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3269 Rural UK Premises Getting Superfast Broadband via RCBF Grants

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 (1:39 pm) - Score 607

The government’s £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund, which was setup to help rural areas in the last 10% of England gain access to superfast broadband (24Mbps+), has issued an update to confirm that a total of 3,269 (up from 2,118 at the last update) domestic and business premises are currently anticipated to have the “potential” to receive such a service thanks to RCBF investment.

As with the previous update from DEFRA, which we covered in July 2014 (here), the scheme is eventually expected to help support approximately 20-22 projects that should together pass between a total of 20,000 to 25,000 premises (i.e. the 3,269 figure will increase each month as related networks get built).

But the figures remain well below the original target, which was intended to reach up to 70,000 premises by mid-2015, and the reason for this is explained in our previous article. Needless to say that the scope of the RCBF scheme has changed somewhat.

Crucially some 17 of these projects are now being led by Local Authorities and are thus due to be delivered as extensions to existing contracts under the main Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme with BT, which means that the data for those will be reported by the DCMS as part of their national Broadband Performance Indicator updates and not via the RCBF.

rcbf august 2014 update

The figures given above currently reflect the most advanced RCBF based rollout’s, such as the Fell End and nearby Fibre GarDen schemes in Cumbria, as well as others in Rothbury, the Tove Valley and finally Northmoor that has just gone live this week via Gigaclear’s new FTTP network (here).

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1 Response
  1. Avatar James Harrison says:

    currently anticipated to have the “potential” to receive such a service

    This would be like their technical specification that networks be built “in anticipation of providing up to approximately ~30Mbps to about 90% of customers during [unspecified] peak hours” in order to be eligible. In your technology-neutral application. The government has a wonderful way of wording things so that even two cans, a wet piece of string and some acoustic couplers would technically be allowed (if you have a reasonable way to modulate 30Mbps in the theoretical pipeline) to qualify for ‘superfast’ (to permit BT to be eligible, one supposes).

    Still only <1000 premises actually passed by projects – a disappointing result from the fund, but utterly unsurprising.

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