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£775k Brings Superfast Broadband to 700 Extra Buckinghamshire UK Homes

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 (2:02 pm) - Score 1,276
bt-superfast-broadband-fttc-street-cabinet-uk-install

The Buckinghamshire County Council in England has expanded its roll-out of BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network after an extra £775,000 was secured from the RCBF to cover 700 more homes in Cholesbury, St Leonards, Bellingdon and four villages north of Buckingham (Cholesbury Telephone Exchange).

It’s important to point out that Buckinghamshire has joined forces with Hertfordshire in order to support the regional £18.06m Connected Counties project, which aims to expand BT’s superfast broadband capable network to reach 90% of local premises by the end of March 2016.

Unfortunately the article on Bucks Free Press doesn’t say where the extra investment of £775k for the new extension is coming from. But after a little digging we happened across a website for the related Cholesbury Exchange Superfast Broadband Working Group, which said that a “bid application put together by BBF was submitted to DEFRA at the end of February 2014” (i.e. the Rural Community Broadband Fund).

Martin Tett, Council Leader, said:

Releasing these two rural communities from a broadband cul-de-sac is not only good news for residents, but also for small businesses who need access to high quality, high speed broadband.”

The CESBWG website also reveals that over 50% of the 700 plus potential subscribers have registered their interest in the new superfast connectivity, although converting that into customers can often be far more challenging.

In related news it’s worth pointing out that the Connected Counties project has recently confirmed which exchange areas and even street cabinets will benefit from Phase 2 of the local deployment between June – December 2014.

Phase 2 Rollout – June – Dec 2014

High Wycombe – Cabinets: 26, 27, 29, 32, 34, 39, 46, 47, 53, 55, 57, 78, 90, 93, 101, 107, 109, 111, 113, 120, 122, 123

Holmer Green – Cabinets: 10, 15, 16

Knebworth – Cabinets: 5

Lane End – Cabinets: 1, 2, 5, 7

Naphill – Cabinets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12

St Albans – Cabinets: 55, 83, 84, 86, 102, 114

Stevenage – Cabinets: 10, 13, 29, 55, 63, 66, 72, 83, 86, 100, 118, 119, 121

Waddesdon – Cabinets: 1

Meanwhile Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire have recently been allocated another £6.63m from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office, although how this will be spent has yet to be confirmed but the safe money will be on another BT extension.

Leave a Comment
14 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark says:

    At > £1000 per home – someone please reassure me this is 100% FTTP

    😉

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The campaign site isn’t clear, both FTTC and FTTP get a mention, but it does seem like quite a lot of money for 700 homes if you’re only using FTTC.

    2. Avatar MikeW says:

      The average figure for FTTP to the whole UK is supposedly £1k per home, but in the deepest rural areas it is likely to be 3x, 5x or more. B4RN’s own website claims it to be £10k per home.

  2. Avatar Unknown101 says:

    60 cabinets if it is just FTTC, not including all the man hours involved in blowing the fibre to the cabinets, the clearing of blockages in ducts, installation of ducts if rural areas, dslam’s, civils to install ducting, power, copper tails into each cabinet……

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      In other words, it would have been cheaper to start afresh.

      Perhaps with an alternative network with new ducting, and if private investment could be attracted, the residents might have got something faintly future-proof at far lower cost, if any, to the taxpayer.

      The “get the money to BT” project continues apace.

    2. Avatar Unknown101 says:

      Don’t know what’s not future proof with FTTC, residents can also order on demand and have FTTP if they like – sure most homes would be happy to have a amplifier or vdsl mini cabinet – not everyone wants or needs 1Gbps. Didn’t see any other company bid for it. Sure a new network and ducting for FTTP would cost more than £1k per household. Guess it’s not commercially viable for a B4RN type of company to do.

    3. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      @Unknown101

      The costs (about £1K per household) are roughly inline with what B4RN are quoting in their business plan (albeit that’s per enabled, not passed premise). However, they only achieve that by having access to volunteer labour and freely granted wayleaves from land owners. So it’s not so much the finance, but having the local organisational power and community commitment.

      Personally, if this is a full FTTP roll-out, I’d be a little surprised as the numbers are a bit tight for what most people think is possible by a commercially lead (rather than volunteer lead) project in a rural area. However, it’s not impossible. It’s also interesting to compare these numbers with the “typical” BDUK subsidy level, which from what I see is more normally in the region of £120-140 per premises covered (albeit not based on 100% superspeed).

      One thing about these costs is that this is per-premise passed. If the take-up rate was (say) 33%, then that £1K per premise becomes £3K. I believe the gap funding is generally targeted at 20%, but with a “claw back” mechanism being invoked if actual take-up is over the target (take-up rate has a huge impact on commercial viability).

    4. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Can not even be compared to B4RN that project requires trenches to be dug and ducts laid, BT already have those in place or they should have.

      DTMark is right if this is anything but FTTP/H and is indeed FTTC it is another BT rip off.

  3. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    I would like to reiterate the word “Buckinghamshire” as the reason for investment…

  4. Avatar talweg says:

    Reading the full press release from Bucks CC reveals there are 4 exchange areas involved, two in Bucks and two in Herts covered by the £775k cost. further research online indicates just over 2000 properties passed so cost ppp is under £390.

    1. Avatar George says:

      RCBF to cover 700 more homes IE money is not for those already done or approved.

  5. Avatar talweg says:

    @George,

    Apparently, the 700 homes refers to the Cholesbury exchange which serves several small villages. There is a second exchange which is in north Bucks which covers four further villages, and also two further exchanges in Hertfordshire. All four exchanges are included in the £775k RCBF grant

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Unless it is all FTTP exchange figures do not enter the equation. Its how many get and are connected to a cabinet

  6. Avatar hmmm says:

    superfast my ass

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