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Northumberland UK Publish BDUK Superfast Broadband Rollout Map

Friday, October 18th, 2013 (8:37 am) - Score 1,390

The Northumberland County Council in England has this week published its first roll-out map for their £18.9m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project that aims to make BT’s superfast broadband (25Mbps+) FTTC/P network available to 91% of local premises by early 2016 (95% will be covered by the network but some won’t be “superfast“).

As usual the iNorthumberland project map is fairly vague but it does offer a useful overview of where superfast broadband can be accessed today (dark blue) and where it will go in the future. Unfortunately a vast area, which has been shaded in light blue, is marked as “currently under evaluation” and this means that related locations may or may not get superfast connectivity in the future (though they should receive speeds of at least 2Mbps).

northumberland bduk map

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20 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark

    As I see more of these maps, I think that the title “Superfast Broadband Rollout Map” is a little misleading. “VDSL Rollout Map” might reflect reality more correctly.

  2. Avatar GNewton

    VDSL is not an economically viable technology for small towns and rural areas.

    On average, more than 20% of the VDSL lines won’t qualify as ‘superfast’ (30mbps or faster), and roughly 50% won’t be faster than 40mbps.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Pareto would suggest that it is a very good value option if 80% (your figure) are superfast. That would leave only 20% to be fixed with a more costly solution

    • Avatar Roberto

      It would also mean the 90%-95% “superfast” coverage figures we have heard so much about from our government and BT are nonsense.

    • Avatar Gadget

      GNewton’s currently unsubstantiated figure of 80% refers to 30millibits per second in his post ( I assume there was trouble with his shift key).

      On the other hand the press release quotes 91% having greater than 25Mbps which is one definition of “superfast” and infers 95% on NGA cabinets.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Gadget: You are right, it should read ‘Mbps’. not ‘mbps’!

      My figures are taken from thinkbroadband where it shows the VDSL2 Profile 17a cabinet to premises speed estimates for the cumulative percentages of different line lengths. They are similar to the details we got for our own local district down in Essex.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      I see, three issues there:-

      1) Those figures don’t reflect the truth, according to their table at 550m from the cab I should be getting about 36Mbps down. Yet…. I get 55Mbps down, bit of a difference

      2) “Cumulative %’age of premises at this distance”, where on earth did that data come from? I don’t believe its in the public domain anywhere.

      3) You’ve no idea how far away people are from their cabs in Northumberland, so your theory is meaningless

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @FibreFred: We gave you a number of sources to start with, including how to make use of the Freedom of Information Act, on a previous forum thread. We got detailed data for our own local district, which pretty much matches up with what thinkbroadband published. It takes a bit of effort, because BT is not really interested in letting the details become widespread public knowledge, but thanks to the BDUK process there are ways to get the data. Have you done it now for yourself?

      Your broadband speed is above average and suggests a good copper wire, with good line stats, and probably your radial line distance to cabinet being close the street ducting lengths. Still, it is a far cry from nextgen broadband, we’d be struggling with such a slow line.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “We gave you a number of sources to start with”

      You mean you… 😉 can’t you stick to one name your getting as bad as another poster.

      “Have you done it now for yourself?”

      Have you done it for the whole country? That’s what counts when these statements portrayed as facts as posted by you, average distance to the cab and average speed for the country. Your not giving us any actual data at all. What is asking my local district for details going to achieve? Do they have the actual average FTTC speed for the entire country because that is what you are talking about.

      No that distance isn’t radial, my route takes a bit of a journey that is the proper distance to the cab.

      So you’d class 50Mbps down as slow? Interesting.

      And I wouldn’t say my speeds are above average. I went from 2Mbps to 55Mbps, whichever you cut it you can’t deny that is a massive leap

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @FibreFred: Look at GNewton’s links and info, provided at http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/09/vectoring-trials-begin-as-bt-looks-to-improve-uk-fttc-broadband-isp-speeds.html, I found it quite useful myself. Also, in addition I myself gave you this link: stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk . You can also ask Ofcom directly for details.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Not sure what FibreFred is on about. Several posters apparently managed to get sufficient details for their respective local areas. If JNeuhoff’s data matches up with what Andrew Ferguson published then it would indicate the figure are close to a real world VDSL performances. Some counties like Essex or Suffolk appear to have published more realistic targets IMHO. Time will tell.

      In fact, if someone wants an altnet to provide fibre for their own local area, having as much details as possible for e.g. a local town or village always helps.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Local areas, not UK wide. You keep saying that 50% of the UK won’t get speeds in excess of 40Mbps. Let’s see what the Ofcom reports in future years for the UK as a whole instead of guessing with your local estimates.

    • Avatar GNewton

      My estimates are based upon the thinkbroadband figures for the whole UK, the ultimate source would be Ofcom, they have had these details at least since VDSL got born in the UK, just keep pestering Ofcom if you need them.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      “VDSL is not an economically viable technology for small towns and rural areas.”
      Please explain this very broad statement, preferably with references and cost comparisons vs other technology options. Without these it is just your opinion, seemingly contradicted by what is happening in the. UK and a large number of other countries (as shown here and o thinkbroadband on multiple occasions).

      “On average, more than 20% of the VDSL lines won’t qualify as ‘superfast’ (30mbps or faster), and roughly 50% won’t be faster than 40mbps.”
      You are assuming no change from Profile 17a? No introduction of vectoring? No other improvements in VDSL? Anything else?

      In fact Ofcom stats suggest a very different picture for actual performance based on its most recent report, published in August. A previous Ofcom report gives line lengths from cabinets, showing 90% at 1km or less, so you could use this to get a reasonable picture of probable performance for the whole of the UK.

      Some on here want vast sums spent on FTTP despite no obvious business case, no indication of funding sources. This does not mean that other, more pragmatic options are wrong. Have you looked at the experience of Australia? It went for a purist approach, has spent large sums delivery little over a long time. Common sense appears to be kicking in and it may finally put in something at a more sensible cost that is delivered this century rather than next.

      Important people consider real-world experience and practicalities including cost, the time taken to install etc before rubbishing what is being done here. In the real world, what is being done here stacks up very well globally (OECD, Boston even Akamai). Don’t believe the nonsense that groups like the grandiosely titled “FTTH Council of Europe” (kit manufacturers really) publishes, let’s consider evidence rather than opinions and sweeping generalisations.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      GNewton, all I need is for you to prove what you say is right. Its not for me to prove your own theories.

      Back up your posts with facts not fiction.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Its easy to test what’s really economically viable. BT examined it, and came to conclusion that about a 3rd of the UK, mainly small towns and rural areas, are not economically viable for a FTTC rollout at this stage. No debate needed here, it’s a fact.

      These areas would have been served eventually, possibly with other technologies, without wasting £1.2 Billion of taxpayer’s money. I can already see developments on the horizon for our own rural district, without any taxpayer’s money, such as wireless broadband, in quite a few villages.

      Australia is an interesting story: See http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-liberal-party-of-australia-reconsider-your-plan-for-a-fttn-nbn-in-favour-of-a-superior-ftth-nbn. They could have had the FTTP solution, and this in the long term (10 to 20 years) without taxpayer’s money being wasted. Instead, they are about to do the same mistake as in the UK, give away Billions of Dollars of public money to a monopoly telecom company, namely Telstra, rather than continuing it as a longterm investment with future ROI. And all this where even Telstra would have been happy to use the NBN, it was prepared to eventually decommission its copper network. On the other hand, Australia also illustrates, how the previous government was unable over the past 2 terms to really construct the network in a timely fashion. Will be interesting to see whether the new Coalition government will finally come up with the long overdue cost-benefits analysis.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Re the rural areas – eventually isn’t enough though we have Eu targets to meet hence tax payers money being used. And yes Australia the country everyone citied as a great example for FTTP despite its population grouping being totally different to the uk,just look how that has turned out. We have more FTTP homes passed in the uk and don’t even have a national FTTP rollout

  3. Avatar sam

    Does this mean that EVERY cabinet in the selected areas will get fttc? If not these maps are pointless.

    • Avatar Pete

      NO the figures will be exchange based there is no data available from BT or the government on which cabinets are enabled or how many people are supplied per cabinet.

    • Avatar MikeW

      The whole point of these maps is to make the information more fine-grained than Pete’s (cynical) guess at an exchange-wide basis. The trigger – the meetings between DCMS, counties and BT – was to provide data that altnets could use for business planning.

      The get-out clause at the moment is that these are still preliminary plans, with more surveys required… which means that the selected areas might still include places which will not get coverage.

      But the aim, for counties, is to get these maps accurate.

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