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BT Confirm Next Areas to Get Superfast Broadband in the Black Country

Thursday, February 11th, 2016 (8:38 am) - Score 1,387

The £12.2 million Black Country Broadband Project (England’s West Midlands) has made good progress since it began deploying last year and has already expanded BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to an additional 10,000 premises. Today the next batch of upgrades have been confirmed.

Overall the project, which sat out the first Broadband Delivery UK phase because the area (i.e. Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) already had pretty good NGA coverage, intends to make fixed line superfast broadband (24Mbps+) speeds available to 98% of local premises by June 2017.

The development will require Openreach (BT) to upgrade 400 street cabinets in the area and 80 of these have already been completed. So far the following areas should have seen some benefit: Bentley, Blackheath, Brierley Hill, Castle, Darlaston, Ettingshall, Netherton, Priory, Rowley, St Andrews, St James’, St Paul’s, St Thomas’s, the centre of West Bromwich and Woodside.

The good news is that related work is now starting on the next phase, which will upgrade connectivity for parts of Brierley Hill, Dudley, James Bridge, Streetly, Tipton and Willenhall.

Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director of NGA, said:

“The roll-out of fibre broadband is progressing well and our project teams are working hard to make it available to more parts of the Black Country as quickly as possible. Every day we’re hearing how fibre broadband is touching people’s lives in new and exciting ways. Whether it’s someone working from home or running a small business, or students doing their homework or downloading films or streaming music – everything is easier, better and faster with fibre broadband.”

Unfortunately the project doesn’t have a dedicated website like other such state aid supported deployments, although you can find some information on the Black Country LEP site.

Leave a Comment
12 Responses
  1. Avatar chris conder says:

    No matter how often Bill repeats the mantra it is not fibre broadband at all. Fibre broadband comes down a fibre. If it comes down a phone line it is still the same old copper broadband, just a bit faster because they have brought the fibre out of the exchange to a cabinet, and those close to the cabinet will get better speeds. Those further away will not see an improvement. Its all a con, to protect the copper infrastructure for another decade, and isn’t upgradeable in a cost effective manner. All these cabinets are dead ends.

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Have you anything useful to say instead of repeating this?

      Please explain a ‘bit’ faster and how many are the ‘few’ that benefit.

      We all notice that you have never spoken about the detail of how you would fund a full UK FTTP rollout.

      Why is it not upgradeable, takes core fibre close to properties?

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Groundhog day comments 🙁

    3. Avatar GNewton says:

      @chris conder: “Its all a con, to protect the copper infrastructure for another decade, and isn’t upgradeable in a cost effective manner. All these cabinets are dead ends.”

      While BT is indeed one of the poorest rated companies in the UK, and has no longterm vision, the cabinets aren’t dead ends. You could run fibre from a cabinet to a premise (though the Fibre-on-Demand has been stalled, and won’t be available for a long time to come, but that’s more of a political and commercial issue).

      The big con here is not the copper infrastructure, but the way consumers are being misled here, calling it fibre broadband when in fact it’s only VDSL. I am not aware of any other country where the term ‘fibre broadband’ has been misused in such a prominent manner. It will be interesting to see how future genuine fibre broadband companies/altnets will be able to market their pure fibre-based broadband, as opposed to the VDSL “fibre broadband”. The ASA should have never allowed Virgin nor BT to get away with misleading the consumers on this.

  2. Avatar MikeW says:

    Perhaps it doesn’t matter what it is called.

    In the time B4RN passes 150 premises, BDUK makes superfast speeds available to 150,000 premises with “fibre” and slower, but still improved, speeds to 15,000 more.

    In the time B4RN adds 100 subscribers, Openreach adds 150,000 subscribers.

    While arguing about piddling nomenclature, someone is missing the issue of scale. How to achieve decent results for millions rather than amazing results for hundreds.

    As for the name used? Perhaps we should treat that as significant when people stop flooding to the bottom speed tier, and start paying for the higher tiers. Until they do that, we know that people respond more to the ££££ than the name.

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      A few hundred years ago many people believed the earth was flat, till a crazy person got the notion to try to reach India by sailing west and discover America. The rest is history. What will happen when some companies will try to start rolling out genuine fibre broadband while most people believe they already had it? Promoting lies never pays off in the long term!

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      lol, it’s just the same! Your trolling is beyond believe, people are laughing.

    3. Avatar Henry says:

      GNewton: Most people who thought about it believed the world was round, especially sailors who saw ships disappear over the horizon bottom first; that had been the general view for many centuries. Columbus’s sailors correctly believed that he had not provided enough food and water for a trip to India on a spherical Earth (Columbus thought the world was pear-shaped and so there was a short-cut). The mission only survived thanks to the unexpected appearance of the Caribbean islands, which Columbus continued believing were what is now called Indonesia.

      That being said, I doubt there is a moral here for fibre/FTTC names or speeds.

    4. Avatar Gadget says:

      What people are buying though is a service, defined to them by parameters such as speed, throughput, latency, jitter and not the underlying technology. As long as it “does what is says on the tin”/what is expected then it should be technology agnostic. After all nobody expects a “vacuum” cleaner to produce anything approaching a whole or even partial vacuum, but they do want the dust and dirt removed from their belongings.

    5. Avatar MikeW says:

      A few years ago many people believed that the only way to achieve 100Mbps was to rip out all the copper and put in fibre.

      Until some crazy people got the notion that copper could achieve 100Mbps. Nay, it could even be pushed into gigabit territory. And you know what … they turned out to be right.

      The rest is history. Some companies will continue to roll out better hybrid copper/fibre solutions that achieve what people once never believed possible.

      Unfortunately, some crazier people are ignoring the fact that technology makes advances possible, and old habits, old campaigns no longer fit the space they used to inhabit. They are being forced to adapt, and they just don’t like that.

      What will happen when people are offered other “fibre” services, or full FTTP, and compare them to something they’ve already got? The answer is simple – they will do the same as they do today: compare the speed and other performance, and compare the price. And decide whether they want to lash out the £££ to afford the speed. And just like today, many won’t bother. Not because of confusion over the term “fibre” but because of the price, and the fact they don’t need faster speeds.

    6. Avatar MikeW says:

      In case you hadn’t noticed, half the country already gets offered two vastly different “fibre” offerings, and has to choose between the capability and charges those two make. Funnily enough, people cope with that.

      When fibre is offered to the basement of MDU’s, will you and Chris maintain your campaign? FTTB isn’t fibre to the home. It doesn’t qualify for your rhetoric, yet it qualifies just fine according to the FTTH council.

      Mind you, the FTTH council aren’t really prepared for an FTTdp that has equal capability to FTTB. I suspect they really don’t want to approach that can of worms.

      Sometimes it seems that the rhetoric is churned out without any thought.

      Scratch that. It *always* seems like rhetoric is churned out without thought.

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      It’s what he does mike day in day out he posts the same comments with a view to provoking a reaction mostly off topic. There is a well known term for it – trolling. And the first thing a troll does is cry foul and claim name calling. As bad as deduction was at least his posts varied, I am surprised jn/gn is still tolerated

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