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FTTP in West Sussex UK as BT Name Next Areas for Superfast Broadband

Monday, June 30th, 2014 (4:17 pm) - Score 2,496

The £20m+ West Sussex Better Connected project, which plans to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to around 98% of homes and businesses in West Sussex (England) by Spring 2016, has connected its first customers and announced the next telephone exchange areas to benefit. Some ultrafast FTTP may also be built.

Apparently 5,000 premises in Billingshurst, Bosham, Fittleworth, Graffham, Petworth, Pulborough, Selsey, Sidlesham, Storrington and West Chiltington can now gain access to the new Internet connectivity. The next to benefit, in July 2014, will include locals connected to telephone exchanges at Ashington, Kirdford and Wisborough Green. A total of 10,000 should be reached during August 2014.

So far more than 40 new green roadside FTTC street cabinets are being built and connected to power supplies and that’s just for Phase One of the roll-out, with seven more phases left to go over the next 2 years. The next Phase Two deployment is expected to run from the end of summer to December 2014.

West Sussex Broadband – Phase Two (Telephone Exchange Areas)

Birdham
Bracklesham Bay
Burgess Hill
Chichester (covering Halnaker, East Lavant, Fishbourne and West Hampnett),
Crawley
Eastergate
Haywards Heath

As usual it’s important to point out that some of these areas will involve a bit of in-fill work (i.e. FTTC may already be available but its coverage will now be extended), not to mention the history in Haywards Heath (here and here). But perhaps of most interest is the announcement that BTOpenreach will shortly conduct additional surveys to “explore the feasibility” of providing ultrafast fibre optic broadband using alternative methods, such as Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology, to several areas (this could deliver speeds of 330Mbps).

West Sussex Broadband – FTTP Survey Areas (Exchanges)

Ashington
Billingshurst
Petworth
Pulborough
Sutton

The Sutton exchange area is apparently being surveyed for both FTTP “as well as solutions for premises that are connected directly to their exchange” (i.e. Exchange Only Lines [EOL]). At this stage BT aren’t being clear about whether or not the above is for a native FTTP deployment or the very expensive Fibre-on-Demand (FoD) product, although we have asked for clarification. BT usually don’t mention FTTP quite so specifically.

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister, said:

This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of broadband in West Sussex and we’re on track to deliver access to superfast speeds to 44,000 homes and businesses by spring 2016. We understand how important access to superfast broadband is – the UK already does more business online than any other European country, and the widespread access to superfast broadband that this scheme will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the West Sussex economy.”

NOTE: BT’s on-going commercial fibre deployment across the county has already delivered their “fibre broadband” connectivity to more than 300,000 local homes and businesses.

UPDATE 12:35pm

BT have confirmed that they are indeed exploring a roll-out of native FTTP and not Fibre-on-Demand FTTP (the latter would have required customers to pay for the infrastructure to be installed at great cost to themselves).

Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

    Awesome how a little public subsidy, ostensibly 50%-ish of the total costs, changes an area from being unsuitably for any kind of upgrade to being suitable for FTTP, while high expected uptake doesn’t change a thing.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      But, why would it?

      If the BT network is the only option available to you, you’ll jolly well pay the line rental, get what you’re given and be thankful for it.

      BT isn’t a charity you know.

      😉

    2. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      No. I’ll petition the council to involve CityFibre, liaise with Virgin Media via local and national government, and do everything I can to bring myself, the community, and the city more and better choice.

      If BT would rather spend on content so be it 🙂

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      Shame on you for trying to take away customers which rightfully belong to BT!

      I get the impression that there’s a rather cosy relationship between local authorities and BT, and even if there were not: BDUK directive = pot of taxpayer’s money here, BT bank account there. Jolly along please, there are pensions to pay.

    4. Avatar GNewton says:

      “BT isn’t a charity you know.”

      I am not so sure about that. BT certainly acts like one, just look at the BDUK farce.

      With a roughly 2.5 Billion Pounds annual profit (year ending March 2013) there certainly was no need to act like a beggar for public money.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      ^ You still don’t get why the funding exists do you?

      BT wouldn’t have rolled out in these areas in the timescales set by the government without funding.

      Not commercially viable without funding.

    6. Avatar GNewton says:

      “Not commercially viable without funding.”

      Why do you care? You are not exactly a charitable person, are you? You got your VDSL service over your twisted-pair copper wire, even believing it’s future-proof. So take a break, BT doesn’t pay you, does it?

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I care to correct you 🙂

      You keep spreading muck about BT not needing the money, to rollout to those areas in the gov timeframe yes they did because without it no rollout, they’d complete their commercial rollout and then plod along for years adding extras which didn’t fit in with what the government wanted

      Yeah I’ve got VDSL and I don’t mind paying through tax for others to get a faster service either regardless of the tech

      I never believed it was future proof, never once said that ever. But feel free to make stuff up if it makes you feel better

    8. Avatar GNewton says:

      @FibreFred: Seriously, take a break, BT doesn’t pay you! You keep telling people fairy tales about how wonderful BT is, and how it needs taxpayers money to rollout more areas.

      BT earns Billions each year, it is a private company, NOT a charity, it doesn’t need taxpayer’s money.

    9. Avatar No Clue says:

      “Yeah I’ve got VDSL and I don’t mind paying through tax for others to get a faster service either regardless of the tech”

      Clearly you do or you would not constantly be flapping your lips about how FTTP is more expensive.

    10. Avatar FibreFred says:

      So GNewton, would you be happy for BT not to be funded and those that are now/will get a faster service go without?

      Because that is what you are saying, it doesn’t matter whether any private company has £1 or 100 billion if an area won’t pay back in the timeframe they want they won’t go there.

      I’m not telling people how wonderful BT is, far from it I’m trying to bring you out of neverland back into reality, I’d be saying this no matter who won the contract because the same applies.

      You are right BT is not a charity it doesn’t need funding for commercially viable areas, on that we agree.

    11. Avatar GNewton says:

      BT doesn’t need any funding at all, especially not in the form of a gap funding with no ROI. You don’t even get a precise cost-benefits analysis of what makes an area commercially viable, and over what time periods, we tried requests under the Freedom of Information Act for this. (BTW.: We now got a lot of details down to the postcode level for the phase 1 BDUK rollout in Essex, we also asked for the precise public spending on this, soon to come!)

      Proper longterm investment, with financial ROI for the (possibly public) investor is the key, not burdening the taxpayer, especially not the millions of them who will not see nextgen broadband, or who simply don’t want it.

      In fact, we have seen areas where the BDUK has done the opposite of bringing in nextgen broadband, I have seen places in Suffolk and Essex where other investors, who would have introduced more appropriate and innovative technologies, are now being detered from doing so because they do not want to compete with a taxpayer-funded BT bully.

  2. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

    That stuff aside I wonder if BT have noted the criticism of the, frankly laughable, extent of their deployment of FTTP outside of Cornwall and 7000-ish premises in Milton Keynes and are responding by advertising more heavily their surveying of areas via BDUK.

    Bad idea if they are, frankly. If they can deploy FTTP with the minimal levels of subsidy BDUK is offering it rather highlights the lack of deployment of it in urban and dense pockets of semi-rural areas.

    A couple of hundred quid subsidy per premises passed shouldn’t be enough to jump from nothing to FTTP if 40-50% uptake in urban areas only merits an 80GBP/premises passed spend.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Perhaps it’s driven by the fact that rural communities are closer-knit, people talk to each other, know who the local councillor is and meet them regularly, and the council is forever fending off constituents who for some bizarre reason, frankly, think that they ought to have some say in how their money is spent and don’t want to find themselves with nothing for the next ten years?

  3. Avatar flipdee says:

    You might argue how their profits would be effected if BDUK had used another provider for the whole project.

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