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Isle of Wight Begins Much Delayed Superfast Broadband Rollout

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 (8:20 am) - Score 591
isle of wight uk

The Isle of Wight, after last year becoming one of the very last Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programmes to be approved due to some initial competition concerns with BT’s bid (here and here), has finally started its local roll-out of superfast broadband (FTTC) connectivity on the island in central southern England and good progress is being made.

The deployment, which aims to upgrade the available connectivity options for 20,000 homes and businesses across “largely rural parts of the Island” (note: BT’s commercial investment has already put similar FTTC services within reach of 49,000 premises), is initially concentrating on the areas of Shalfleet, Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone, Shorwell and Merstone as part of Phase One.

The first Street Cabinets to be upgraded with BT’s up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology under the scheme have now been installed in parts of Shorwell and Shalfleet, covering around 380 homes and businesses (this will go live shortly). Parts of Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone and Merstone will also follow later this summer.

Shirley Smart, IoW Councillor for Economy and Tourism, said:

With the first cabinets being installed we are now very close to seeing the first customers being connected as part of this major investment project.

This will provide significant benefits for business development on the Island in these communities, particularly in terms of activities such as web sales and supply, file transfer and telecare opportunities – and attracting inward investment to the Island. It should be of particular benefit to the Island’s very important tourism industry.

Residents in these areas, meanwhile, will experience many benefits due to better connectivity, including activities such as streaming films, tv and music.

This project is a major investment by the council in promoting the Island’s economy and will ensure fast internet speed in many rural areas – in addition, of course, to those homes and businesses in our towns which have already been seeing the benefits of superfast broadband.”

BT said they have been working closely with Island Roads in planning the installation works and the entire project is expected to be completed by around September 2015. By that point it’s hoped that 99% of Island premises will have access to the new NGA broadband infrastructure, with 90% of premises in the intervention area hopefully gaining access to superfast speeds of 24Mbps+.

A redacted copy of the full contract, which is something that most councils prefer not to share with the public, can be viewed online (here) and there’s also a rough deployment map.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton

    So how much of an overlapping is there with WightFibre, being paid for with taxpayer’s money?

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      If there is any overlap it will demonstrate the importance of responding the the “Open Market Review” in a timely manner. The council have stated several times in writing that Wight Fibre failed to provide a satisfactory response by the deadline, so can hardly be blamed if there is overlap. I doubt there is much though as a lot of the rural part of the island lacks service.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Do you have any links or data to back it up? Or is it not a case of a flawed BDUK process in action here again? With a council happy to give money to this BT beggar who has no need for it.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @GNewton
      A quick google search will help you find the council papers. Hardly their fault if WightFibre or others couldn’t provide completed OMR responses in time.

    • Avatar No Clue

      Or the short version no he does not have any data to back up his rubbish.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @No Clue
      Or, that it is easy to find on the council site, just look at the relevant cabinet papers. But I know you’re not to keen on reading! 🙂

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