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Lancashire Outline Spring Phase of the BDUK and BT Fibre Broadband Rollout

Tuesday, Mar 11th, 2014 (8:15 am) - Score 1,360

The state aid supported Superfast Lancashire project in England has confirmed the names of a further 11 communities that will soon gain more access to BT’s superfast broadband (FTTC/P) network by the end of June 2014 (Q2 – 2014 deployment period).

The £62.5m scheme’s current aim is to help make BT’s “superfast broadband” (25Mbps+) services available to 97% of local premises by the end of 2015, which could soon be extended after Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen jointly won an additional £3.84m of funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK budget (here).

So far BTOpenreach has installed 300 street cabinets in the county (up from 130 in January 2014) to support its FTTC roll-out, which has put their “high-speed fibre broadband” network within reach of 370,000 local homes and businesses (up from 350,000 at the end of Jan 2014).

Lancashire’s Spring Rollout Update to June 2014 (a lot of infill)
Mellor Brook
West Bradford

According to the Lancashire Telegraph, many of the above areas are those that have already been upgraded and thus where FTTC technology will receive a further extension of coverage (i.e. it takes time to achieve near-total coverage of an area). For example, Mellor was already announced as part of the Q1-2014 phase (here) and so the next phase will see further deployments in that area to expand BT’s coverage. Burnley also falls into a similar box and has been part of the roll-out for a long time now.

It’s also interesting to note that several areas (e.g. Samlesbury and Gisburn), specifically those that weren’t expected to be covered by the original roll-out plan, are currently being reviewed for inclusion in future roll-out stages. Similarly Dunsop Bridge, another area that wasn’t part of the project, has now been included.

The Director of BT’s local Next Generation Access division, Steve Edwards, is also understood to have told councillors that the operator’s break-even figure for broadband take-up was 20% of premises (it’s the same for other BDUK projects too) and the current level is apparently 7.6%. However if BT were to achieve 30% then the council would benefit from a reinvestment of £4m back into the roll-out programme and it could reach £9m if 50% take their FTTC. Other BDUK projects have similar clauses but the terms do vary.

It should be said that the above areas may not represent the full / final list of deployments under the project’s spring 2014 roll-out phase because neither the schemes website nor the council itself has posted an official update. Similarly some notable altnet projects, such as B4RN’s deployment of FTTP/H in the Lune Valley area, are also separately contributing to improve connectivity in the county.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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