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Surrey UK Celebrates Completion of Local Fibre Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 (3:02 pm) - Score 769

The £35m+ Superfast Surrey project in England has announced the completion of its main deployment phase, which means that an additional 82,000 homes and businesses in the county can now gain access to BTOpenreach’s “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network; albeit a few months later than originally planned (end of 2014).

Admittedly the Surrey scheme is less clear when it comes to clarifying what proportion will get access to “superfast” speeds (24Mbps+), although their website states that locals will be able to access “speeds in excess of 15Mbps” alongside a promise that completion of the programme, in conjunction with commercial rollouts, means that “99% of the homes and businesses in the county will be covered by a fibre broadband network“.

Highlights from the Surrey Deployment

· Around 250 miles of fibre optic cable have been laid.

· Upgraded more than 30 rural telephone exchanges across the county to high speed fibre broadband.

· Installed more than 600 green road-side street cabinets and fibre structures.

· Helped Surrey record the second highest take-up of fibre broadband in the country (this was recorded HERE as an impressive 23.6% uptake in BDUK enabled areas).

It’s worth pointing out that Surrey wasn’t allocated any additional funding as part of the Government’s recent Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) based Superfast Extension Programme (here), which suggests that their local “superfast” coverage must be close to or above the nationally required target of 95%.

Bill Murphy, BT’s MD of Next Generation Access, said:

We have been working hard to get to this tremendous milestone achievement, which has seen the communications landscape completely transformed, on time and on budget, and we are keen to do even more.

This project is boosting the local economy and helping to create and protect local jobs. Thanks to high-speed fibre broadband, companies like Yubico, can run its international operations from a 400 year-old house in one of Surrey’s oldest villages as easily as if in a high tech business park.”

Peter Martin, Surrey County Council Deputy Leader, said:

This roll out has been delivered at an amazing rate of nearly 200 homes and businesses per working day, transforming lives across the county, and making Surrey the best connected county in Britain.

Whilst celebrating this achievement, I recognise that there is still work to do to reach those remaining premises located in the more technically challenging and harder to reach places of the county. This is not, therefore, the end of the story and as a council we would like to do more.

To understand the full scope of the remaining challenge, we intend to run a further investigation known as an Open Market Review (OMR). The results will enable us to identify how to prioritise the use of any remaining funds to address issues of broadband coverage and speed across the county.”

As usual the vast majority of BT’s deployment in Surrey has been conducted using their ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service, although it should be said that a few smaller areas have also benefitted from the operators 330Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) lines.

The deployments in Rutland and Cornwall have technically also reached a similar stage of completion, although more funding may be allocated to both of those in the very near future. It’s very good news to see such projects reach this stage, although we won’t be truly happy until superfast speeds reach nearly 100% right across the United Kingdom (Satellite excluded).

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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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