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Durham Starts Phase 2 of its BDUK and BT Superfast Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, Jul 2nd, 2014 (8:15 am) - Score 1,602

The £25m Digital Durham programme in England, which was recently extended (here) and now aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 98% of local premises by September 2016 (note: 96% will get “superfast” speeds of 25Mbps+), has begun the second phase of its roll-out by upgrading the Frosterley telephone exchange.

It’s interesting to note that the project, which includes the areas of Gateshead, Sunderland and Tees Valley, appears to be operating slightly out-of-sync with its indicative roll-out plan. Under the original plan Frosterley (Weardale) wasn’t due to be upgraded until Phase 5 (April 2015 – June 2015).

This is actually quite normal because some areas can be moved forward, and others pushed back, as events on the ground change. However the first actual street cabinet upgrades in the Weardale area still won’t be ready to use until early 2015, when 5,000 premises can expect to benefit (i.e. work can start on a telephone exchange long before the cabinets are due to be built).

Meanwhile the first phase of the scheme should have already made the service available to around 9,000 local homes and businesses by June 2014 (here), although it’s running ahead of schedule and so the figure could be higher. By contrast Phase 2 is running from July – September 2014 and will add another 12,000+ premises to the total (overall the project should benefit 72,000 additional premises by completion).

Digital Durham – Phase Two Roll-Out Plan (Exchange Areas)

Beamish
Burnopfield
Coxhoe
Crook
Dipton
Lanchester
Meadowfield
New Brancepeth
Peterlee
Ryton
Sedgefield
Stanley
Trimdon
Washington
Wellfield

In addition, BT anticipates that some ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) connectivity will also be deployed in certain areas, although as usual they’re not currently specifying where this will take place. We do wish BT and councils would be more transparent about the level of FTTP involved, far too many Broadband Delivery UK projects still overlook this.

Mark-Jackson
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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