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Call Flow Finish “Fibre Broadband” Network in Windsor and Maidenhead

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 (2:31 pm) - Score 1,408
call_flow_street_cabinet_slu_fttc

Alternative network provider Call Flow Solutions has announced the completion of their Broadband Delivery UK contract for the ‘Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’ in Berkshire (England), which has expanded the reach of their 30Mbps+ capable FTTC broadband network to an extra 1,750 premises.

The contract, which is linked to the local Superfast Berkshire project, was originally agreed in July 2015 (here) and has been supported by public funding of £415,000 and a private sector contribution worth £120,000 from Call Flow.

Overall some 1,750 homes and businesses in parts of Windsor, Wraysbury, Burchett’s Green and Colnbrook have benefited from the installation of 12 new FTTC (VDSL2) Street Cabinets. Apparently all of those who have connected to the new network are said to be “exceeding the predicted speeds,” with some gaining a consistent download speed of 80Mbps.

Overall this takes the number of broadband improvements to in excess of 25,000 premises across Berkshire and almost 93% superfast broadband coverage in the RBWM region.

Andy Conibere, MD of Call Flow Solutions, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We are delighted to have completed the vast majority of our fibre superfast broadband network in the Royal Borough on time.

Working in and around central Windsor has presented a variety of interesting challenges which involved careful co-ordination between a number of parties. The more outlying areas have been less difficult and we are now looking forward to connecting our first superfast customers.

Experience shows that there is significant demand for fast internet, and we plan to raise awareness of the newly available services at every opportunity, so that potential customers know they can finally move out of the digital slow lane. There is some residual work to extend our network to Temple but we hope this can be completed in early 2017.”

Cllr Simon Dudley, Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said:

“For those people and businesses in more rural areas of the borough this project has already proved a welcome and very vital addition. It also has the potential to be hugely beneficial to those who still currently have slower broadband speeds.

We want to make superfast broadband more accessible to as many residents and businesses as possible; it’s so important not just for the economy but keeping families and friends connected.”

The network that Call Flow has deployed typically represents a Sub-Loop Unbundled (SLU) approach within Openreach’s (BT) network, with the ISP building their own street cabinets (Openreach remain responsible for the provision, maintenance and repair of the SLU circuit).

Admittedly the original plan was to complete the delivery of this network by mid-2016, although that was stated before the civil work had begun. Originally Call Flow had also posted additional bids for upgrades in Reading and Wokingham, but due to a technicality it was not possible to get these contracts authorised under the EU State Aid requirement before the previous deadline of 30th June 2015.

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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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56 Responses
  1. Avatar NGA for all

    How can anyone needing to use SLU and buy the same kit as BT in small volumes, using the same type of contractors be cheaper than a national programme using the minimum gap funding needed?

    How could BT lose this where they would pay a full capital contribution and pay clawback on the incremental take up?

    • Average of £34,583 for the cabinets, plus £10,000 from Call Flow.

      Is that cheaper than the £25,000 if I recall you state as the average cost in the Openreach BDUK roll-out?

      The problem is are those 12 cabinets a good enough sample to extrapolate from, i.e. without knowing a full break down of pavement re-instatement costs, power costs difficult to say how it applies.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Andrew, they have to pay BT full SLU costs, they are purchasing low volumes of the same kit, seeking the same contractors and no real wholesale partnerships to leverage. They will need to pay all the EAD costs rather than BT invoices for cost, ECC’s where needed and the costs of adding a managed backhaul service.

      You can use the BT stated phase 1 average cost of £26k to the CMS Select Committee and net off the clawback amount and then we agree to disagree on the BT capital contribution. With the clawback and if the BT capital is sitting in investment accounts then we are getting below the subsidies observed in NI in 2011 for the first 1178 cabinets.

      IN pure cost terms, it was reported through the NAO by Atkins for BDUK, that BT has a 20% lower cost base given their scale and existing assets to overlay upon. This is before the gap funding calculation (capital contribution on 20% take up) and the clawback (33% or incremental 13%) kick in.

      Callflow are great and the work needs saluting and perhaps adding more capacity is sufficient justification, but it must be more costly, so you wonder what information was used to decide in the original decision? Deciding on inflated BDUK Framework prices would have been a contributing factor.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @NGA
      Mike, you questioned how Call Flow could possibly win this procurement with an SLU product. Perhaps a better question would be to ask which other providers responded to the tender, my understanding being that very few did due to the comparatively unattractive terms. Some consultants and contractors don’t do their clients any favours. :-p

    • Avatar NGA for all

      New-Londoner. I have counted over 50 BT Commercial funded cabs off this exchange. I do not salute that enough. What contractual circumstances arose that these could not be added?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      New-Londoner it has been suggested some of these were originally earmarked as commercial.

  2. Avatar fastman

    problem is SLU is a monopoly so you can only ever buy a service from call flow

    • Avatar Fact check

      You mean users covered by these new cabinets now have the choice of buying a (hopefully) super fast service from either CallFlow, or from another retail provider who takes CallFlow’s wholesale service..

      Which is in addition to the existingv ‘broadband’ service which is provided by OpenReach and available to consumers either through BT retail, or via a retail provider who takes OpenReach’s wholesale service..

      So aside from OpenReach not believing there to be enough demand to make any investment unless covered 100%by state aid, will Call flow are at least prepared to contribute to the cost, I fail to see any significant differences between Open reach or a third party having the local monopoly on the Sub Loops that were already installed using taxpayers money 🙁

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      “problem is SLU is a monopoly so you can only ever buy a service from call flow”

      Rubbish CallFlow have a wholesale division.

  3. Avatar fastman

    just because they have a wholesale division does not mean they have any wholesale ISP;s which I suggest is the case (none showing on their site just register interest– and therefore my statement is correct you can only buy a service from call flow

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      They offer wholesale solutions but that means there must be nobody they are supplying to. One too many green pills today?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      What fastman is saying makes sense, they can have a wholesale facility but… no-one using it.

      Not hard to understand?

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      Using his logic of there are no wholesalers cos they don’t mention them on their site must mean BT also only wholesale to the few they mention and not the majority they do not mention.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Well a quick check for tw19 5AA (which is a call flow postcode from the superfast Berkshire map) shows that Talktalk and BTWholesale do not offer FTTC there. Perhaps someone else would like to try Sky?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      ‘the majority they do not mention’

      @Da – See https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx for list of wholesale.

      23 home and 71 business.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      The postcode above into http://wholesale.callflow.co.uk/check-your-coverage tells us the providers are:

      Callflow and …..

      Airband using wireless.

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      “‘the majority they do not mention’

      @Da – See https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx for list of wholesale.

      23 home and 71 business.”

      Does not mention that or them anywhere.

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      “The postcode above into http://wholesale.callflow.co.uk/check-your-coverage tells us the providers are:

      Callflow and …..

      Airband using wireless.”

      Which means they have wholesaled to someone doesnt it.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      They have not wholesaled their FTTC.

    • Avatar AndyH

      I see the list here – https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/superfast-fibre/buy-it-now.aspx

      Big difference here between wholesale access and reseller.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      “They have not wholesaled their FTTC.”

      Irrelevant as the argument was and i quote…
      “just because they have a wholesale division does not mean they have any wholesale ISP;s which I suggest is the case (none showing on their site just register interest– and therefore my statement is correct you can only buy a service from call flow”

      So WRONG as they do wholesale their products. Which product has no relevance on if they do or do not wholesale at all. They do and now it has been shown they do. Fail again from BT trying to make a small player look bad.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      Also agree no list on that BT page.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @DA – https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx

      Click and ‘Home’ and ‘Business’ for the list.

      Again, Callflow do not list anyone who wholesales their FTTC. Airband say:

      Airband delivers internet via a fixed wireless network; a technology that allows the internet to be transmitted via radio-waves rather than cables.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @DA – Click on ‘At home’ or ‘For business’.

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      You mean…
      https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/superfast-fibre/buy-it-now.aspx

      (not hard to link properly)

      Oh and that list appears to be mainly resellers rather than wholesalers (as you like to call them) of Openreaches product. AAISP and Zen do not wholesale do they?

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      You mean…
      https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/superfast-fibre/buy-it-now.aspx
      not hard to link properly

      Oh and that list appears to be mainly resellers rather than wholesalers (as you like to call them) of Openreaches product. AAISP and Zen do not wholesale do they?

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      As to the product that makes no difference call flow clearly wholesale THE argument was they didnt wholesale…
      https://home.airband.co/call-flow-packages/

      If you want to discriminate based on products wholesaled then perhaps openreach need to start flogging others FTTP more than they do. How many do they wholesale that to?

      What companies they choose to list or not list on a website as wholesaling to doesnt matter squat.

      Who allowed airband to sell an callflow based product if it was not call flow??????????

      YOU LOSE AND WRONG AGAIN! Run along and moan about talk talk or vm some more elsewhere.

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      As to the product that makes no difference call flow clearly wholesale THE argument was they didnt wholesale…
      https://home.airband.co/call-flow-packages/

      If you want to discriminate based on products wholesaled then perhaps openreach need to start flogging others FTTP more than they do. How many do they wholesale that to?

      What companies they choose to list or not list on a website as wholesaling to doesnt matter squat.

      Who allowed airband to sell an callflow based product if it was not call flow??????????

      YOU LOSE AND WRONG AGAIN! Run along and moan about talk talk or vm some more elsewhere.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Lets take a step back here, the crux of the argument is one of the requirements for legal State Aid – which is that the infrastructure for which the aid was given is available to all at a wholesale level. It doesn’t matter if other products are provided on a wholesale basis it is, in this case, the FTTC cabinets that received the funding, so service from these cabinets must be available at a wholesale level. There is, of course, the possibility that a s0-called wholesale reference offer is available to all and if that exists and can be linked to then the other possible points of contention would be if that offer was such that another operator could sensibly use it (so things like pricing sky-high or at retail level would give rise to issues, or exceptional conditions like orders must be written on damp paper, recycled, lost, found then subject to public scrutiny a la Vogons,

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Although these FTTC cabinets may be available for wholesale from Callflow the costs of integration for an ISP probably make it unlikely anyone will.

    • Avatar Gadget

      it will be interesting to see if anyone (ISP or regulator or complainer to the EU) could carry the case that as a “hypothetically efficient” ISP the cost of integration was such that it precluded them for purchasing the wholesale product giving a de facto monopoly. I guess time will tell.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      Another company on here last year said they sold call flow products also…

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/07/gigaclear-secure-1gbps-fttp-broadband-rollout-deal-for-berkshire-uk.html

      Bottom post. Seems you had to be put right on the matter back then also.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      “Airband delivers internet via a fixed wireless network; a technology that allows the internet to be transmitted via radio-waves rather than cables.”

      Also wrong on that…
      https://business.airband.co/products/redundancy-solutions/

      quote”We understand that every business needs to ensure against internet connection failure, especially as businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on the Cloud.

      Airband uses a mixture of wireless, fibre and ADSL technology to ensure physical and total redundancy. If one service is disrupted, you are assured of a reliable internet connection though another route.

      The Airband solution provides two way connectivity to ensure total redundancy and shared bandwidth by load balancing.”

      So nope if you want ADSL or Fibre from them you can have that also.

  4. Avatar Dumb argument

    ” One too many green pills today?”

    LOL not to mention if they had not done the area, single supplier or not there would be no superfast broadband for the people there at all. I imagine those do not give a stuff about politics of who is supplying just thankful someone is.
    More a case of didn’t take his green pill than one too many 😉

    • Avatar Gadget

      So by that logic everyone in the BDUK areas should also be thankful that someone is providing the service and not give a stuff about the politics or who is supplying just thankful that someone is?

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      Better to have than not isn’t it?

  5. Avatar fastman

    was done as part of contract extension — will be interesting to see what comments people make when they find out what they can buy — “loads of mis information out there in joe public world

    re Gren pills perhaps you can confirm who is actually wholesaling their network !!! if anyone is

  6. Avatar fastman

    so you have public money spent to create a monopoly provider — this will become more and more in the new lots for possible phase 3

  7. Avatar fastman

    creating an equivalence management platform is the expensive bit for an operator when it wholesales a network — without that you basically wholesaling in name only and if you wholesale In name only your basically a monopoloy as no one else can you use the network and your customer have no choice of provider

  8. Avatar fastman

    Except you can not prove they are doing that, just a vivid fantasy.

    Dumb so who else can you buy a service from then other than callflow currently ?

    actually factcheck you comment monopoly on the Sub Loops that were already installed using taxpayers money — all of the Openreach stuff is wholesale access fo which there are now in excesz of circa 160 ISP you can buy an FTTC service from

  9. Avatar Dumb argument

    “Dumb so who else can you buy a service from then other than callflow currently ?”

    Airband wireless resell callflow as already mentioned

    https://home.airband.co/call-flow-packages/

    So much for no resellers.

    No idea what you are on about re: Sub loop ive not mentioned anything about Openreach or Sub loop.

  10. Avatar fastman

    so in area in question whom else can you buy a service from 1!!!!!!

  11. Avatar fastman

    data so in Windsor and Maidenhead who else can you buy a service from using the call flow network other than callflow

    • Avatar TheFacts

      And not a business service and using Callflow FTTC.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      Still hard to understand what you are asking, but i think you will find Airband covers at least one of those locations still and is a call flow partner. I trust you now accept they do more than wireless.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      i think the question was ‘what ISPs can I sign up with that will use the Callflow FTTC lines for a residential service?’

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