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West Sussex UK Reveals Phase 1 Areas for Superfast Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, Mar 12th, 2014 (8:06 am) - Score 729

The £20.1 million West Sussex Better Connected project has finally announced the first 7 communities that will receive an upgrade to “better, faster broadband services” using the latest fibre optic based FTTC/P technologies from BT. But there’s confusion over whether the coverage target is 98% or 90% and a conflict with wireless ISP Kijoma.

The original Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) based scheme was officially unveiled in May 2013 (here), which makes it one of the slowest to announce a regional roll-out strategy. Never the less a local newspaper has finally revealed which will be the first areas to benefit.

West Sussex BDUK – Phase 1 Communities
Wisborough Green

A separate report on Thinkbroadband has also correctly noted that Fixed Wireless Broadband ISP Kijoma, which offers “superfast” download speeds of up to 30Mbps in many areas (though their expensive usage allowances are not so attractive), are already present in a large part of the related area. The BDUK schemes are already notorious for ignoring the contributions of wireless providers.

In a recent statement Kijoma said, “Many of Kijoma’s planned coverage expansion projects for 2014 are currently on hold until more information on where the state funded BT roll out will occur. We are advised this information will be known around March – April time. This decision has been taken here as competing commercially with a state funded competitor would be a foolish move, especially as the conditions of this funding completely prejudice genuine independently provided services such as those provided by Kijoma.”

One other peculiarity that hasn’t been picked up on is the now familiar confusion over coverage targets. BT’s original announcement stated that “fibre broadband will be rolled out to around 98% of West Sussex homes and businesses” by Spring 2016 (note: they don’t say “superfast” and that usually means FTTC/P lines that offer both sub-24Mbps and 25Mbps+ speeds). However the project’s new website talks about a target of 90% that will “connect to better, faster broadband services“.

We assume that the 90% target means “superfast” speeds and the 98% is just raw FTTC/P network coverage for speeds that also go sub-superfast, yet as is so often the case it’s not made crystal clear.

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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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