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Northamptonshire UK Finish First Superfast Broadband Rollout Contract

Monday, December 21st, 2015 (11:03 am) - Score 508
superfast broadband from openreach bt sign

The first contract for the Superfast Northamptonshire project in England, which aimed to make BTOpenreach’s superfast broadband (FTTC/P) network available to about 90% of premises by the end of 2015, has officially completed.

Originally the first roll-out contract was actually spoken of as aiming to achieve its coverage goal by September 2015, thus we’re unclear why the local media (here) and project website are both suggesting that it finished “3 months early“. The coverage target itself appears to have actually been achieved in September, so it’s at the very least on-target.

Superfast Northamptonshire Progress Update (14th December 2015)

Number of premises passed by fibre [FTTC]: 61,000
Number of premises now able to take up superfast broadband: 53,940 (end Sept 2015)
Number of fibre cabinets or structures deployed: 308
Delivery progress stage 1: 100% complete (delivered 3 months early)
Delivery progress stage 2: due to commence early 2016 (planning and survey work starting ahead of schedule late 2015)

Naturally the work doesn’t stop and Northamptonshire has already signed a second Broadband Delivery UK based Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract with BT (here), which will benefit an additional 20,465 homes and businesses by September 2018. Parts of rural villages including Dingley, Loddington, Welford and Rockingham will be among those to benefit from the forthcoming expansion.

Andre Gonzalez De Savage, Councillor for Strategic Infrastructure, said:

Northamptonshire County Council has an ambitious target to see superfast broadband available across the county by the end of 2017. We are well on the way towards this goal but there are many people who need faster broadband right now.

We are investing with Government in the national Satellite Scheme to ensure that those people in the county suffering the worst broadband speeds have an opportunity to access faster services whilst our Superfast Northamptonshire project continues to deliver.”

It’s worth pointing out that private sector telecoms providers, such as Virgin Media, Gigaclear and of course BT, are separately expected to provide access to superfast broadband for almost three quarters of Northamptonshire premises (around 230,000) by 2017.

Interestingly Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage suggests that the current contracts will deliver superfast broadband (24Mbps+) across the county by 2017, yet the first two contracts should achieve about 95% coverage and maybe a little extra. More funding will probably still be needed to fill any gaps.

UPDATE 12th January 2016

Apparently the reason for Superfast Northamptonshire‘s 3 months early remark is because the original contract, signed in March 2013, was for a THP (total homes passed) deployment of 56,065 premises (48,660 would be able to access above 24Mbps). Back then the superfast element of this contract was due to complete by Sept 2015, with the basic broadband (2Mbps for all) element completing by December 2015.

However since then the project has made 2 extensions to the contract (both in 2014) to deliver more, which upped targets to a THP of 60,950 (53,400 covered by 24Mbps+).  These contract extensions also extended the implementation plan timescales to March 2016, which is why they’ve reported it as finishing 3 months ahead of schedule.

We also understand that the new Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract has now been accelerated, so it will complete one year earlier by December 2017.

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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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5 Responses
  1. Avatar simon bull

    What a load of tosh. I live in Northamptonshire County and i dont have any broadband. Bunch of….come and do lutton village and surrounding areas then you can boast….

  2. Avatar DTMark

    If this phase is to be declared complete, can we infer that absolutely everyone can get 2Mbps or better, or is set to be able to have this within the next 9 days?

    If not, then I don’t see how it can be described as “complete”.

  3. Avatar Andrew

    I find it quite amazing just how many people live in the remaining 10% (as they claim phase 1 will cover 90%). I wish this industry would get some real regulation where they have to provide clear definitions and associated statistics.

    I appreciate the likes of Simon (above) have no connectivity however I have a 1MB line however BT and it appears Northamptonshire council can now claim that they have provided fast broadband (up to 38MB). In this case I think it would be better to have no connectivity as then I can write letters to the council and moan at them. To date I have been getting the standard message we are providing the government mandated level of broadband to your area.

    It also amazes me how countries like the Netherlands and Germany can get the technology deployed without the level of government subsidy that BT is receiving. The bar needs to be raised and the market opened up to other providers to take on the challenge of getting this rolled out in a timely manor.

  4. Avatar Simon

    The sad part of all this is the way NCC have basically abandoned some rural villages.

    We (in Ashley) had to sort it out ourselves and pay Openreach to install FTTC (now up and running) no thanks to NCC.

    What’s the point in BDUK if councils like NCC can just wash their hands of area’s?

    Remind me again what I pay (ever increasing) council tax for?

    • Avatar Andrew

      Hi Simon

      Do you have any indications of costs? I am tired of waiting (we are on the programme but not even in design – it appears that once you hit design stage it is then 12 months to go live) and thinking of seeing if i can get the neighbourhood to consider it. We have a number of people who work from home so it may be a possibility if the numbers are reasonable.

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