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UPDATE Public Funding Helps Fuel BT Community Fibre FTTP Broadband Upgrade

Monday, September 26th, 2016 (12:57 pm) - Score 3,029

The rural community of Cotwalton in Staffordshire (England) has become the latest to help pay for an “ultrafast” (330Mbps) FTTP broadband upgrade through BT’s existing Community Fibre Partnerships scheme, but the twist is that it’s also the first one to be combined with public funding.

At present such partnerships tend to be made available to those living in the final 5% of UK premises, which often reflects smaller rural communities that are not currently planned to benefit from the wider state aid supported roll-out of “superfast broadband” via the Broadband Delivery UK programme (e.g. Superfast Staffordshire).

Normally the funding will reflect a mix of investment raised by both the local community and BT itself. In addition, eligible communities with Schools in them can also apply to BT for a grant worth up to £20,000 towards the cost of a new local fibre upgrade (usually slower FTTC rather than FTTP) and then locals would fill in the remaining gap from their own pockets.

However the setup in Cotwalton is the first one to make use of public money, which comes via the Superfast Staffordshire scheme that is separately working with Openreach (BT) to ensure that 95% of local premises can access “superfast” Internet speeds of 24Mbps+ by 2017 (or 97% when looking at just the raw fibre footprint including sub-24Mbps speeds).

BT now hopes to see this approach being replicated for other small rural communities around the UK.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire Council’s Economic Growth Leader, said:

“We’re pleased to partner with BT and the Cotwalton community to connect them to the national fibre infrastructure. The great contribution from these local residents at last made it viable to bring ultrafast broadband to this community, so this partnership approach is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Piloting this arrangement with BT is a real way forward and we’re looking to work with more local communities to collaboratively fund similar projects. This means we can make the BDUK money go further as we’ve funded this based on our local arrangement.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s MD of Next Generation Access, said:

“This is a significant ‘first’ for our Community Fibre Partnership programme and for Staffordshire. We hope we’ll be able to replicate this approach elsewhere, and we’re keen to have discussions with other local bodies who might wish to consider a similar project.”

Apparently BT are currently working with around 140 UK communities to deliver similar upgrades, although it’s unclear how many of these involve the faster and more expensive Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) broadband technology instead of the usually slower but cheaper Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) solution.

The press release doesn’t explain why FTTP was chosen, but we will ask (in some rare causes it can be cheaper to deploy FTTP than FTTC for very small communities). Similarly we’re not told how much the roll-out itself is expected to cost or exactly how many premises will benefit. We’ll update once Openreach report back, if they report back.

In the meantime Openreach said that their engineers were expected to complete the extensive engineering work, which includes installing around 3 kilometres of fibre optic cabling, sometime next year (2017).

Mind you not everybody will be happy with the thought that a community felt as if it had no other option than to donate its own money in order to get better broadband, which many regard today as being nearly as important as water or electricity.

UPDATE 28th September 2016

Openreach has confirmed to us that they expect to “reach around a dozen premises” with the technology, but sadly they dodged our question about how much it actually cost. However we did learn that the deployment doesn’t exist outside of the usual Broadband Delivery UK contracts “as the local body money came out of unallocated budget from phase one of Superfast Staffordshire” (the standard gainshare mechanism will apply).

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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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178 Responses
  1. NGA for all says:

    Good to see communities getting access to the underspends and making change requests under the state aid measure. It could also mean incremental costs can be averaged so more folk can benefit.

    BT FoD needs to revert to the pre-2013 version where a FTTP cluster like his could be planned from resources serving an adjacent cabinet.

    1. AndyH says:

      What does a “FTTP cluster like his could be planned from resources serving an adjacent cabinet” mean please? Never heard anyone refer to FTTP clusters before…

    2. NGA for all says:

      @AndyH, the term cluster or ribbon has been used to describe FTTP installations serving communities beyond the reach of the cabinet. You should be able to acquire a copy of EIR architecture.

    3. NGA for all says:

      @andyH it would be good to see your design. I assume it has to be planned for 100% take up? Interesting to see how you define the boundary.

    4. AndyH says:

      I’m not a network architect nor fibre specialist. I’ve never heard the term ‘FTTP cluster’ before and a Google search for this specific term only brings up a handful of links, all of which are you on this website.

    5. Data Analysis says:

      FTTX Concepts and Applications By Gerd Keiser
      Next Generation Intelligent Optical Networks: From Access to Backbone By Stamatios Kartalopoulos
      Are good books that may interest you Andy.

    6. Steve Jones says:


      “BT FoD needs to revert to the pre-2013 version where a FTTP cluster like his could be planned from resources serving an adjacent cabinet.”

      Isn’t that simply what a few GPON nodes connected to a fibre distribution node is? Isn’t just how a deployment like this will have been designed?

      I can certainly imagine some sort of “group order” that would trigger this, but that would surely look rather like this method of deployment anyway.

    7. NGA for all says:

      @Steve Indeed. It is relatively simple. The interesting bit is that the resources exist to do about 50,000 of this sort of community.

    8. AndyH says:

      “BT FoD needs to revert to the pre-2013 version where a FTTP cluster like his could be planned from resources serving an adjacent cabinet.”

      This is no difference with the current FoD or FoD2. With FoD, the fibre network is built as an overlay within a FTTC enabled cabinet area. The fibre network to provide FoD is built from the Aggregation Node to the premise.

      The difference with the new FoD2 will be the split level from the PSN and the implementation of connectorised fibre cables from the secondary splitter to the end user premises. All will reduce install times and in turn, labour costs.

    9. NGA for all says:

      @andyH Thanks, Are there some slides? Why go back to the aggregation node if you have so much spare fibres feeding the cabinet? This design needs to design for all properties. Nice to hear of progress. Thank you.

    10. AndyH says:

      There are internal slides which I’m unable to share unfortunately. Andrew from TBB has covered it, and there will be much more from BT in the not too distant future as we near the launch of G.Fast and FoD2.

      Why go back to the aggregation node if you have so much spare fibres feeding the cabinet?

      There are not ‘loads’ of spare, unused fibres in a FTTC cabinet.

      The difference is a FTTC cabinet is run off Gigabit Ethernet from a direct connection from the cabinet back to the exchange and FoD is run from a PON ‘shared’ network structure, where the connection from the exchange is progressively split at different levels.

    11. NGA for all says:

      @andy, you can still use the spare fibre to extend your PON network. That does sound not efficient for rural. But thank you for the insight.

    12. Steve Jones says:

      bodging network topologies using methods you describe like using “spare” fibres at cabinets form GPON deployment are a recipe for configuration chaos. Quite apart from the point that those “spare” fibres are likely put aside for uses such as redundancy in the event of a failure, capacity expansion and, developments which we may, as yet, be unaware, it’s simply appalling practice to produce ad-hoc solutions. The copper network will have been infested by such short-cuts and I’ve seen many similar in data centres in the past.

      With complex networks, like any similar infrastructure, it’s extremely important to adopt standardised approaches that can be properly represented in configuration databases. That’s particularly important where automated processes for capacity and configuration allocations are to be used. If it’s not kept under control then madness rules.

      Aggregation points are defined for a very good reason. They have specific functions in a well organised network, and if you start taking short-cuts then it will eventually bite-back, and hard. This doesn’t mean that there can’t be changes to the standards for network and infrastructure topologies, but they need to be exactly that. Standards, or chaos takes over.

      nb. the importance of standards becomes even more so in a wholesale environment. Given that Ofcom seem to want ever deeper wholesaling of OR infrastructure, such as PIA+ and dark fibre, then this is ever more the case.

    13. NGA for all says:

      Steve, lets have those standards published by NICC and Ofcom so they can be peer reviewed. We are talking rural so planning rules need to reflect the density of population to be served.

    14. New_Londoner says:


      .. and in the meantime let’s not make up new rules as we go along! Remember random changes like you’re suggesting can adversely impact a wide range of parties including LLU operators etc.

    15. NGA for all says:

      NL publish a white paper on the design so it can be peer reviewed by industry.

    16. New_Londoner says:

      A white paper would indeed be a better way forward than the approach that you advocated above. No doubt you’ll post links when you have something suitable for peer review.

    17. Data Analysis says:

      “There are internal slides which I’m unable to share unfortunately.”

      Which organisation would this be?

  2. John says:

    So people on 1.5 ADSL are paying for these people to get 330? Why not use the public money in their own town?

  3. Patrick Cosgrove says:

    “Mind you not everybody will be happy with the thought that a community felt as if it had no other option than to donate its own money in order to get better broadband, which many regard today as being nearly as important as water or electricity.”

    Indeed! Particularly when you think of the smaller towns and larger villages in Phase 1 that already had pasable speeds, and BT soaked up all the cash that could have been better used elsewhere. Is that good vfm just because the numbers are large? I wonder how many of those places might otherwise have been supplied (and competed for) commercially.

    1. Gadget says:

      The answer is in the question that was the OMR – there was a timescale specified for operators to indicate if they had plans to deliver to that postcode before then.

    2. NGA for all says:

      Patrick, indeed, but with scrutiny the monies either underspends, clawback and soon the BT capital remain available.

      The challenge is the pretence that the problem is solved and project teams may have enough of BT and do something else.

      This example is important as it required a change request of the contract so passing the state aid nonsense. Their is also a chance of Ofcom waking to the opportunity they could assist with a cost recovery model for FTTP where BT would invest more or be obliged too as part of a settlement on WLA.

      You should get onto Shropshire and request the same. They will lose half the underspend and clawback back to the centre if they do nothing.

    3. New_Londoner says:

      Don’t assume all local authorities will spend up to the available budget once the stated coverage targets have been achieved, nor that the government will want then too. That’s old-world public sector thinking at a time when financial challenges may dictate reassigning the money to other, higher priorities, especially their statutory duties.

    4. NGA for all says:

      @NL I think they would have been delighted if BT had turned up resourced to do the job in full using the all budget available.

    5. NGA for all says:

      NL No I work for many groups who have been excluded from a rollout where now every county is reporting underspends. What BT attempted with FTTC costs you will start again with FTTP estimates, all the time the economy and indeed BT shareholders are denied the full potential of fibre access where that can be delivered.
      How long will the £270m rest in your accounts? How long before the BT capital contribution is reconciled and made available for extending coverage?

    6. New_Londoner says:

      As far as I know, all or most of the project are ahead of schedule and within budget. The issue is I think being clear that “the job in full” is achieving the defined contractual targets, not spending up to a budget (and potentially wasting our tax monies!).

    7. NGA for all says:

      @NL your contractual targets fail if some constituencies are left 30% excluded. The contract is about trust. The target can be set very low.

    8. @NGA Which BDUK contract was signed with a requirement that every constituency within the contract area hit a 90% target?

      There must be one for you to be raising the concern “your contractual targets fail if some constituencies are left 30% excluded”

    9. NGA for all says:

      Andrew, – you miss the point. Whatever the target, the contract is primarily about trust, and if you examine the LA submissions to the CMS Committee it appears it is in short supply. In setting the target, you trust the costs have not been inflated and you trust the matched capital is used to plan the scale of the rollout. If either of these parameters are manipulated, then the service level is not optimised. This is a once in a 25 year national infrastructure project, so optimising the rollout for as many people as possible is central to the purpose of the funds available.

    10. New_Londoner says:

      As I’ve stated elsewhere, your assumption that the local authorities would wish to spend up to the available budget, even after the coverage targets have been achieved, is questionable. In my experience with the public sector, many local authorities are chronically short of funds and would gratefully take back any unspent monies to use elsewhere.

      You also cheerfully ignore any value for money and state aid constraints that may apply.

    11. NGA for all says:

      @NL This pointing at Local Authoriites is a little disingenuous when BT is sitting on the clawback and sitting on any capital contribution due. Some of the underspends are due back to BDUK if not spent on Broadband. It is not as if this money is available to them. It is stuck and stuck for some time.

    12. New_Londoner says:

      I think you are forgetting that the contracts are with the local authorities so, as the “client”, they get to decide whether and how to proceed, subject to the limitations imposed by the contract, state aid rules etc. It is clearly up to the local authority whether to push beyond the stated objectives in the contract if budget allows, or to use the money for something else.

      Not many local authorities would chose to spend their money simply so they can spend some government money too. You forget they have other pressures on their budgets, including statutory ones, which need their attention too – adult social care being but one example.

      Many local authorities would be delighted to find a contract had been delivered within budget and that they have additional money to spend somewhere else. AS I’ve said elsewhere, the old thinking of spending up to the available budget is largely gone now, with the emphasise instead moving to outcomes.

      So it’s not disingenuous but is a statement of fact to indicate that local authorities have a role to play here. Yes faster broadband is important, but so is the delivery of many other services too.

    13. NGA for all says:

      NL,,based on there submissions to the CMS Select Committee it seems difficult for them to make informed decisions. On the BT capital issue for instance they cannot say the capital is paid because they do not know, so they say the capital is ‘anticipated’, while others say it something they are reliant on BDUK to resolve. In both the clawback and the capital matter BT has full control. In this respect the gaming of costs and capital including opex has denied many a service. It is also denying work to engineers and apprentices. LA have no say on this matter. None of the finished projects have referenced BT’s capital contribution and its impact on their projects. It is a total abuse of your power in the market. Your free to exercise this power as you wish but in this case it is counter productive at several levels. I am grateful for your willingness to exchange views.

    14. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – The LAs run the contracts, what does it say about them?

    15. NGA for all says:

      Facts.. it says there are doing the best they can in the circumstances presented to them. The Gambit was BT’s and this needed to be unpicked while LA needed to get the job done, which is largely where we are but thankfully most of the money remains available to go further. The BT capital contribution needs to be reconciled.

    16. New_Londoner says:

      You’re wrong in your understanding or interpretation of the facts, this seems to be the root cause of your problems.

      For example “In both the clawback and the capital matter BT has full control. In this respect the gaming of costs and capital including opex has denied many a service”. It is simply untrue to assert that the local authority does not have control.

      I noted that some of the comments made at the Select Committee suggest either incompetence or ignorance, with various “witnesses ” either out of their depth, easily led by the committee members or willing to give incorrect or misleading answers.

    17. NGA for all says:

      NL Your opinions of your strategic partners calling on Select Committees for help all of whom are restrained under commercial confidentiality agreements is indeed interesting.

      Cotwalton remains good work, just get ready for another 50k of them.

  4. fastman says:

    Public Funding Props Up BT Community Fibre FTTP Broadband Upgrade — mark that’s a very misguided view — its part funded by community who have helped it get enabled as it was outside the BDUk price per prem threshold !!!!

    1. NGA for all says:

      We need the numbers, community contribution, public contribution and BT’s. We need it to inform cost recovery process from 2017.
      The thresholds are only exceeded as Phase 1 excluded so many areas, while £270m+ capital owed now rests in BT’s accounts.

    2. New_Londoner says:

      “We need the numbers, community contribution, public contribution and BT’s. We need it to inform cost recovery process from 2017…”

      I think you’re forgetting that you don’t work for BDUK anymore! 😉

    3. NGA for all says:

      NL No I work for many groups who have been excluded from a rollout where now every county is reporting underspends. What BT Group attempted with FTTC costs you will start again with FTTP estimates, all the time the economy and indeed BT shareholders are denied the full potential of fibre access where that can be delivered.
      How long will the £270m rest in your accounts? How long before the BT capital contribution is reconciled and made available for extending coverage? Blaming Local Authorities is a pretty poor show when most felt there were kept in the dark.

    4. Gadget says:

      lets be clear here there is underspend where no additional money over and above allowable has been claimed so whilst nothing is “owed” there is the opportunity to do more with unspent

      and there is gain-share aka clawback which under the terms of the contract is not payable until the end but has been offered early if spent with BT.

    5. New_Londoner says:

      You’re making vague assertions again. Presumably if you had any real evidence to back these up the auditors would be investigating by now, based on the paper you were drafting months ago. How is that progressing?

    6. NGA for all says:

      Gadget, Only exceptional circumstances create £270m of clawback and the notion BT would sit on it for 7 years might not be sustainable. You have not addressed the BT capital contribution, or suggested why you might think it is paid.

      NL their is nothing vague, you just need to get used to it. The capital cannot have been paid. £800m of state aid receipts in BT accounts for 22,500 cabinets + 40k FTTPs means their much owed.

      Why deny so many existing BT rural customers an upgrade?

    7. NGA for all says:

      NL sorry my last question was churlish. Congrats on passing 4.3m customers for a fraction of the intended cost. This presents an immense opportunity to go much further using the resources available. I would estimate 500k FTTP connections in rural are possible.

    8. Gadget says:

      NGA my position on capital contribution has not altered – So far to the best of my knowledge and belief not a single audit from the appointed professionals who have access to all the information has produced any actionable failure to account for the BT capital contribution, in fact AFAIK it is one of the required conditions as part of the EU regulations.

    9. NGA for all says:

      @gadget I have a note from Audit Scotland confirming that they have not examined the capital issue but will do so next year. PAC UK are of similar mind but they have yet to turn that into action. Scottish Futures Trust also raise the matter in response to Ofcom consultations on NGA Cost Modelling. The Scottish Government raised the issue and was referenced in the CMS Select Committee inquiry report.

    10. Gadget says:

      NGA – is Audit Scotland the contractually appointed auditor for their project or the government oversight body?

    11. NGA for all says:

      Gadget – Audit Scotland function, acting behalf of a public accounts committee supervise those with the contracting responsibility.

      If your of the mind to dismissing all institutions of state as an irritant, then I guess you can do as you please.

    12. Gadget says:

      Not dismissing oversight, but questioning if oversight found something that the actual contractual auditors did not

    13. NGA for all says:

      Gadget, it may be a function where the capital is reconciled at a point in the future.

    14. New_Londoner says:

      That will be no then!

  5. fastman says:

    so something can be in the OMR but not build as not value for money

    1. NGA for all says:

      Your need a new play book. You must still be using some reference cost which fails to show BT contribution. Examples like this will need BT to invest £500 a customer which is then reflected in the cost recovery process from 2017.

      There are enough resources to do 50k of this type with subsidy. EIR will do 10,000 of these this year without subsidy.

  6. fastman says:

    NGA really !!!!

    1. NGA for all says:

      I think so. 3km O/H is 1,5 days -1 crew, 2/3 splitters and the drop cables for 12, what is the project cost? And what are you contributing?

      All costs have to be billed under the state aid measure, and capital contribution eventually proven. So I think a change is needed.

    2. AndyH says:

      @ NGA – I’ve seen you make some far fetching posts before, but this one really tops them all. How on earth can you claim that 3km of overhead cabling takes 1.5 days? You are really pulling random (and totally incorrect) numbers out of a hat here…

    3. NGA for all says:

      2km a day per crew for OH are targets on other projects. Are you achieving half that?

    4. NGA for all says:

      AndyH what far fetching posts? Every project is under budget, BT owe £270m and the capital owed is to be reconciled.
      And the SFO update is that the public representations on costs shows signs of criminality but you need internal emails to see the intent. So no case, but the audits on capital contribution will come.
      But the UK will be able to do 50k of these with the existing budgets if the will exists.

    5. AndyH says:

      and the source of this target is…? Even if there is some target in place, how can you possibly extrapolate that as a working example for every fibre deployment across the country?

      Are you also aware that it’s not uncommon for Openreach to require council permits for overhead work that often restrict the timing of the work based on road restrictions etc? The granting of such permissions is also not always so straight forward and in a timely manner. Also, you main require new or additional telegraph poles which may need approval. Objections can then bring in lengthy delays.

      There are so many factors involved, it’s impossible just to state that 3km of fibre cabling in this article’s case will take a team 1.5 days.

    6. NGA for all says:

      @AndyH Thanks for the insight. I will get the detail to you somehow in due course. But at least there is some appreciation that funding exists to do substantial numbers of these.

    7. FibreFred says:

      “Thanks for the insight”

      So you admit you don’t have all of the information needed to come up with the figure you quoted?

      Do you see why people have trouble believing what you post 🙂

    8. NGA for all says:

      Fibre Fred I do not wish people to believe me but seek the truth of the matter.

      The funding will keep OR people in jobs, is this a problem?

    9. FibreFred says:

      Keeping people in jobs is great. But you seem to be getting pulled up regularly about your facts and figures.

    10. NGA for all says:

      Fibre Fred .. which ones? See response to Fastman.

    11. FibreFred says:

      Which one ?

      Over which news articles, date period from and to and website?

      I would struggle to think of an article where your comments that contain figures haven’t been taken apart.

    12. NGA for all says:

      Facts – be specific and I will try to help you! The underspends, the clawback and the I believe the BT capital contribution can be converted into some 500k FTTP connections, mostly done by BT. Why would you have a problem with this?

      Cotwalton is interesting in so far it should be become the norm for up to 50k communities. That what we learn from BDUK Phase 1. Costs lower than portrayed, take up higher, the UK gets a deeper fibre rollout, much deeper.

      BT has now ex KCom folk on FTTP, so there sub £500 installs in KuH, will translate into sub £1k for significant parts of rural. This is no different to EIR. The money in BT’s accounts owed to LA’s/BDUK needs converting to coverage.

    13. Gadget says:

      However this news item http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/06/kcom-clarify-level-fttc-fibre-optic-fttp-broadband-rollout.html also suggests that KCOM are also finding rural FTTP too expensive

    14. Data Analysis says:

      Erm thats only 8% getting FTTC rather than FTTP not the other way round.

    15. Gadget says:

      DataAnalysis – and that 8% equates to approximately the same figure as the percentages of households in the KCOM area that are not urban which would suggest that BT are not along in having difficulty making a financial case for FTTP in rural areas (without even mentioning the Australian change of heart).

    16. Data Analysis says:

      What??? Urban or not urban most of BTs roll out is FTTC not FTTP. Does not matter if you are living next to the exchange or up a mountain you more than likely have FTTC from BT as that is BTs dominate rollout Kcoms dominate rollout is FTTP.

  7. fastman says:

    NGA do think think andy made any comment on that there is some appreciation that funding exists to do substantial numbers of these. !!!! only that your assumptions are widely incorrect

  8. fastman says:

    NGa should have read I don’t think !!!

    1. NGA for all says:

      Fastman – the £270m is in BTplv so this cannot be denied. The underspends are being reported individually, but if substract the £800+m reported in state aid in BT accounts from the £1.17bn you can get an estimate. So you cannot this either.
      The capital by virtue of the modest Phase 1 and higher take up means it has to be due.
      The fact you cannot see it or even allow for the possibility is worrying for BT.

  9. fastman says:

    VFM i have nothing to do with BDUk in any shape or Form but there has to be both Capex and Opex figures you use only Capex — you cant see opex so you ignore it (ie the cost of doing stuff – and you end up with completely the wrong answer again and again

    1. NGA for all says:

      It is shocking how you use Opex, you can vary the duration depending on your needs, count 9,10, 11, years, yet OPex is covered by the wholesale revenue. Opex when used with the Commercial investment is very short, for BDUK it looks 11 years, nonsense I think.

    2. Steve Jones says:


      It doesn’t matter if you find it shocking or not. The BDUK projects were for providing the cap funding for a seven year contract. That is it covered both the capital related and opex costs for the entire period of the contract and covered the gap between what was expected to be received in the form of wholesale revenues and those defined costs. If takeup turned out to be higher, then the process of gainshare kicks in to return the relevant part of the gap funding. That’s simply how it works (after 7 years the infrastructure has to be self-funding.

      There is no sense in which wholesale charges would automatically cover the opex costs.

    3. NGA for all says:

      @Steve, and within that BT were to make a £358m capital contribution to allowable costs. THis is what is still missing given the numbers in BT’s accounts. See reference below to the Opex found by Audit Scotland.

    4. TheManStan says:


      I’m curious, can you please explain why not one competitor has brought up the issue… not a single politician (including the ones baying for BT to be broken up), many, many financial wizzes in NAO & NAO Scotland, BTs Auditors (who can be sued) but most importantly journalists (who would consider it the pinnacle of their career to discover such a fraud by a blue chip company and make it public)…

    5. NGA for all says:

      It is easier to say ‘Break up BT, rather than plough through the detail needed to reconcile the numbers.

    6. TheManStan says:

      That may be for politicos, but certainly not for a journo…

    7. NGA for all says:

      @Themanstan – why worry about journos, we are two thirds done, the underspends, the clawback is not in dispute now, but they have had to be hard fought for, just look at the 2013 BT denials at PAC.
      With the BT capital contribution, some 500k FTTP connections could be done in some very rural locations.
      The Phase 1 underspends (about £200-£300m)and the clawback (£270m) are huge, unprecedented. The £270m is treated as a capital deferral, formerly an accrual. Finding a place to report the capital owed is an accounting function, but how it gets converted into coverage looks very challenging. Cotwalton could be become the norm for the next 4-5 years.
      We are not debating how FTTP is supported by WLA 2017 which is important. Ofcom look totally uninformed and dis-interested on this matter. There is also a big resource issue.

    8. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – resource issue where?

    9. NGA for all says:

      Facts – resource. Clive Selley gave a good presentation to MPs in Parliament on the matter. Ask him.

    10. TheFacts says:


  10. fastman says:

    why do you think that OPex is covered by the wholesale revenue —

    1. NGA for all says:

      Audit Scotland first report showed Opex, based on representations by BT was £10 per customer per year. This was by means of explaining BT investment of £126m of which £47m was capital the remainder opex. There is no visible sign yet of the £47m.

      Your will know this, are you charging these poor people c£2,500 each for FTTP in a contract covered by state aid?

  11. fastman says:

    that’s the maddest one yet !!!!

    1. NGA for all says:

      The opex question is answered above.
      What other madness are you referring too.
      All projects showing significant savings, although all have significant holes in service.
      The £270m clawback is resting in your accounts. That is BTplc data.
      The total average costs of a phase 1 cabinet is £26,000 – BT evidence to Select Committee.
      £800m + state aid is recorded in your accounts.
      22,500 cabinets + c40,000 FTTP have been delivered.
      Divide £800m by 22,500 + 40,000 FTTP and you cannot see how BT could have made a £358m contribution to allowable costs.
      You call it madness but each of the above apart from the cabinet total is a BT number.
      Itemise the madness and I will attempt to answer each question using published BT and NAO, Audit Scotland and Audit Wales data.

    2. AndyH says:

      Source of 40,000 FTTP?

    3. New_Londoner says:

      two problems come to mind immediately based on your comments above.

      Firstly, the 22,500 cabinets appears to be a guess on your part – flex that 10% either way and you see an impact of £60m on your numbers. Secondly, you appear to be using £26,000 as a fixed variable when it will certainly increase over time as more challenging areas are covered, as is also likely to be the case with the FTTP costs.

      In other words your underlying methodology is too simplistic, relies on guess work that introduces significant uncertainties, and is also hindered by your apparent lack of understanding of accounting practices. Apart from that … 😉

      Given all of these contracts are subject to audit, and that all of the payments are underpinned by invoices of actual costs, isn’t it just possible that the people overseeing the contracts in BDUK etc are better placed to judge if anything is wrong than you?

    4. NGA for all says:

      AndyH its crude, 1% of the 4m premises passed. Actually there is some exceptional work taking place, and exceptional prep done within Phase 1 which 1) has not been reported upon or applauded and 2) provides confidence that so much more can be done. Your biggest problem seems to be resource not funds.
      12 premises – a 1:4 splitter 3 poles back, this is not hard.

    5. AndyH says:

      “12 premises – a 1:4 splitter 3 poles back, this is not hard”

      Where do you dream this stuff up? Unless you’re involved in the Cotwalton, I do not possibly see how you can make comments like this.

    6. AndyH says:

      “It’s crude” – that basically means you’re throwing random darts? Show me where the 1% comes from then.

    7. NGA for all says:

      NL your welcome to add £60-£100m, it does not change the analysis. If I am only £100m out I would be delighted as I only using public domain data, mostly BT evidence, although some of the evidence relied upon is really weak.

      It’s simplistic because it is relatively simple, FTTC/GPON is very simple hence its relative cheapness, hence the challenge. FTTP is simpler still but more resource intensive.

      I can comment on the costs because the authorities are now on top. The capital element is missing but I am assuming they will work on next. If the latter needs external pressure then I think they get will get any help they need.

      There is perhaps some embarrassment as to where we go from here, given the public statements relied upon previously and the scale of the funds now tied up.

      This £2,500 reference cost for FTTP which you must be using needs to be fixed or at least qualified so your not purposefully working to punish those excluded from the initial rollout.

    8. NGA for all says:

      NL – The cabinet number is reasonably reliable. BT sells this data to Code Look and they publish the data on line, post codes not the most accurate. They list the premises attached to each cabinet and who pays for them.

      There is no reason why you would not publish, as there is no competitive value. Your planned work is listed here as well.

    9. NGA for all says:

      AndyH – Thinkbroadband is reporting 1% ish, you can make 2% if you wish. It does not change the fundamental analysis with respect to the level of resources available to do more work.
      This cannot be a surprise to you. It should not be a matter to dispute. The precise number yes, but the opportunity to crack on should be a matter of active discussion unless the intent to continue gaming the funds is still taking precedence.

    10. AndyH says:

      Neither Wholesale nor Openreach sell cabinet data. Both provide it for free for customers, on a non-distribution basis.

    11. TheManStan says:

      I hope you recall that £60-70M of “underspend” is actually going to be economies of scale in the project management costs alone. i.e. ~£50-60M instead of £120M…
      Despite what you’ve said in the past NAO has confirmed that it was synergies between projects, which means that project costs have come down because each bid was separate and could not account for economies of scale from other projects.

      It would be good for NAO to publish data on BDUK projects being run together achieved this and puts a number to it. As that would not really be underspend at all…

    12. NGA for all says:

      AndyH – fantastic who we contact in BT for this data?

    13. NGA for all says:

      The ManStan – indeed inflation of costs in the Framework took many forms, but this was never re-set and corrected, and there was ample opportunity to do so.
      All the roll-out were informed by the inflated costs and from what I can see the inflation was such that BT capital contribution could be excluded when planning a 90% build which is why the matter is outstanding. It was worst still where proxy costs were used e.g. Wales.
      Your argument was not used at PAC 2013 but used later. 2013 PAC your MD said the prices in the framework were the best possible because of competition from Fujitsu and included all the learnings from NI and Cornwall. Possibly not the case.

    14. TheManStan says:

      What does Louise Richardson have to do with this?

      And how can it be all inflated costs, if the bids are separate… you have never understood and never admitted that bid costs for each project cannot allow for synergies with other projects, because each bid has to assume it is a standalone win or lose.

    15. NGA for all says:

      TheMANstan , I do not know Louise Richardson. There was a BT/BDUK reference model with inflated costs – see Table in First NAO report. There was no competition. Fujitsu was not bidding. Your responses used the model generating common inputs. Any shortcomings get repeated in a uniform way, hence savings everywhere, take up assumptions are common.

    16. TheManStan says:

      Don’t talk absolute tripe, Fujitsu withdrew in March 2013, first BDUK contracts were awarded March/April 2012 (Rutland and Lancashire respectively).

      The lions share of bids had already been submitted by the time they withdrew.

      “2013 PAC your MD…”, my MD is Louise Richarson VC of Oxford University.

    17. NGA for all says:

      Themanstan – Lamcashire and Rutland were pre-Framework although informed the Framework. Fujitsu last bid was North Yorkshire, also pre-Framework. Although on the Framework Fujitsu did not bid for any subsequent LA work. They formally withdrew on the date you stated.

    18. TheManStan says:

      South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire
      Hereford and Gloucestershire
      Devon Somerset

      All before the Fujitsu withdrawl.

      Kent, Hampshire, Shropshire, Northumberland, Durham, Cheshire, West Sussex, in a short time frame after the withdrawl…

    19. NGA for all says:

      TheManStan but Fujitsu did not bid, or in Cumbria..retired early. Being on Framework is different to playing any meaningful role. North Yorkshire was the last serious attempt. Have you spoken to those involved at the time?

  12. fastman says:

    you have to failed to grasp that whilst it might be in an in intervention area covered by a contract — that is still subject to Value for Money criteria — so if they were eligible but outside the prem or premises were too expensive to build cap they will be no build !!!! so In this case I assume the community and LA worked together to enable the premises to be delivered within the county price per prem cap — I would have though that that looks like a win / win for the community

    1. NGA for all says:

      It is good and welcome, but this is no excuse to charge a reference cost. It does not have to be a ransom everytime. So it is above £1,700 and I am estimating £2,500 will be your reference price.

      Even £1,700 each for 3km of o/h, 3 splitters and 12 drop wires looks like your taking the piss. At least there is clawback and they probably avoid some set up charge.

      4 years

    2. TheFacts says:

      Where does £1,700 come from and how do you calculate £2,500?

    3. AndyH says:

      3 splitters? Where do you come up with this stuff? Are you involved in building this network?

    4. NGA for all says:

      @The Facts, – £1,700 is the BDUK limit which has been used widely. The £2,500 is an estimate informed by previous efforts of Fastman in the ‘Community Schemes’. It may be higher but I hope not.

      AndyH splitters 1:4 splitters, 3 poles back in rural, – good design has to be simple. The PSTN is beautifully predictable, FTTP overlayed on top this has to have a simple structure but with fewer active components. OR can get 500k very difficult FTTP done using the excees funds. I can get designers in other countries to estimate costs when needed, the cable is the same, the splitters are the same, even the contractors are the same.

    5. Suspect the addition of wording like ‘I think it may cost’ or ‘my guess is that pricing is around’ rather than what appear to be statement of facts and extrapolations from various reports to some posts would reduce the number of comments made.

      With FTTP when you do millions the extreme cost areas get spread out, but in dealing with areas like this with single lane roads and overhead feeds costs can quickly escalate outside the standard models.

    6. NGA for all says:

      Andrew understood, and by being in the contract their will be avoiding planning fees and subject to clawback, so this is progress compared to other community funded projects.

      But the fact we have not even a budget with various contribution listed is poor, given the volume of work that could be planned given the underspends, clawback, etc.

      I find it surprising you have not attempted to estimate how much could be achieved if all the available funds were converted into coverage. It is a huge number even without reconciling BT’s capital.

    7. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – please explain ‘we have not even a budget with various contribution listed is poor’. Who is this ‘we’ and if you mean publication of details is this usual with council and government contracts?

      We look forward to the detailed breakdown of the Hinkley Point build being published. Why? Because ‘our’ money is paying for the electricity.

  13. fastman says:

    more misinformation as ever- I understand that most counties prem cap is significantly less that the figure quoted — that might be Scotland ? — — the reality is if a community is looking to be covered a significant distance Fibre and it could well be Direct in Ground — there are 3 ways they could self dig (assume not in public highway) and Openreach then provide Duct and connect equiplent, Openrreach could provide new Pole router (subject to local Conditions , weather, AONB, Narrow Verges, or in the worst case you have to lay duct in the carriage way — you could then be way over the “1700” figure by a country mile

    1. NGA for all says:

      So what is it in this case then?

    2. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – you told us this is ‘3km O/H is 1,5 days -1 crew, 2/3 splitters and the drop cables for 12’

      Have you actually looked at the area? Single lane road, some poles in field behind trees.

    3. NGA for all says:

      @FACTS – so what is your estimate?

    4. TheManStan says:

      He doesn’t have to… but it’s clear it will be far more than your guess…

  14. fastman says:

    I would assume that conversation which each county will advise their price per premise cap — assuming they publish it

  15. NGA for all says:

    Mark someone on Thinkbroadband has confirmed £60k, £30k each – so £2,500 is the reference subsidy per customer in this case.
    I guess we need someone to confirm an indicative cost per metre of attaching fibre to poles. I thought £2m a metre including the cable which includes pole stabilisation, but £60k for 3km is many factors of this.
    In this case it should be straight forward to find out whose £30k goes first?

    1. New_Londoner says:

      The fact that you are asking these questions and trying to crowd source information on costs many months * after * pronouncing on such matters tells us a great deal about your modelling! And undermines your previous pronouncements!

      Given you consult in this area, surely you ought to know this sort of thing already? Or are you looking to people on here and Thinkbroadband to help deepen your knowledge so you can in turn charge out to more clients? More than a little cheeky if so!

    2. NGA for all says:

      NL – I am nothing, but the facts as we now understand them are now £60k quote, £30k from BT (£2,500 per property which is amazing if this money appears first) and £2,500 from LA/Customer. This is also state aid so the reference prices must reflect the costs so the available money can be stretched as far possible so as many people as possible can benefit.

      I know enough to see this for what it was and know it can be changed and hope a few challenges here can make a tiny contribution to that change. The internet permits peer review, crowd sourcing and so in this case the abuse of power and mis-use of commercial confidentiality agreements can be dented.

    3. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – It would be a mistake to think comments on some websites have made any difference to how the projects are run. Those involved like BDUK, LAs, BT, contractors etc. know the costings and how it all fits together. Your attempts are interesting but estimating like ‘1%’ or ‘1.5 days’ show a lack of real knowledge.

    4. NGA for all says:

      Facts – So we have a fact of £60k and another fact of reference subsidy of £2,500 per premise for these 12 customers.

      Councils have no idea how this is composed and will have no idea what BT’s £30k pays for and may never see it. They only know they need to cough up £30k and wait over a year.

      This is why Councils will struggle to make informed decisions or plan for what is possible? THis is why so many take the opportunity to call on Select Committees for assistance.

      It is not too difficult to provide an underlying OH Fibre installation cost, and tree cutting cost for projects like these. It would help other communities to get organised and prepare.

    5. TheFacts says:

      You show that the LAs have no skills or abilities to manage large technology projects. Do they not employ expensive consultants?

    6. New_Londoner says:

      Let’s hope that they use consultants that understand the subject matter! 😉

  16. fastman says:

    problem is you can work thing out on paper and have all the numbers but then you get in the real world and find the reality is fundamentally different to the numbers you though it would be — Ex commercial Bid manager so been in both camps
    problem is – you can price points all the component bits but that does not put them together, does make them work and therefore does not deliver what you thought you paid for –a bag of bones does not make a skeleton dance —

    1. NGA for all says:

      Your taking state aid to extend your network. You get paid for components with subsidies because you have worked out how to stick them together commercially. The payments and allowances are generous anyway and allow for contingency but what we are witnessing is not contingency.

      Your are subsidised component costs for a data transport service, which is simple in design, hence the challenge. You take subscriptions from customers for this service. There is nothing unique in this. Light flowing through glass was first described and quantified by the The Rev John Kerr. It is not your invention, your just applying knowledge which is wonderful but not unique.

      Will we see a revision of these numbers?

      There will be 50K such installations to do so why spend years walking backwards slowly while losing to Gigaclear who are building a new network, not overlaying fibre on existing infrastructure.

  17. AndyH says:

    AndyH – fantastic who we contact in BT for this data?

    Your account manager.

    But based on your posts here and other sites, I highly highly doubt you are a customer of Wholesale or Openreach.

    1. NGA for all says:

      Openreach and BT Wholesale are always the first port of call. This does not mean unaccrptable practice by a few should not be highlighted in the hope of getting it changed.

      There will be the best part of £600-£700m of phase 1 monies to be re-invested, mostly in the Openreach network, hopefully in rural as was intended. Some seem to have a problem accepting this possibility and the events that gave rise to this possibility. I cannot see this being anti-BT in anyway.

    2. AndyH says:

      What on earth are you on about now?

      I was referring to the FTTx deployment data that Code Look publish. You claimed that they purchase it from OR/BTw, but they don’t. It’s not sold as is made available to customers for free.

    3. NGA for all says:

      AndyH – mistunderstood your comment, You need to appreciate that in every public hearing BT has declared cabinet location data as confidential. You confirm your giving it away and your customers are publishing it.

    4. AndyH says:

      Where did I say BT publish cabinet locations? All I said is they publish FTTx deployment data – nothing to do where the actual cabinets are located.

    5. NGA for all says:

      AnyH – cabinets are plotted, post codes are available http://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=881165&cabinets=25856 would not understand Hilderstone when the fibre is in the other direction, do pick the cabinet closest to the AGN for the costing challenge Facts is setting.

    6. Data Analysis says:

      Does AndyH work for BT?

    7. Gadget says:

      and it only takes a quick local search by eyeball/Google to see that the cabinet locations quoted there are not the locations but probably the central postcode centroid of the postcodes served.

    8. AndyH says:

      And Gadget has it in one.

      Cabinets are not plotted at all. OR and BTw do not publish this information or make it available outside of their staff (for obvious reasons). Even exchange locations are held on encrypted files that you need an encryption key to view.

    9. TheFacts says:

      @AH – exchange locations are on SamKnows. If any one wants to know cabinet locations just look on StreetView.

    10. AndyH says:

      @ TheFacts – I am aware of that (it’s published on OFCOM’s site also). For OR/BTw customers, this data (which is more detailed) requires a special security clearance and encrypted keys. At the same time, cabinet locations are not published. As you say, it doesn’t take long for someone to find a cabinet on Google Streetview.

    11. Data Analysis says:

      “Even exchange locations are held on encrypted files that you need an encryption key to view.”

      That appears to show exchange locations for any postcode you enter on the site, cabinet number for all and cabinet locations for a few also.

  18. fastman says:

    nga — refer you to this

    you have to failed to grasp that whilst it might be in an in intervention area covered by a contract — that is still subject to Value for Money criteria — so if they were eligible but outside the prem or premises were too expensive to build cap they will be no build !!!! so In this case I assume the community and LA worked together to enable the premises to be delivered within the county price per prem cap — I would have though that that looks like a win / win for the community

    1. NGA for all says:

      It is progress and I salute the progress but there are the likely to have been excluded in first instance because 1) the inflation of costs in Framework limited the rollout, 2)BT’s capital does not appear to have played a role in determining the phase 1 roll out, this was with withheld in my opinion.
      Finally, this £60k estimate would naturally exclude most anyway. It is designed to exclude. The gaming of costs and capital exclude people, and this is a very simple example of how this occurs. Your reference costs are likely to bear no relationship to the actuals. The latter needs to be proved with examples, but just as your were dismissing the £2,500 reference subsidy number 24 hours ago, I get some tree surgery and cable installation costs to contrast with the £60k BT has wishes to impose in order to establish some unhealthy precedent for the cost.

    2. AndyH says:

      How do road management charges fit/not fit into your modelling here? What about the UG work required in Hilderstone, how much did you budget for that?

    3. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – do you still maintain this is 1.5 days work for 1 team (of 4?)?

    4. NGA for all says:

      You on the way to itemising £60k keep going!

    5. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – you claim to be the expert and able to analyse the numbers, please provide your quote for this project.

    6. NGA for all says:

      Facts, Andy CH is it just one road crossing, 3km of overhead, some tree clearing, anything else you can provide,an agn location you want built from, or chamber, any other peculiarities? intended road route,
      1.5 days for a team to install fibre on poles holds. What is you preferred fibre count? 24, 36?
      What is the target, beat £60k, £30k? What happens then?

    7. TheManStan says:


      I´ve looked at the gentlemans post in TTB, and it is not a confirmed figure…

      It was an “initial estimate”… there are no confirmed sums or agreed costs stated anywhere.

    8. AndyH says:

      @ NGA

      It’s fairly clear from your posts on here and TBB that have you don’t have any understanding how FTTx networks are built and run.

      You may want the actual cost to BT for building this FTTP network for 12 homes, well they will not provide it – nor would any other company in BT’s position. At the same time, you try to extrapolate general FTTP build costs into this specific case, well it does not work like that at all. You have absolutely no clue about the BT current build in this area and what is required for the FTTP deployment to Cotwalton.

      It’s beyond farcical when you makes these claims about 3km of overhead work, a few tree branches to be clipped, and 1.5 days work for a team. You have no idea about where the aggregation node is, where the splitters will be placed, and the work that needs to be done both in and between Hilderstone and Stone. I can say with confidence that it will require a myriad of Openreach workers and BT TSO to deploy this network.

    9. NGA for all says:

      AndyH Thanks for the challenge, we get a quote or two and publish what is possible.

    10. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – do you mean ‘I will get a quote’?

    11. NGA for all says:

      Facts, it is always ‘we’ as everything is peered ‘reviewed’ and double sourced. I do not have access to your information but the aim is good indicatives. AndyCH has now added a total cabinet numbers 77k, nicely aligned, as is the total average cost for a phase 1 cabinet as per BT evidence to the CMS select committee.

      The only thing we are actually discussing is how quickly can the public cash your sitting on and owing can be turned into more coverage. The latter position is not that bad to be in.

    12. NGA for all says:

      AndyH – why mention Hilderstone and a road crossing, substantial work already completed here and paid for by StaffsSF. Good work. It may need a fibre extensions but that will be a separate piece of work. Crossing at Hilderstone close to the cab are all overhead.
      About 1Km of tree and bush trimming on Colwalton route so it is not Fell End. Are on BAU processes or is it prices as non-BAU? How far form BAU is this type of work?

  19. fastman says:

    more important things to do no than to respond to this any more

    1. TheFacts says:

      Agree, if NGA has something important to say why does he confine himself to relatively (to the rest of the world) obscure (not to us!) websites and not involve eg. the BBC, Daily Mail etc.

    2. NGA for all says:

      Facts, your funny, DMail, even the BBC .. not really needed, they can focus on sex scandals or celebrities. But only two thirds there, though the funds need to be converted to coverage. The new appetite for FTTP in rural is likely to grow and grow to absorb the monies emerging.

    3. New_Londoner says:

      Surely this”new appetite for FTTP” is nothing of the sort, is simply an inevitability as more dispersed premises later in the build programmes, where FTTC doesn’t make financial sense, come into delivery. Common sense really.

    4. NGA for all says:

      NL – indeed common sense, so why the drama, monies need to be recovered and re-cycled from Phase 1, not tied down, and for every cab, it is likely two of these are needed.

      It does not look as if these are BAU processes but they need to be.

      I fail to understand why this has not been planned from 2012.

  20. Codger says:

    My my!
    It is really amazing the number of hoops the BT apologists appear prepared to jump through rather than face up to the reality of the situation they are in with public funds. Blaming LAs and individuals like Mike will not change the situation. Eventually, I am sure BT will be held to account.

    1. NGA for all says:

      It is odd, given the opportunity available and what has been reported in North Yorkshire.
      My challenge is a little tiresome but you would hope you could avoid a repeat of 2012 where the rush to get to the Olympics, resulted in inflated costs in a Framework and a diminished ambition. The underspends shows the BDUK mechanisms, supported by inquiries are working at some level, but the scale of the clawback and the difficulty in seeing BT capital contribution 4 years later, and how these get turned into coverage is less than optimal.
      This piece of work is great but the £60k and it is £60k shows that BT free cash flow as the Framework rates show is more important than building a world-class network. This is fully rational for BT Group, but perhaps not for Openreach.
      What a combination of the Audit scrutiny and BDUK VFM process are showing is just how affordable this is. The really clever bit is how those funds are extracted so the build can continue and the ambition restored.

    2. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – what would a world class network in the UK look like and how would it differ to what we currently have from all the various network operators?

  21. TheFacts says:

    119 pages here on how to do it:

    Guide to broadband investment


    1. NGA for all says:

      I think I owe a full response on Colwarton, so this will take 10 days, but I am grateful for the challenge.

      The reason I am seized of this point is that high reference costs have the following effects. They limit ambition, by focusing on free cash flow generation rather than optimising the BT rollout. This impacts every aspect of the rollout, including the all important issue of trust, essential if additional investment is needed.

      It also limits BDUK as they are restricted to showing their process will eventually catch up with the gaming of costs, while unable to fully demonstrate or declare what might be possible. It is taking what should be win:win, to something significantly less. It would not take huge amount to change.

  22. NGA for all says:

    The Facts, Andy CH, N-Lon, I will do a more complete piece, but this is straightforward. There are no UG crossings, nothing picking an AGN on the junction of the Uttoxeter Road. The climb to the junction for Colwalton )(unsignposted ) has a little trimming but not much and most is off the road, some more trimming before you begin to down to Colwalton. It will be no more than 4 splitters max on route.
    It would seem ideal practice for those Openreach folk training on poles at Yarnfield park. In fact anywhere within 20 mile radius of Yarnfield Park should be used a test bed.
    Road closures on the track is not something that STaffs CC could need notified with your code powers.
    Back with some estimates for 4km cable attachment, + half km of tree trimming. Connections will need to be added.
    I think we are only reconciling latest effort on FoD (very welcome) with the c£30k extracted from customers and StaffsSF.

    I will get quotes

    1. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – You will find utilities need to notify the council to close a road. Who decides the diversion route and notifies other services?

    2. TheManStan says:

      Hi NGA

      A road closure costs £950+VAT.

      Telegraph poles follow Whitesytch Lane to Hilderstone, the ones that go to Uttoxeter Rd appear to be a spur for the farm.

    3. NGA for all says:

      @TheManStan, the poles to Colwarton are behind that farm. They come across the fields (not electric) I will double check with Staffs CC but first call was no charge on the lane down to Colwarton. Nothing to Hilderstone, pretty impressed with the FTTC completed there, looks to include re-arrangement of EOL outside exchange. Telewest boxes visible there as well.

    4. TheFacts says:

      @NGA – I can’t see any Telewest boxes on StreetView, and if there are why has BDUK funded FTTC there?

    5. NGA for all says:

      Facts – Telewest chamber on opposite side to exchange.

    6. TheFacts says:

      You said box. How do you know it’s Telewest? No LLU or VM there. And?

  23. TheManStan says:


    Costs are clearly shown for temporary traffic orders, they apply to all utilities and cannot be waived… otherwise the CC would be sued by other utilities.

    ALl the properties are on the Hildestone exchange (Cotwalton is on cabinet 4), the poles follow Whitesytch Lane which is the direct route.


    Yes the poles pass behind the small farm and terminate at the large farm on the Uttoxeter Rd. Conveniently the aerial view is nice and sunny and the shadows from the poles are clear to see.

    1. NGA for all says:

      If from Hilderstone via Whiteystch LAN then this is even shorter. Still no UG work, sp the £2,200 (x2) + some cost for 1/2km trimming + your £9,50 + 12 drop wires, we still have a large margin to make up. £2,200 – fOD install cost for 2Km – is 4 blokes x£300.

    2. TheManStan says:

      You do know that proper commericial tree work on private property in the vicinity of utilities is not trivial. It’s not £200 per day garden clearance job…

      They will need to survey, submit to BT Risk Assessments, Traffic Management plans, Method Statements for work, waste removal plans, arrangements for local storage, etc…

      They will also need to leave the trees in a safe state, so pollarding may be required to balance the tree, not just clearing the vicinity of the utility wires.

  24. TheManStan says:

    3800m to cabinet 4 or 4000m to exchange, using your 8GBP Sky wrap price… 30,400GBP or 32,000 just for the fibre run cost.

    1. NGA for all says:

      It is not skywrap that was to show a possible upper bound, for most part it is attaching fibre cable to the existing poles which are in good shape and some tree trimming, and it is no more than three splitters. A 4km drum.

      Plenty of BT FTTP beginning to appear at less than £1k a property for quite rural locations. Why would BT FOD be at £2,200 for 2km? Sure ECC are due but build from £2,200 for 2km. It is difficult to get to £30k let alone above that to allow for BT’s full contribution.

  25. Rob says:

    I live in Cotwalton, but I can’t comment on the price as it wouldn’t be fair, all I know is I cannot wait for it to be done! We have never had over 2mb/s.

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