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South Yorkshire Broadband Rollout Hit by Main BT Subcontractor Collapse

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 (12:32 pm) - Score 3,330

The state aid fuelled Superfast South Yorkshire project, which is working with Openreach (BT) to deploy “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) to 97.9% of premises by the end of 2017 (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield), has been hit by the collapse of a “main subcontractor” and “national planning issues.”

At the time of writing the details are a little unclear and our request for more information from the project team has not been answered, although they have confirmed that over the last few months a number of areas were left “partially completed” due to the “unfortunate collapse” of one of Openreach’s (BT) “main subcontractors,” which is now going through administration.

On top of that the project team claims that Openreach has also been suffering from a number of unspecified “national planning issues,” which could be a reference to any number of different things and unfortunately we weren’t able to extract any additional clarity. Openreach offered the following comment.

A Spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We acknowledge the challenges faced over the last few months in the South Yorkshire area but we have a plan in place and we’re working closely with our contractors to make sure everything possible is done to keep the roll-out on track.”

The good news is that the SFSY project team has still managed to extend their “fibre coverage” into places like Wath, Shafton, Treeton, Thurnscoe, Edlington, Tickhill and Ecclesfield, to name but a few, and they claim that local “contractors are working flat out to overcome the challenges.” Two additional business parks in Sheffield have also gained access to Openreach’s ultrafast FTTP network (Holbrook Industrial Estate and Europa Court / Europa View).

At this stage it’s unclear whether the recent issues will delay the completion of the project, which hopes to reach an additional 95,664 premises (53,263 had been completed by June 2017).

UPDATE 4:56pm

The SFSY team has added that they “fully support the plan presented by Openreach to help keep the roll-out on track and are excited to be growing the ‘full fibre’ FTTP footprint across the region.”

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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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13 Responses
  1. Avatar Matthew says:

    My area was meant to have fibre last year between October and December. 12 months on and still no progress

  2. Avatar Graham Turnbull says:

    Is it still impossible to get FTTC in Central Sheffield?

    1. Avatar Tom says:

      No, it is now available. We have both FTTC and EoFTTC. I am not sure if there are any Exchange Only lines that can’t.

    2. Avatar Sunil Sood says:

      @Graham @Tom,

      There are still lots of non-exchange lines in central Sheffield who can’t yet get FTTC

      Ironically, this includes a lot around Plusnet’s HQ – which actually has lots of young professionals and students in the area

  3. Avatar Marty says:

    So much for the Conservatives strong and stable economy that works for everyone. Sorry had to be said.

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      That’s rather off-topic. In any working economy there will always be some failures. Indeed, most economists will tell you it’s essential or inefficient companies and processes will persist and that will cause the economy to stagnate. We’ve just seen this with Monarch airlines which was unable to adapt to the changing nature of holiday travel, despite this being a period where air travel is more popular than ever.

      The normal process of company failures and creations of a thriving economy shouldn’t be confused with failures that happen during a recession which is caused by general lack of demand. It seems unlikely this failure was triggered by such market conditions.

  4. Avatar CarlT says:

    Perhaps Sheffield preventing Virgin Media from expanding their network wasn’t such a hot idea. Liaising with them to resurface roads and pavements after cable deployment rather than simply telling VM ‘no way’ would’ve been a plan.

    Leeds managed it.

    1. Avatar Gadget says:

      I could see there might be complications in this part of the country for planning, what with VM kit, SYDR kit and Openreach all potentially on or near the same street corner.

    2. Avatar Ultraspeedy says:

      Who was on this street corner first?

  5. Avatar Erbium doped fibre amplifier says:

    S35 Ecclesfield exchange:
    For more than a year FTTC had been scheduled for first quarter 2017. Didn’t happen.
    Instead FTTP was tabled, scheduled by the end of Q3 2017.
    SFSY say Openreach have slipped to end of January 2018.
    We are the only one of 14 units who haven’t got a leased line from our cabinet catchment area.
    How long do you think it will really take?

  6. Avatar martin says:

    I really hopes these comments are taken seriously it is beyond belief that in October 2017
    I can only get a 16mb speed from BT.
    The Barnsley exchange Cabinet number: 133 has been promised for a the last year exactly Bt fibre would available.
    The cabinet is fibre enabled openreach engineer told me somebody please put in the cable.
    And still sitting at build stage on openreach website.


    1. Avatar Mark says:

      16Mb, that’s a luxury, try running a household on an assured 256kbs, maximum 500kbs. Been waiting since January 2017, according to Openreach we are due end of Feb 18. Despite ‘fully expect you and your neighbours to be able to order Superfast BB first week of October’ by Natalie Ward, Program Manager for Superfast South Yorkshire, the people who are delivering the infrastructure.
      If you quote anything by Openreach, you get ‘I can’t comment on what they say’. Natalie Ward encourages you to ring in for updates, but when you do, you get either ‘ there isn’t one, or we are not a call centre and not set up for that’
      I was informed that the cabinet supplying my area is complete and that we are waiting on Openreach to update the data to the Communication providers. When asked how long does this take was told ‘ how longs a piece of string, it’s Openreach’
      Neighbour recently contacted them for an update and was told that they are still laying cables?
      No wonder this country is way behind others when the team delivering the infrastructure cannot communicate truthfully.

  7. Avatar martin says:

    Anyone have Natalie Wards contact details please

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