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Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire UK Update BT Broadband Deployment Map

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 (10:44 am) - Score 1,662

The joint £12 million+ Central Superfast project between the Milton Keynes Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council in England, which aims to rollout BT’s FTTC/P service to cover “around” 91% of local premises by spring 2016 (97% in Milton Keynes), has released a revised deployment map following new funding.

The project, which was originally funded by £6.2m from BT, £2.4m from Milton Keynes Council, £1.2m from Central Bedfordshire Council, £0.44m from Bedford Borough Council and £2m from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) budget, intended to expand the reach of BT’s “fibre broadband” network to an extra 33,000 premises (note: 32,000 of those will have access to superfast speeds of at least 24Mbps).

But since August 2013 BTOpenreach has made progress on its pre-deployment survey work and the Bedford Borough Council has also secured an additional £600,000 for the project from BDUK, which has similarly boosted BT’s commitment by another £400,000. The result is that 8,200 additional premises in the Borough will get superfast speeds, which is up from 6,300 in the original plan.

Richard Wenham, Cllr Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

We felt it was important for people to see this information but please remember that this is the current project plan, so it is subject to change and areas might be added or removed depending on ‘on the ground’ conditions as BT works to deliver new infrastructure. There are some Frequently Asked Questions on our website that should help if people have queries.

While we are pleased with the 90 per cent high-speed coverage, we’re not stopping there. Our goal is to provide 100 per cent superfast access so we’re working with the Government, local partners and commercial providers, to secure additional resources and new ways of delivery to extend coverage even further.”

The project has released an updated deployment map, which as ever only represents an indicative overview. A proper announcement concerning the first areas to benefit is due early next year.

Deployment Map

A specific map for the Central Bedfordshire area can also be found here. As a side note basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps) will be ensured for the remaining premises by the end of 2016.

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29 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark says:

    Same questions as ever…

    “Bedford Borough Council has also secured an additional £600,000 for the project from BDUK”

    Where did that extra £600,000 from the taxpayer, not BDUK ultimately, come into this?

    “Our goal is to provide 100 per cent superfast access”

    Do you mean 100% of people will be able to connect to a fixed-line network at speeds of 30Mbps or better?

    Or, 100% of people will be able to connect to a network which is theoretically capable of delivering those sorts of speeds to some or most people?

    As these are very different.

    “basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps) will be ensured for the remaining premises by the end of 2016.”

    How and with what technology?

    1. Avatar gerarda says:

      I suspect they are just hoping that by the end of 2016 BT will magically come up with a solution that gets 2mb to everyone. Alternatively they will try to imply that 100% of premises passed by superfast is the same as 100% able to get, the same con job they did with ADSL availability.

  2. Avatar cyberdoyle says:

    Another council conned. A fortune spent delivering a stop gap solution through old copper. Why o why don’t they do the job once and do it right? Bring in the specialists, ring gigaclear or any altnet and stop listening to the monopoly who is only interested in leaching the last remaining assets from its phone network before going titsup and reverting to supplying content.

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      The whole BDUK process is a waste of taxpapayer’s money.

      A long-term investment plan, with the selection of appropriate telecom suppliers, and an eventual ROI in the long term, would have been a better approach.

    2. Avatar TheFacts says:

      What would be the cost for Gigaclear to rollout FTTP where they can’t cherry pick?

    3. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      All well and good but the thorny issue of funding remains. What would you say to the substantial number of people without any improvement in service in order to allow a few to get FTTP given the significant extra cost per premise?

      What would you say to the people waiting years for network build, even if funding for FTTP was secured? IIRC It’s taken B4RN approx 2 years to connect a few hundred properties out of over 1000 to its network. I’m not sure many would be prepared to wait whilst the network was built out, bearing in mind it takes far longer than FTTC and we see lots of complaints on here about the time that is taking to deliver.

      And as for “…ring gigaclear or any altnet…”, tell that to the people of Selling in Kent where apparently £500,000 was spent to connect a grand total of 13 premises before the project closed. So not sure your advice to ring any altnet is particularly sound.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Agreed with all of that new Londoner and to add to it how many premises could an altnet hook up with the same funding 50% ? Less ?

    5. Avatar DTMark says:

      Ah, one more question:

      Before throwing money at BT to come up with a short to medium term solution for some (VDSL) – what assurances has the local body gained from BT that this is any kind of strategic move towards a network for the future whether that’s done piecemeal (“on demand”) or en-masse?

      The question being “What assurances has the local body gained from BT with respect to the provision of true fibre-optic broadband for the future in terms of pricing and availability to ensure that same is available and affordable to their residents?”

      Clearly, this question would have to have been answered before committing all this taxpayer’s money, so lets have the answer.

    6. Avatar GNewton says:

      To answer TheFacts’ stupid question with another one: How do you roll our nextgen broadband without wasting taxpayer’s money in the long term?

    7. Avatar gerarda says:

      100% superfast is not achievable with FTTC. How are they expecting to do it?

    8. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      Why would the local body ask that question? I thought that any procurement had to be technology neutral to ensure fairness, such a question would not be. Also, why the fixation on FTTP? FTTdp seems to be making progress, along with G.Fast, so better to focus on a question about future need rather than the underlying technology, which is just a means to an end anyway.

    9. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      I did speak to Gigaclear. They informed that this area couldn’t be viable.

      Good to see you’re now a telecomms analyst and can assure us that BT will be purely a content company.

    10. Avatar DTMark says:


      That’s an odd response, since my question was about the future.

      We already know that it would be cheaper to FTTP the entire country than pay for VDSL and FTTP “On Demand”. To begin from scratch is often quoted at around 1k per premise passed compared with the opportunistic costs of “On Demand” touted so far because BT really doesn’t want to go anywhere near the end premises.

      Therefore, the longevity of any solution based on trying to adapt a phone network into one which provides modern services is key before money is poured into it.

      Before setting out on a journey it’s helpful to know the ultimate destination.

    11. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      @DTMark Is comparing cost per home passed on native FTTP to Openreach (zero markup, ignoring takeup) with wholesale price of a home served by FTTPoD fair?

    12. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I know what you are getting at DTMark but I agree I’m not sure its that relevant to the LA’s discussion.

      Imagine a wireless provider had won, would the LA be asking what the end game is, say they agreed to supply 150Mbs to all would the LA be asking about future 1Gbps access and pricing?

      What if Virgin had one and rolled out 120Mbps to all, would the LA be asking about future plans for 1Gbps access and pricing?

      The contract is about providing the deliverable , not about the future. No harm in asking about future plans but I’m not sure it should be part of any contract.

    13. Avatar gerarda says:

      @fibrefred If the contract was about the deliverable BT would not have won any as they cannot deliver a universal 2mb service

    14. Avatar TheFacts says:

      It’s not about adapting a phone network. The BDUK and other work will get a fibre infrastructure across the UK with nodes and fibre duct. If there is demand beyond FTTC and FTDP then there can be a discussion about if the government should fund digging up the roads and pavement to every property.

      Still waiting for those who moan about FTTC to come up with a costed FTTP scheme for 100% of the UK.

    15. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

      “… The BDUK and other work will get a fibre infrastructure across the UK with nodes and fibre DUCT.”

      “… If there is demand beyond FTTC and FTDP then there can be a discussion about if the government should fund digging up the roads and pavement to every property.”

      Why would they need to dig up any roads if the fibre under BDUK is laid in ducts?

      Are the current wires that go to phone poles not in DUCTS?

      Are the current wires that reach properties underground not in DUCTS?

  3. Avatar Phil says:

    80/20 is fastest enough for now until next 10 years. Why need 330/30 or 1Gb broadband for?

    1. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

      What need transportation you have 2 legs. That is how logical that old chestnut repeated over and over is.

    2. Avatar GNewton says:

      Who needs a computer with more than 640K RAM?

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      Apart, perhaps, from a 4G cell serving only one house right next to the transmitter, there aren’t any solutions other than FTTP which can supply 80Mbps down and 20Mbps up to everyone or even a majority.

    4. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

      Indeed in fact ive yet to seen a FTTC connection meet the full 80Mb/20Mb speeds which is probably why only a year after release its all quoted as UPTO 76Mb now.

      My connection performs very well i can get 18.5Mb upload its rare you see anything significantly over 19Mb, most hover around 16-17Mb looking at various speed tests.

      Like many it also suffers from congestion during peak, luckily not too badly.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Isn’t 80/20 the sync speed? You’ve can’t achieve that as throughput with overheads

      “Like many” ?

      Assume as usual you are referring to a few forum posts and catagorise that as the masses.

    6. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

      No im referring to the ofcom and samknows reports throughout this year. And NO it can sync at more than 80Mb. What are you referring to when you imply my figures are wrong?

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      From memory FTTC comes out well in terms of congestion on those reports, better than others.

    8. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

      I already said “…suffers from congestion during peak, luckily not too badly.”

      So i fail to comprehend where you think i stated anything saying congestion was bad on FTTC. It exists and many have mentioned it, how bad or not bad you want to go ahead and assume i think congestion is though is your prerogative. A pointless thought though as i already said it was not too bad.

      Ironically though despite the “others” it BT FTTC does better at that did not stop Virgin winning Ofcom accolades for 2 years did it. Or Virgin along with other competition such as Sky being commended on their far superior customer support this year. Just throw that in there as you want to start singing random praises about how well ISPs do at things.

    9. Avatar FibreFred says:

      You said “Like many” Which would constitute it being “the norm”

      I’ve never encountered any congestion peak or otherwise.

      You mentioned congestion, why mention other non related accolades?

      Did Virgin win least congested network of the year? No? Well don’t mention it then.

      I doubt BT will ever win any customer service awards.

      I do wonder why having so much hatred towards BT and awe at Virgin that you use a FTTC service (or claim to) as opposed to Virgin, after all they have 100% coverage do they not, I see you never replied after I put you in your place on that one.

    10. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

      “Many” as in the dictionary term of being a large number or considerable amount. You mentioned forum posts about congestion, there are MANY of those on BTs forums about congestion.

      MANY does not equate to “normal” so i do not know where you got that idea from either. Maybe BT and its aconites have their own dictionary.

      You ask why i mention accolades… I think you will find it was yourself that brought other ISPs into the equation with the “better than others.” quote. BT did not win any accolade this year for low congestion so why compare them to others? If you do not want to compare what others are good and bad at do not mention others in the first place.

      I have no hatred towards BT, perhaps a bit of an attitude towards self appointed half wits that speak defensive nonsense about them.

      Why are you now babbling on about coverage figures and percents? Virgin openly admit they only cover around 50% of the country BT on the other hand will not even disclose how many cabinets have been enabled, they would sooner talk make believe about premises passed and use exchange figures that have bugger all to do with who can and can not get FTTC.

      You carry on defending BT though, the reports where they win nothing at all and come bottom or near bottom with regards to customer service continually speaks far louder than you, or any forced education i could ever try to impact upon your one track opinion and daydream about how great you think they are.

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