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North Lincolnshire UK Finishes First BT Fibre Broadband Rollout Contract

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 (4:51 pm) - Score 564

The Northern Lincs Broadband (NLBB) project has just become the latest Broadband Delivery UK scheme to complete its first contract, which means that BT’s superfast broadband (24Mbps+) services have successfully been put within reach of an additional 31,000 local homes and businesses in North Lincolnshire (England).

The original aim was that 92.5% of premises in each area would gain access to superfast broadband via FTTC/P “fibre broadband” technology by spring 2015 and BT appears to have achieved this on target, having just completed its 154th street cabinet upgrade in the village of Gunness (the first to go live in March 2014 was around Scawby Brook).

Liz Redfern, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:

The main phase of the Northern Lincs Broadband project has been a great success. It was in the top six nationally for completing the rollout the quickest, which is a brilliant achievement. The team, working alongside BT, worked extremely hard to ensure the rollout of high-speed broadband reached the target of 31,000 on schedule. We have received fantastic feedback from residents and businesses that can now access superfast broadband – especially in rural areas. They are now able to take advantage of the variety of benefits that high-speed fibre broadband brings.

We haven’t forgotten about those areas that still don’t have access to high-speed broadband though. We are now planning the second phase of the project to reach even more areas across North Lincolnshire. We will be releasing further details soon.”

But as with other BDUK projects the work does not stop and a second Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) was signed with BT a few months ago (here), which will extend the service to another 4,000 premises. This is supported by funding of £1.18m from BDUK and the total contract value is now said to be worth £1.99m (BT’s investment in the next phase is capital expenditure only and the council does not appear to have contributed).

Detailed rollout plans are expected to be announced in the “coming months“, with the first communities expected to benefit from March 2016 onwards. Overall this should put the local authority within reach of the Government’s national 95% coverage target for 2017/18.

Not forgetting that Quickline also have a BDUK funded wireless broadband trial in the area (here).

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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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7 Responses
  1. Steve Jones says:

    It would be interesting to know what funds were left over from phase 1 for redeployment into phase 2 given that, according to the NAO report, significant savings had been made against the bid cost.

    It would also appear that a phase is declared completed when it’s met its contractual targets, and not continued until all the public money is exhausted (note that if the public funds have been exhausted before the contractual targets have been met, it’s BT that has to cover the difference, although the evidence appears to be that this is unlikely to have to be invoked widely as the bids were made on an, understandably, conservative basis).

    1. MikeW says:

      My understanding is that, in NY at least, the funds were fully used up.

    2. NGA for all says:

      @MikeW -NY were paying £179 per premise passed not the actuals so there budget would be fully absorbed. Audit Wales confirmed this arrangement for Wales. These were too early to be caught by the NAO/BDUK milestones to cash process, but the latter only covers some of the money – USC premiums are separate and BT’s contribution still invisible.

      The press release funding was £58m (£29.2m Public -£18.2m BT) for an intervention area of 157,000 NGA and 22,000 USC – Oxera quoting data provided to them by BDUK.
      This says 31,000 done and 154 cabinets. The 154 cabinets in Lincolnshire will cost no more than £3.8m. The total budget should cover 800 cabinets for the intervention area.

      So some form of re-plan and re-writing is taking place. SEP looks even more peculiar.

    3. NGA for all says:

      Sorry my mistake, North lincolnshire -IA area 39,000 NGA +2,660 usc £5.2m public subsidy – so no BT funding of £3.3m needed to be called upon, not that any of capital is available anyay.
      There should be £1.4m public funding left some bt capital contribution appearing sometime after 2016.

    4. MikeW says:

      Grrrr. I disagree with you over the costs. You keep making mountains out of molehills based on *current* numbers and you thoroughly ignore the subsequent processes involved in making adjustments.

      Even if SFNY had been handing over money based on the contract-based estimates, they *also* go through a subsequent true-up exercise that makes the required adjustments to take the overall finances back to match the actual figures. The clawback of excess expenditure (one form of clawback) guarantees that.

      The end result is that the council will have only paid the actual amount needed.

      And, in this case, the *actual* amount needed was that capped by the contract. And some of that will be clawed back because of take-up (the other form of clawback).

      You keep making statements like “The 154 cabinets in Lincolnshire will cost no more than £3.8m. The total budget should cover 800 cabinets for the intervention area”, but nowhere do you tag this with the ever-so-important clause “in my opinion” or “according to my calculations”.

      In my opinion, you are wrong. You get the numbers wrong. You apply the wrong statistical manipulation to the numbers you arrive at. You draw invalid, illogical conclusions from the statistics. And then you interpolate off into the future using all of this as an unsound footing.

      And worse – you claim it all as fact, substantiated by the NAO. It makes me despise every time you post this tripe around the internet – but I’m so thoroughly bored with trying to get you to understand where you are going wrong.

      In truth, you can’t even get basic numbers right, such as how many premises are in the intervention area of a county vs how many of the premises are actually due to be included in the project.

      The worst aspect is that it means that I just don’t trust *anything* you write about BDUK finances. I just wish there were somebody out there doing the same vociferous job as you, but with a sound set of numbers.

    5. MikeW says:

      In this case, you mention again the £179 per property average.

      As pointed out a long time ago, things have moved on. The original number of £179 came from the overall subsidy budget of £26.4m, averaged over 150,000 premises … which makes £176 each.

      Since then, we’ve discovered that £5m was really budgeted for USC work – so the real average for cabinets installed to provide superfast coverage comes out at £142 per property.

      We know this £5m cannot have been spent yet, because the USC work was moved out of phase 1, and onto the end of phase 2. In fact, we know that the budget for USC work is now only £3m, because £2m of it was freed up for NGA work in phase 2 instead.

      Is it just too inconvenient for you to take changes into account?

    6. NGA for all says:

      @mikeW The lack of transparency remains. £179 was used because we have a public reference to it. It would be useful of NY made public the number of cabs installed and the amount paid. We are living off scraps.
      There is no evidence of the nature of BT’s 10m investment in NY, yet it is a condition of state aid that a contribution is made.
      BDUK and BT say we only charge when costs incurred, yet you have just referenced USC payments where services have not been delivered. It looks the money was paid so the £179 stands until services for USC are visible on the ground.
      I will be more than happy to switch to £142 per premise – although this is 1) remains too high and 2) lacks any contribution from BT and 3) assumes will deliver USC at some point in the future.
      Your current Grring is likely to get worse once the reality of BT’s capital contribution is understood fully.

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