Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Devon and Somerset Businesses Demand Say in Local Broadband Inquiry

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 (4:04 pm) - Score 422

The Federation of Small Business (FSB), Blackdown Hills Business Association (BHBA) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have vented frustration after their views were excluded from an inquiry into the recent collapse of a major broadband expansion deal between BT and the Devon and Somerset councils.

The related Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project is currently working with BT to make “superfast” speeds of 24Mbps+ available to over 90% of local homes and businesses by the end of 2016 and it was hoped that the new contract could have pushed this to 95%, but in the end BT could not meet the strict timescale and the deal collapsed (here).

The local authority will now have to hunt for an alternative supplier (or a consortium of suppliers) in order to deliver the enhanced Internet connectivity to local premises (i.e. beyond the current 90% target) and as part of that process the council(s) agreed to hold a scrutiny committee event in September.

But it has been decided that the committee will only hear evidence from CDS, BT, councillors (including local MPs) and representatives from the central Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, which has cause dismay among local firms who feel as if the decision to exclude residents and businesses from engaging with the inquiry “will not produce a fair examination” (here).

FSB, BHBA and CLA Letter to the Committee (Extract):

The only information to be considered by the committee will therefore be provided by CDS, the CDS Board and possibly BT. We call on the DCC Place Scrutiny Committee to take evidence on this issue from concerned rural businesses and residents in the two counties affected by these decisions.”

In response Councillor Gordon Hook, vice chair of the scrutiny committee, has promised to “personally look sympathetically on the request” and voiced some encouraging words about putting “the public’s mind at ease by ensuring they are represented“. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime the local authorities face a challenge in finding an alternative supplier, not least because it is notoriously difficult and expensive to cater for those in the final 5%. One possible solution could be some sort of hybrid fixed line and fixed wireless service, but only time will tell and we suspect that some will be unhappy no matter what the outcome.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark says:

    It will be very much more difficult and expensive to cater for a final 5% of non-contiguous areas scattered all over the place in between VDSL cabinets requiring multiple disparate backhaul links.

    But that’s going to be the case across the whole country and was entirely predictable, and indeed predicted.

    “You made your bed with BT, now lie in it.”

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      You cannot assume any other supplier would have provided 100% coverage.

    2. Avatar DTMark says:

      I’m not assuming that.

  2. Avatar MikeW says:

    “In the meantime the local authorities face a challenge in finding an alternative supplier, not least because it is notoriously difficult and expensive to cater for those in the final 5%.”

    Yet in a later article, INCA are clamouring for their members to be able to do the job! It should be easy to find someone…

    Anyway, remember that this project was a SEP one, aimed at extending coverage from 90% to 95%. Not quite the “final 5%” yet.

    However, I recall reading one of the council meetings on the extension project in CDS, where the intention appeared to be to make the extension focus on the harder 5%, rather than the easier 5% – in which case it was indeed attempting the “final 5%”.

    I wonder if CDS continued with that focus through to the ultimate failure to agree with BT; it certainly might explain why they are the only project that encountered this problem so spectacularly.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Perhaps they’re looking ahead and have realised somewhat belatedly that the approach of “wait and see” and “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” will bust the budget as it ultimately places BT in a position to demand whatever they like leaving them with no alterative but to pay ludicrous money, 100% of it from their own funds, and wait for BT to “get around to it”.

      At this point alt nets could be approached to “extend coverage”, but they’re not going to be interested in doing 24 houses on one road, 16 down one lane, 39 flats on one estate and so on, each of them miles apart.

      They might put in some commercial investment if the areas are wider in nature, overlapping with those with BT deployments. State overbuilds State.

      Or, the authority – having backed themselves into this position – would have to explain why they rejected commercial investment from alt nets to create a comprehensive solution, and backed themselves into this wholly predictable corner.

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • TalkTalk £22.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSPRING
  • Shell Energy £22.99 (*30.99)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: 12 Months of Norton 360
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*36.52)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Offer Code: SPRUCE20
  • Vodafone £26.00 (*29.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £29.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSPRING
  • TalkTalk £29.95 (*39.95)
    Speed: 145Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3218)
  2. BT (2927)
  3. Building Digital UK (1853)
  4. FTTC (1852)
  5. Politics (1835)
  6. Openreach (1751)
  7. Business (1592)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1376)
  9. FTTH (1359)
  10. Statistics (1353)
  11. 4G (1184)
  12. Fibre Optic (1129)
  13. Wireless Internet (1110)
  14. Virgin Media (1102)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1101)
  16. EE (787)
  17. Vodafone (778)
  18. TalkTalk (736)
  19. Sky Broadband (714)
  20. 5G (671)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact