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Deal Brings “Fibre Broadband” to New Homes Development in Bracknell

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 (10:06 am) - Score 1,124
bt rural fttc street cabinet

Residents of The Parks development in Bracknell (Berkshire, England) are celebrating today after Taylor Wimpey and BT reached a deal that will finally improve local broadband connectivity by upgrading two local street cabinets to support an ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service.

The development itself consists of about 730 new homes on the site of Ramslade House (former RAF training college), including various different sized apartments and houses. The project began a few years ago and much of it has already been completed, although unfortunately Taylor Wimpey (property developer) paid little attention to the need for good broadband provision and this left many residents to suffer slow connectivity.

However the Government and Local Authorities have recently been putting a lot of pressure on both property developers and telecoms operators (here) to ensure that they don’t build new homes without also ensuring that residents will be able to get a good broadband connection.

In keeping with that Taylor Wimpey has now agreed to contribute £25,000 towards the cost of upgrading two local street cabinets, which Openreach (BT) had previously said were “commercially unviable“.

Dr Phillip Lee, Bracknell MP, told residents (Get Reading):

“I am grateful for Taylor Wimpey for stepping up to the plate and helping to resolve this issue. I am only sorry that it should have come to this before we can provide adequate broadband speeds to the residents of a new estate in the most technologically advanced area of the country.

I will continue to monitor this situation to see if we can get something completed sooner than the current 12 month estimate.”

The Bracknell MP also added that he thought BT’s 12 month wait for the upgrade to be delivered was “frankly ludicrous,” although in fairness such a time-scale is fairly common for newly approved cabinets and not least because Openreach’s engineers are being kept busy by the state aid supported Broadband Delivery UK programme. Various surveys and planning work will also need to be performed, all of which tends to take a fair bit of time and that’s before the build itself begins.

Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar Pete Woods

    Residents shouldn’t get too excited. BT got nearly £20k out of our estate about 10 months ago now and still haven’t upgraded our cabinet, even though they only need to run fibre literally 5 metres (not even crossing a road) from the nearest fibre node and power is already available.

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      I would sincerely hope that this money wasn’t just handed over and it’s held in an escrow account. I would expect that payment was made against some contractual arrangement. Is the timetable not laid down in that?

    • Avatar fastman

      the contractual arrange for what is now called community fibre Partnership which works with delovper / Communities and managing agents etc is 50% on contract signature and 50% on deployment and live — the average leadtime is circa 12 months but that that sometimes be reduced where possible but also is dependant on being able to obtain the local permissions and suitable siting for the fibre infrastructure

    • Avatar Pete Woods

      Don’t know who holds the money exactly, as that was worked out with the developer. They’re not completely stupid, though, so doubt it was all given up front. The developer also tried negotiating for a faster process, but BT’s response was basically “no chance, mate” to sum it up.

  2. Avatar fastman

    Pete that’s vey simplified view of the world — so which cab is yours !!!!

    • Avatar Pete Woods

      I’m on Lancaster cab 68 (serves north of Quernmore Road), which is about 1m from cab 68 (serves south of Quernmore Road). I realise that there are planning, design, permission stages. 12 months to run 5m of fibre is crazy, though. When the guys actually come to do it, it will probably take less than a month for them. The ratio of “planning” to build just seems crazy to me.

  3. Avatar Pete Woods

    Here we go, there’s the situation: https://goo.gl/photos/m7zhqCVKQmrDVyw46

    You can see the next cab (62) which has a fibre cab right next to it just about on the right hand side of the picture.

    • Unrelated.. but loaded that up and immediately felt compelled to order a Pizza 🙂 . Guess today advertising really does work, or maybe it’s because I haven’t eating for 12 hours.. one of the two.

    • Avatar Pete Woods

      Fingers crossed the pizza arrives in less than 12 months 🙂

    • Avatar fastman

      so its around the workstack and finding a deployment slot there is also significant work to do around permissions civlls and what has to be built as there are some quite specifics around that and your view about 10 months ago is incorrect

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