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Buckinghamshire UK’s Phase 2 “Fibre Broadband” Roll-out Given £800K Boost

Monday, June 19th, 2017 (4:47 pm) - Score 793

A further 2,500 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire look set to benefit from faster “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services after the Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) confirmed an £800,000 funding boost.

The associated Connected Counties project is a joint effort between the local authorities of both Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire (England). So far both counties have worked alongside the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme and Openreach (BT) to complete Phase 1 of the roll-out, which last year succeeded in boosting the coverage of “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) to 90% of local homes and businesses (here).

Buckinghamshire is now in the process of starting the roll-out phase for their second (Phase 2) extension contract with Openreach (here), which originally aimed to reach “up to” 11,000 additional premises (later revised to 12,500) and hopefully achieve 95% coverage of “superfast broadband” by June 2018.

The good news is that the “great performance in Phase 1 of the roll-out of broadband across the county” has now resulted in a funding boost of £800,000 and that will benefit an additional 2,500 premises in Phase 2, which is on top of the currently planned 12,500. We note that the coverage target for Phase 2 is still unchanged at 95%.

Michael Garvey, Joint Chairman of the Broadband Project Board, said:

“We are delighted with the extension of Phase 2 of the project and with the take up of superfast broadband across Buckinghamshire, as high speed fibre broadband is essential if local businesses are to remain competitive. As one of the most productive economies in the country we want to continue to provide the conditions for businesses to thrive at the beating heart of the national economy, which is why we continue to push for 100% superfast broadband coverage.”

Martin Tett, Buckinghamshire Council Leader, said:

“No family can access the wide variety of commercial and social sites without a good quality internet connection.”

Apparently the take-up of superfast broadband services within the project area has already risen to the impressive figure of 46%. As such the language used in today’s announcement, which states that the additional funding is a result of the “great performance in Phase 1 of the roll-out,” appears to actually be a reinvestment of existing funding (i.e. the result of clawback and / or savings from phase 1).

Funding of nearly £5 million has been committed towards Phase 2 of the roll-out, which is comprised of £100,000 from Chiltern District Council, £860,000 from Wycombe District Council, £400,000 from Aylesbury Vale District Council, £675,000 from BTVLEP, and BDUK match of £2,035,000, with a “claw-back” element of £399,000 from BTVLEP and £469,000 from Buckinghamshire County Council.

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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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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

    I seem to recall about 18 months forecasting FTTC take-up might hit 50% by the end of 2017 (of BB lines) and thinking that was a trifle optimistic. Maybe it wasn’t so far out.

  2. Avatar RuralBroadbandSucks says:

    What are the rules around the claw back reinvestment in various locations?
    How does one determine the Take-up figure for your location?
    No one can tell me WHEN I am likely to get superfast, they only tell me that I cannot get it and there is no plan.
    I already know that I can’t get superfast or anywhere near the 10 Mbit USO but if there is no plan, that means my area will never meet Matt Hancock’s “universal service obligation”?

    1. What and who exactly will deliver the USO is yet to be determined, the law needed to be in place first, next step is deciding who pays and what will people get.

      Take-up figures, reported to projects by BT, and you can see national level figures in financial reports, thinkbroadband publishes estimated take-up figures occasionally.

    2. Avatar Roger Carey says:

      Tell me where you are, and I’ll tell you if we can connect you. Superfast fixed wireless goes where copper and fibre don’t. Happy to help, if we can.

    3. Avatar RuralBroadbandSucks says:

      @Roger Carey: I am in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, I see you are based in Buckinghamshire – so i am expecting the response to be “We cant do it, but there may be someone local”. That said, I appreciate you reaching out to help. Unfortunately it seems like I am in a terrible location for radio signals, mobile and 4g, surrounded by hills and trees which mean a poor signal.

      @Andrew Ferguson: Thanks, Northern Ireland is poorest performing region on the table and ‘Tyrone and Fermanagh’ are ranked 647 out of the 650 Constituencies. There is little investment here or interest from the government to improve the situation here. It is a beautiful place, and we would be happy for as many telephone poles that BT (Openreach) would like to install to get decent/superfast broadband.

  3. Avatar Roger Carey says:

    For RuralBroadbandSucks: ture, we don’t have an NI or an IE office yet. Wish we did. But try net1.co.ni, bluebox.network or ardenbroadband.ie.They’re all wireless guys.
    Don’t let anyone tell you hills and trees mean no wireless. Sure, they make it harder, but we’ve built whole networks in wooded hilly landscapes. The trees can be a prioblem, but the hills are usually an asset. I’m working in Italy as I write this, deep in the wooded hills of Umbria and Tuscany. What does everyone here use for connectivity? Wireless! Best of luck, and sorry we can’t be sending a man round tomorrow.

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