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Oxfordshire UK Achieves 95% Coverage of Superfast Broadband

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 (8:24 am) - Score 728
fibre broadband is here cabinet

The state aid supported Better Broadband for Oxfordshire partnership with Openreach (BT) has today claimed to have successfully completed their Phase 2 contract by helping to extend “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) connectivity to cover 95%+ of the county by the end of 2017 as planned.

Apparently more than 50% of premises reached by the project have already chosen to upgrade to FTTC/P and overall the extension has helped to reach an additional 73,000 premises (homes and businesses), although the programme is on-going and 78,007 is the currently contracted target under Oxfordshire’s next Phase 3 work.

Once Phase 3 is completed then the county should see its coverage of superfast broadband rise further to 96.3% by the end of 2018. We should point out that there’s also a separate rollout deal for 1Gbps FTTP with Gigaclear in West Oxfordshire (here).

Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet Member for Finance (OCC), said:

“Reaching these important milestones in the run-up to Christmas and ahead of schedule is a terrific achievement and shows our commitment to make this important service available to as many parts of Oxfordshire as quickly as possible.

We’re using a combination of technologies and co-funding solutions to ensure residents and businesses in even the smallest, most remote parts of our county have access to fast broadband.”

Steve Haines, Openreach’s MD of NGA, said:

“The broadband landscape across Oxfordshire has been transformed in recent years so that the great majority of households and businesses can now get superfast speeds. And we are most certainly not stopping there. We’re committed to going further with superfast and ultrafast broadband.

Increasingly high-speed broadband is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it is a ‘must have’. Reaching this important milestone at this busy time of the year is particularly good news for people wanting to use the internet more than usual for online shopping and ‘click and collect’ services. At home, it enables families to connect to several different devices at the same time, so children can play online games without affecting parents or grandparents while they watch catch-up television or contact friends and relatives abroad.”

The original Phase 1 rollout was funded by £25 million (£10m from Oxfordshire County Council, £4m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme and £11m from BT) and Phase 2 was supported by £5.1 million (£1m from South Oxfordshire District Council, £500,000 from Cherwell District Council, £250,000 from the Vale of the White Horse District Council, £200,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £1.2m from BT and a further £1.95m from BDUK).

By comparison the next £4m Phase 3 rollout is being funded by programme savings from Phase 1+2 and the early contractual windfall paid by BT of £2.56m, which has arisen due to the high levels of take-up of services already delivered (part of the clawback clause in BDUK contracts). Around 3,000 extra premises should benefit from this in locations like Ardington, Barford St John, East Hendred, Lockinge, Lyford and Swalcliffe.

As usual it’s important to point out that today’s 95% figure is an estimate and real-world experiences can still differ due to various reasons, such as slow wifi, poor home wiring, local cabinets being full to capacity and general network congestion etc. In addition, the upgrade is not automatic and you have to order the faster service in order to benefit.

So far Openreach has installed 460kms of fibre and 488 new street cabinets under the contract.

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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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar NGA for all

    Good to see and good to see the co-funded partnerships so communities can glean the benefit of the state aid project. Is there any information on what BT contributes to these?

  2. Avatar lyndon

    95% of people connected via VDSL are receiving +25mbs.
    Is this correct?….as I find it hard to believe!

    • Avatar occasionally factual

      95% are able to get VDSL at +25Mbs installed.
      I would wager that a very large percentage of them are still on ADSL due to the cost.

    • 95% is the overall coverage figure across all networks, including those from Virgin Media and other operators and technologies. I’m not sure what the specific figure would be for only VDSL2 and also we’re taking coverage, not uptake (uptake is at 50% for those within the project’s intervention area).

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      @Lydon

      Nope. It means 95% of properties in the area that can order a service which is capable of connecting at 24mbps or more (downstream), whether that’s VDSL, Cable or FTTP.

    • I just said that already 🙂 .

  3. Avatar lyndon

    Sorry,based on your photo heading this acticle I thought it was just about VDSL speed.
    Silly old me!

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