”

    16. FibreFred says:

      What choice do you want DTMark? A choice of physical circuit providers? Because we obviously already have a choice of service providers. As Somerset says we have one physical connection for gas/electric etc?

    17. DTMark says:

      Yes, a choice of physical providers (circuit, Wi-Fi, whatever). It is the only sensible way to do this.

      The analogy with electricity doesn’t work. The reason it isn’t the same is that electricity circuits have to meet certain requirements regarding reliability and function. You don’t sign up for electricity and eagerly wait for installation to see what voltage your circuit can achieve, to see if you can run a fridge and a TV at the same time if you’re near enough to the substation and the line is good quality. You know what voltage it will achieve (give or take).

      To reverse that and put it in the context of broadband would mean regulation that every single broadband circuit has to be, well, broadband capable – say 10Meg down 1Meg up as a minimum.

      That would then mean that private companies would be forced to supply to certain standards. Overnight roughly (my guess) 40% of BT’s circuits fail the standards and have to be brought in line. And I am in favour of markets, not regulation.

  12. Gadget says:

    Actually I’d suggest it is precisely because every broadband company is working in a commercial environment that none of them has been able to make a commercial case for providing service where you want it at the price you are prepared to pay.

    I hope that the BDUK initiative will ease that and bring the services you want closer.

    1. DTMark says:

      “Every broadband company” – there is a choice of two from the point of view that matters, which is the infrastructure as without that, there is nothing.

      Our local town has a choice of one.

      The very specific issue is, and has always been, the complete lack of infrastructure and said broadband companies.

  13. get lost says:

    FTTC is a poor technology that suffers congestion

    1. Somerset says:

      Please explain and propose alternatives with funding details. eg. instead of HS2…

    2. Deduction says:

      It is self explanatory. If you cant understand it no point anyone explaining to you.

  14. Gadget says:

    Its not self-explanatory in that it requires qualification to make any sense. FTTC as a technology is uncontended from the point of end use to the cabinet and in the design used here has an uncontended ethernet connection back to the headend. That’s not to say what happens from there will not be contended lightly or heavily depending on the commercial stance of the ISP supplying service.

    Compare that with a traditional cable infrastructure which is little more than a big LAN and see which qualifies for the “suffers congestion” label.

    Of course its not as good as individual fibre all the way to the end user, but its what can be afforded at the moment.

    1. FibreFred says:

      Gadget his whole ethos on this site is just to post comments like that to incite argument , nothing more this one is no different and you are already and somerset being drawn in. He doesnt seek a sensible discussion just to incite argument otherwise known as trolling. Residential broadband is designed as a contended service as we all know

    2. Deduction says:

      Quote”Residential broadband is designed as a contended service as we all know”

      Glad you realise now you can stop mentioning Virgin is contended and/or has congestion in every Virgin related news item.

      Amazing you think others talk crap when you have done it for months.

    3. FibreFred says:

      There’s contention and oversubscribed… Virgin has many complaints of over subscription which is what I refer to. Two different things, one is designed (contention) one is poor planning/not caring (over subscription)

    4. Deduction says:

      Where are these “complaints” to be found? Do you mean complaints about speed etc on Virgins own forums just as there are complaints on BTs forums about their FTTC product? Please provide evidence Virgin is over subscribed and BTs product is not. Both products are a contented based service, Evidence problems on one is purely contention as designed where as on the other it is not please.

      Otherwise i can only assume you are full of nonsense again.

      PS: Thought you were not going to respond to me anyway, perhaps that would be best if you just want to talk nonsense.

    5. FibreFred says:

      You can find all this information yourself troll, I won’t enter into one of your worthless trolling debates

    6. Deduction says:

      Yep ive found all the info, glad we agree FTTC is a poor technology that suffers congestion.

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