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Surrey’s BDUK Broadband Rollout Reaches the Half Way Point

Thursday, Mar 27th, 2014 (12:58 pm) - Score 3,721

The state aid supported £35.2m Superfast Surrey project in England has become one of the first Broadband Delivery UK based schemes to reach the half-way mark after street cabinets serving around 42,000 local premises across the county were connected to BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network.

Some politicians might persistently claim that the national BDUK scheme is running two years behind schedule but progress on the ground often appears to tell a very different story, with the United Kingdom’s original 90% “superfast broadband” (25Mbps+) coverage target (end of 2015) still looking plausible.

Similarly some BDUK projects are also further along than others and Surrey’s scheme, which was one of the first to be agreed in September 2012 (here), appears to be holding to its original completion target for the end of 2014. By then it’s expected that nearly 100% of premises in Surrey will have access to “fibre based broadband” (FTTC).

Superfast Surrey Stats

• Superfast Surrey will deploy 391,800 metres of fibre cable installing the new network –enough to reach further than from Banstead to Blackpool.

• More than 30 additional rural telephone exchanges across the county will be upgraded with fibre broadband.

• There are currently more than 348 green street-side cabinets installed in Surrey, this number will grow to more than 620 by the end of the project in 2014.

It’s also anticipated that over 70,000 extra premises will be connected to the service by mid-2014 and this should reach 84,000 by the end of this year when the project is set to complete. Meanwhile the latest street cabinet to go live is one serving 520 homes and businesses in the village of Virginia Water.

Bill Murphy, BT Group’s MD of NGA, said:

Today’s announcement is another important milestone for a partnership which is making real progress. Working with our partners, we are able to bring this popular technology to locations where the economics and engineering challenges are that much greater.

High-speed fibre broadband is increasingly important if local households and businesses are to make the most of the huge range of opportunities offered by the internet, whether they are seeking to start a new business, find new customers, undertake on-line training or simply wish to browse for entertainment or leisure purposes.”

Leaving aside the usual arguments over competition and technology choice, the news represents good progress, although some of the same caveats exist with Surrey’s roll-out that we’ve also witnessed in many other BDUK projects. In particular it remains unclear precisely how many of the local premises will actually receive speeds of 25Mbps+ or benefit from an ultrafast FTTP connection.

It should be noted that the original Surrey procurement was underway some time before the BDUK framework was put in place and BT also had some competition in the procurement phase from Briskona Ltd and ETDE Ltd. Most of the later BDUK schemes saw BT face off against no other bidders.

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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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