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Telford and Wrekin Sign £5.6m Deal for 98% Superfast Broadband Cover

Saturday, March 28th, 2015 (7:50 am) - Score 568

The Telford and Wrekin Council (Shropshire, England), after sitting out the first phase of the national Broadband Delivery UK plan, has signed a £5.6m contract with BT that will extend superfast broadband (24Mbps+) connectivity to reach 98% of local homes and businesses by the end of 2017.

The borough was one of the few parts of England to already have good superfast broadband availability and as such it saw little need to be involved with the Government’s initial coverage target of 90%, although in July 2014 the council finally confirmed a strategy to re-join the Broadband Delivery UK scheme so as to improve coverage via the Superfast Extension Programme (here).

As a result of this the new Superfast Telford project, which is funded by £2m from the local council, £1.6m from BT and £2m from BDUK, should be able to extend BT’s superfast FTTC/P network to an additional 9,300 homes and businesses in the area.

Councillor Charles Smith said:

By providing the infrastructure for faster fibre broadband, we’re supporting our local businesses to more easily and efficiently connect with customers while coping with ever changing business needs as they develop and grow. It’s also becoming more and more important for our local residents to access faster speeds as being online becomes a regular part of modern family life.

Superfast broadband not only makes uploading and downloading quicker but means that everyone in a family can do what they want all at the same time – enabling people to strike a healthy balance between work and play.

It is also vital to have speedy access as more and more services from the council and other organisations develop online facilities for customers to use. Compared to other projects across the country, Telford’s implementation is small in terms of number of premises, but it delivers one of the highest levels of fibre coverage seen to date.”

Apparently BTOpenreach will start the initial survey and engineering work during the Autumn 2015 period and it’s hoped that the first premises should be able to connect from Spring 2016.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton says:

    This has to be one of the most expensive BDUK projects. Assuming a generous takeup of 20%, that will be £5161 per line. So most of them should be genuine fibre!

    1. Avatar AndyH says:

      Maths is not your strong point, is it?

    2. Avatar Pedrostech says:

      At 20% takeup, I make it to be £3k per line based on total £5.6M. BDUK per line @ 20% is £1k. Otherwise, per capable line it’s £602 or BDUK per line is £200

    3. Avatar GNewton says:

      Apologies, was a mistake.

      OK, 20% of 9,300 homes is 1,860. £5,600,000 / 1,860 is £3010.75 per home line ordered. This is still in a price range where genuine fibre should be considered for those taking up a superfast service.

    4. Avatar TheFacts says:

      So just identify the 1860 properties and put in fibre…

    5. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      20% isn’t a ‘generous’ take up level and no-one cares about how much it would cost based on take up, the metric is cost per premises passed.

      This is going to 98% superfast so of course it’s going to be expensive. It’s basically a phase 2 BDUK programme and should be judged on that metric, not around the costs of programmes aiming to reach ~90% of premises.

    6. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      Odd you haven’t popped up on the earlier Worcestershire story.

      ‘The £21m Superfast Worcestershire (England) project has signed a second £6.2m Broadband Delivery UK contract with BT that will see the operator push their “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network out to reach an additional 8,000 homes and businesses (95% coverage) by Summer 2018.’

      £6.2 million for 8,000 additional premises and still won’t reach the coverage level Telford and Wrekin will have after this programme. Might want to go rant on that story instead.

      Do try and look at the actual cost per premises passed, which is the metric that matters, and maybe compare it to, say, the cost to B4RN per premises passed even with all that labour provided for free.

    7. Avatar MikeW says:

      North Yorkshire’s second phase (but not yet the SEP programme) spent £10m to get 10,500 superfast properties, and the current plans (not using FTTRN) allow for 4,500 FTTP lines.

      The fact is that the sparse areas need a lot of subsidy.

    8. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: “So just identify the 1860 properties and put in fibre…”

      Honestly, why do ypou care? Your proposal some months ago was for a nationwide government-funded fibre rollout. Or have you changed your mind again?

      BTW.: We still haven’t heard back from Google searches and FoI enquiries!

  2. Avatar adslmax Real says:

    But, Telford got FTTC already with Virgin Media as well. Maybe Telford & Wrekin want FTTP next? Well, I do hope so! I want FTTP rather than FTTC.

    1. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      No, Telford and Wrekin aren’t going to overbuild commercial areas that already have superfast with FTTP using taxpayers’ money.

      Aside from anything else it’d be a breach of state aid rules.

  3. Avatar fastman2 says:

    telford and wrekin were not part of original BDUK — alos have a massive amonut of new build / recent build not in commerial programme and not formerly in BDUK

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