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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 2,616

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).

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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