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Lincolnshire UK Reaches 90 Percent Fibre Broadband Coverage Goal

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 (1:47 pm) - Score 405
bt openreach engineer working

The Onlincolnshire project, which has been working to roll-out Openreach’s (BT) FTTC/P based “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) services to “at least” 89% of all premises in Lincolnshire (England) by April 2016, claims to have officially achieved its original contract target.

Apparently the state aid supported Broadband Delivery UK contract has so far helped to extend BT’s FTTC/P based superfast network to reach an additional 150,775 homes and businesses in the county (this is said to have delivered greater than 90% coverage), which reflects investment into areas that the private sector alone had chosen not to improve through commercial roll-outs.

The BDUK Phase One contract was funded by Lincolnshire County Council (£10.51m), Lincolnshire’s district councils (£4m), the Government’s BDUK programme (£15.34m), BT (£10.2m) and the European Regional Development Fund (£1.6m).

Richard Davies, Lincolnshire Council’s Executive Member for IT, said:

“Onlincolnshire has been one of the most successful projects we’ve ever been involved in. The initial phase of improvements has gone very smoothly, and made a big difference to broadband speeds across the county. We’re now seeing a real increase in the number of people signing up for superfast broadband, and enjoying everything that it has to offer.

We’re now looking at how we reach those really hard-to-reach places that are left. We have a further £8.8m invested in the project and we’re looking to make that go as far as possible. BT will be starting work in the near future.

The Government is also offering people in the most remote areas a discounted satellite broadband connection if they are currently unable to obtain an affordable broadband service of at least two Mbps. You can find the details on our website.

Hopefully, in time, we’ll be able to bring superfast broadband to everyone in the county.”

However a quick check of Thinkbroadband’s independent coverage database suggests that only some 87.3% of Lincolnshire can access a 24Mbps+ capable broadband connection, although their data is a little more pessimistic than the official report and may include some other unspecified differences.

The good news is that the roll-out doesn’t stop because a second Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract was already signed last year (here), which will extend the local superfast broadband coverage to 95% of homes and businesses by the end of 2017.

Sadly we still don’t have any final details for the SEP roll-out because, as the council told ISPreview.co.uk last week (here), they had to send back BT’s original Phase 2 proposal because of “concerns with overbuild” in existing Virgin Media areas (a revised plan is still being prepared).

Otherwise the funding for Phase Two will come from Lincolnshire County Council (£1.8m), BDUK (£1.8m) and BT (around £600k), with the remaining £4.6m also coming from BT via the ‘gain share’ agreement (i.e. returned public subsidy for contract 1 due to high take-up, which can be reinvested into contract 2 above).

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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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4 Responses
  1. https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/?area=E10000019

    Superfast (>24 Mbps): 87.3%
    Superfast (>30 Mbps): 85.9%

    Its a bit closer than your article suggests, since you quoted the >30 Mbps figure, and overnight it rose by 0.1%, but only just rolled that update out to site.

    Exchange Only and extra sub cabinets can lead to a disparity, in addition to our general pessimism on the potential impact of cross talk (the 1.6% difference between 24 and 30 Mbps shows that the area is more spread out overall).

  2. Oh how this kind of ‘spherical objects’ press release from Openreach makes me both laugh and weep with anger. I wonder what the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is.

    BT have claimed for years that we get FTTC in our own and surrounding postcodes. That is a bare faced lie and one they know. But that doesn’t stop them keeping on lying. So now we, the 200 or so local residents, have to pay £30k for a new cabinet to get fibre broadband. And even that work is only being delivered by BT as though they are doing us some great favour. No dates. No plans. No comms other than from Openreach insiders.

    Only last week the Culture Minister criticised the UK advertising code for allowing broadband providers to potentially mislead customers. At present, companies are allowed to advertise their top speeds if they are available to just ten per cent of their customers. Speaking to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Ed Vaizey used words like “ridiculous” and a “complete and utter joke”.

    To me as a man in the street, the words are “fraud”, “deceit” and the big one that BT fears “STATE AID”.
    It’s long past time for the EU to look make BT either deliver or pay back the billions they have fleeced UK plc for in return for the worst national broadband on any developed country.

    But having said it’s a joke and paying lip service to the fraud, what is Ed Vaisey DOING about it? The politest way to put it is ‘slice of earth with grass on it’ all. He’s a politician. Talk is easy. Please DO SOMETHING Ed.

    Something as simple as making BT report broadband speeds by postcode with the bar at 75% of properties receiving Superfast broadband. I reckon we will go down to 50% coverage and then a company who is focused on project delivery rather than milking the state for subsidies can begin the real job.

    After 2 years real life experience of working on this local project in Coventry, I have a close and deeply personal understanding of just how much fraud is being perpetuated in the name of Broadband roll-out. It has convinced me for one of the imperative need for the BT Openreach monopoly to be smashed open. Openreach and BT are so institutionalised that they can no longer tell the difference between truth and their press releases.

    The truth (whole & nothing but) is that BT have taken the Govt cash, cherry picked the easy delivery and cobbled together a reporting package that misreports and deceives.

    Roll on the Openreach split PLEASE. We, the people, need it.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Funny thing is, Ed Vaizey was indeed criticising ISPs for their headline advertising method, and in the same DCMS session he was also criticising Openreach for their performance in repairs and in-home installation. Yet he could also be found praising Openreach for their rollout of Superfast infrastructure.

      It looks like “The truth (whole & nothing but)” seems to have missed out the most relevant part of his responses to the DCMS inquiry, in favour of the part that fits the message.

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