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UPD Super Switch on Day for the National Broadband Delivery UK Scheme

Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2013 (11:25 am) - Score 874
super_switch_on_day

The Government has flushed out a bit of new PR spin today by labelling the 18th December 2013 as “Super Switch on Day“, which apparently marks how the first BT Street Cabinets in a number of local Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) projects have finally gone live with “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services.

According to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), 5000 homes and businesses in towns and villages across Wiltshire & South Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent & Medway, Cheshire, the Cotswolds and Shropshire can now get superfast broadband (25Mbps+) download speeds if they want it, which is all thanks to BDUK. In fairness the EU, BT and local councils have all played a part but the DCMS doesn’t mention that.

Overall the total number of premises expected to have access to superfast speeds by Christmas, as a result of the BDUK roll-out, now exceeds 200,000, which is up from 112k in September 2013 and 140,000 in October 2013. Come Summer 2014 the Government expects BDUK and BT’s deployment to be passing 40,000 additional premises per week (here).

As a result of all this the Government now claims to be “well on track with its commitment” to make fixed line superfast broadband speeds of 25Mbps+ available to 95% of the United Kingdom by 2017, which they claim will offer “excellent value for taxpayer money” (i.e. a net return of £20 for every £1 spent).

Maria Miller, DCMS Secretary of State, said:

We are now witnessing an incredible transformation of superfast broadband in Britain, and we are already well ahead of other major European countries in many respects. We’re determined to ensure that everyone benefits and that broadband is available in the very hardest to reach areas of Britain, making a real difference to people who live in these communities.

Today’s “switch on” of cabinets across the country takes us yet another step closer to fulfilling our promise of giving superfast speeds to 95% of Britain by 2017.”

It’s good news then, albeit no doubt a distraction from the on-going concerns over competition, the apparent failure of RCBF to deliver on its promises to smaller altnet ISPs and the loss of the broadband infrastructure element from the Government’s £150m Urban Broadband Fund (replaced with a voucher scheme). On the other hand at least faster connectivity is finally reaching more people, even if it’s not quite what some might have hoped for.

UPDATE 12:55pm

Oh and there’s a video too..

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Mark-Jackson
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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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