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Wales UK Reveals Autumn 2015 BT “Fibre Broadband” Rollout Plan

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 (12:01 am) - Score 2,370
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The Superfast Cymru project has this morning announced the next batch of communities that, from September 2015 onwards, will be upgraded to support BT’s “fast fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network. The announcement means that related work is now effectively planned to take place in every telephone exchange across Wales.

At present the current goal is to make BTOpenreach’s fibre based broadband speeds available to 96% of Wales by the end of spring 2016, although the Welsh Government still won’t confirm precisely what proportion can expect to actually receive so-called “superfast” download speeds of 24Mbps+.

Never the less the project has already helped an additional 230,000 premises to gain access to the new service, although no firm information about take-up of the BDUK connected coverage has been published.

Ann Beynon, BT Director for Wales, said:

This is big news for Wales as people will now know when work will start for every single telephone exchange in Wales. It’s probably the biggest engineering programme Wales has seen in the last ten years with the potential to improve the lives of individuals, families and businesses across Wales.

Through BT’s own commercial roll-out and now with Superfast Cymru we are taking world class speeds the length and breadth of Wales. I’m particularly proud of our engineers who are working incredibly hard in often very rural and challenging areas to bring the benefits of superfast broadband to Wales.”

New Communities (work is set to begin by the end of September 2015)
Gwynedd: Aberdaron
Conwy: Capel Curig, Dolgarrog, Dolwen, Llanfairtalhaiarn, Llangernyw, Penmachno, Pentrefoelas
Denbighshire: Llannefydd, Nantglyn,
Carmarthenshire: Brechfa, Dryslwyn, Gwynfe, Madox, Rhandirmwyn
Flintshire: Saughall
Monmouthshire: Crucorney, Dingestow, Ponrilas, Shirenewton, Skenfrith, Tintern, Trelleck, Wolvesnewton
Pembrokeshire: Angle, Castle Martin, Clarbeston, Cynghordy, Llanteg, Llawhaden, Maenclochog, Martletwy, Puncheston, Rhos, St Nicholas
Powys: Beguildy, Llananno, Llangunllo, Llanwddyn, Painscastle, Pantydwr
Wrexham: Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog

Overall the programme will require the installation of 3,000 new street cabinets and around 17,500kms of fibre optic cable. It should also be said that the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme has provisionally allocated an additional £12.11m to help Wales extend the reach of fixed line superfast broadband coverage, which is currently being consulted upon.

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2 Responses
  1. Useful – charging 400,000 hours for coverage of 230,000 premises, – c920 cabinets out of 3,000. That’s 12 man(woman) weeks of labour charges per cabinet. IN state aid is this charged at £20 an hour? (12weeks x 35hours x£20)= that would £8,400 per cab from the average subsidy of £68,300 (£205m/3000) – which makes BDUK a bargain at £46,000 average, but more than four times that observed in NI for the same components up to 85%-88% coverage. BT pumping that labour rate will be a key objective but ought to be identfiable by state aid experts, but the pumped labour rate or its equivalent is built into the inflated milestone payment and these have been present for over 2 years ( set 1 month before the Olympics) and remain unchallenged so people get used to them.

    This labour will include the survey costs which have reported as 5% of the contract value in Suffolk. 5% of £205m which is £3,400 for each fibre path. The latter would be good to press on for publication as it would see how many hours to walk and record an average of 1-2km path. At £20 subsidy an hour – that’s nearly 5 man/woman weeks of labour cost just for a survey.

    The amount of new fibre to be laid 17,500km/3000 = 5.8km per path looks at odds with the 400Km reported (excluding submarine cable) for the Highland and Islands. How much of this 17,500km already exists and is just being enabled?. I was expected to see an average of 2-3km which includes a contribution to the putting a spine to a handover point.

    The process of ‘regulatory capture’ of officials is explained well by the Prof Tirole the new holder of the Nobel prize for Economics. Let’s hope the NAO Wales builds on what NAO did, although reconciling milestone payments to the invoices created per path may not be taking place at all.

    No mention of identified efficiency gains following the surveys, no verification of BT investment, no verification that invoices being checked. How many new apprentices working on this?

    To be clear I support BT doing the work, but these rates provide the opportunity for state aid to be used on BT projects other than rural.

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