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9000 Extra South Yorkshire UK Premises to See Ultrafast Broadband

Monday, December 17th, 2018 (1:06 pm) - Score 1,318
fibre splice outdoor openreach engineer fttp

The state aid supported Superfast South Yorkshire project has today announced the signing of a new £10m+ contract with Openreach (BT). This will aim to roll-out a 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network to cover an additional 9,000 premises by Spring 2021.

At present the existing SFSY scheme – supported by Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Councils – has already worked with Openreach to extend a mix of slower Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) and a little ultrafast FTTP to cover around 95,000 homes and businesses. As a result some 750 green roadside street cabinets have been upgraded and around 95% of premises can access fixed line “superfast broadband” speeds of 24Mbps+.

By comparison the new roll-out phase looks set to reach an additional 9,000 premises and entirely via 1000Mbps capable “full fibre” (FTTP). The contract is being supported by a public investment of £3.2 million from the councils, plus £550,000 from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and £7 million of private funding from Openreach.

As well as local homes, several important business zones will also benefit including the Denaby Industrial Estate in Doncaster, Moor Valley in Sheffield, Steel Street in Rotherham and Wharncliffe Business Park in Barnsley.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s Partnership Director in the North, says:

“We are delighted to have been chosen to take our partnership in South Yorkshire even further. Making sure that homes and businesses across the region have the connectivity they require is vital for the long-term prosperity and economic health of an area. This second phase of work means that thousands of local homes and businesses will soon have access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK.”

Matt Gladstone, SFSY Project Sponsor, said:

“A lot of fantastic work has already taken place to make high-speed fibre broadband available to thousands of homes and businesses, many for the first time. But we’re not finished yet. This next phase will connect people living in areas across the region that don’t yet have access to fibre networks. Once installed Full Fibre will not only provide ultrafast speeds but will also future-proof the network for years to come.”

Openreach has already begun the initial phase of planning and engineer surveys, with the first areas expected to be connected by early 2020. The announcement also notes Openreach’s wide choice of UK ISPs and highlights examples including BT, Sky and TalkTalk, but they neglect to mention that currently neither Sky Broadband nor TalkTalk are offering any FTTP packages on their network (we expect those to surface soon – otherwise our List of Ultrafast UK ISPs show which use Openreach).

In addition there seems to be some confusion over whether or not this contract is for Phase 2 or Phase 3. The announcement describes it as being “phase three of the programme,” although some of the comments mention it being a “second phase” and the SFSY site clearly calls it “Phase 2.” It’s a minor detail but worth noting (we’d call it Phase 2 since South Yorkshire largely skipped BDUK Phase 1 due to the Digital Region conflict).

Mind you the new contract won’t be enough to achieve universal coverage of superfast broadband in the county. The last Open Market Review in 2017 reported that the SFSY Intervention Area included 27,254 NGA White premises spread over 2,961 NGA White postcodes, which could include up to an additional 15,043 “Under Review” premises. Coverage will have improved a bit since then but equally so will the quantity of new build homes.

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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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2 Responses
  1. Avatar Tim

    Will this FTTP network be reaching those that are unable to get FTTC or will this just be over build?

    • As a state aid supported BDUK project it can only focus on extending “superfast broadband” coverage into poorly served parts, where the market is deemed to have failed.

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