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£100k of Vouchers Brings Full Fibre to the Shambles in York UK

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 (2:00 pm) - Score 1,497

More than 40 businesses along The Shambles street in the city of York (England) – one of the oldest shopping street’s in Europe and the only “street” recorded in York’s Domesday entry of 1086 – have got access to a 1000Mbps “full fibre” network thanks to the Government’s £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

The voucher scheme (GBVS) offers up to £2,500 to help individual businesses gain access to a Gigabit capable connection (usually some form of fibre optic service – in this case a private leased line) and these can be aggregated, which is how the businesses along the Shambles were able to raise £100,000 in order to afford the work.

The deployment itself, which mostly took place during the night over a 4 week period, required the removal of the entire previously used copper line network in order to make way for new fibre. The line was installed first into Kings Court and then extended onto The Shambles, via the overhead gantry, offering businesses along the street a “direct fibre connection“.

Crucially this approach avoided the disturbance of the brick work, beams and other historical features of the area. The build itself was conducted by contractor FACTCO and installer EuroComs, albeit as part of a partnership with the Government (DCMS) and City of York Council. The vouchers also mean that none of the local businesses have had to pay for the initial installation themselves.

Matt Warman, UK Minister for Digital, said:

“We’re committed to future-proofing our communities and boosting the economy by delivering world-class, gigabit-capable broadband to the whole of the UK.

Nowhere is our ambition more clear than on the Shambles, where I’m very pleased that our £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is providing York’s oldest street with the very fastest fibre connectivity around.”

Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“Many are attracted to York for its history and culture however, our digital infrastructure is supporting our residents and businesses with future-ready connectivity to be productive and innovative in the 21st century.

We’re pleased to see the historic Shambles and Kings Court benefiting from our city’s connectivity and the success of another innovative approach to advancing York’s digital infrastructure.”

The approach taken above is now expected to be replicated in other areas of the city centre that are harder to reach or which ordinarily don’t attract investment as part of larger works, often due to lack of market density. The council expects this rollout to include the Stonegate, Petergate and Swinegate area in the next phase of fibre installation.

Businesses and residents in these areas can express interest in the opportunity to receive full fibre connectivity by contacting the Digital York team at digitalcity@york.gov.uk .

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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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14 Responses
  1. CarlT says:

    How wonderful! A great template for dealing with reaching such heritage sites in the future.

    1. NGA for all says:

      Can you explain why creating a dependency on a private circuit is good news? Why can’t the base service be FTTP-GPON given the HOPs, AGN’s and spare fibre tubing if not spare fibre will be in the adjacent streets?

      Is there an industry standard for this service?

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      These are businesses and clearly agreed beforehand what sort of service they would be happy to accept, so what’s the problem? The major cost was in the build and I believe some of the smaller fry are paying consumer level prices for an entry-level 100Mbps service.

    3. CarlT says:

      I was referring solely to getting FTTP there without any kind of damage to the architecture via a copper removal.

      I couldn’t care less whether they were reached via PON or point to point. They are getting the service they wanted for the price they agreed to pay.

    4. NGA for all says:

      Mark, – jewellary shops and fudge would not typically need a private circuit based service. There are subsidised cabinets in the Shambles already cab no 71,2. So there is subsidised infrastructure to connect too.

      Carl T, these are mostly SME stores in the high street, so the price paid is important for the whole area.

      If not standard build then the components need to be re-usable.

    5. CarlT says:

      Why not encompass it in your next metro ring build, NGA?

      https://factco.co.uk/yorkcity/ are the people who actually did the install if you’re looking at who to speak to regarding this particular installation.

      Subsidised infrastructure irrelevant and, regardless, the voucher scheme does not carry the same rules and regulations as BDUK, etc.

      As you well know.

    6. A_Builder says:

      Wonderful an agreement was made to solve a problem by all parties involved – solution!

      I suspect that, as with anything, if you buy 40x the service price drops and also you are in a position to negotiate forward look. Let’s hope that was done well by Digital York so the SME’s don’t get ripped off.

      Interesting copper was withdrawn.

      The high bandwidth users may well be offices above and not the shops below?

    7. Tom says:

      Hi all

      A Gigabit leased line was installed into kings court at the top of the shambles, from this we used gpon architecture to deliver a subsequent fibre connection and gigabit speeds to each customer on the shambles main street, this approach was taken for numerous reasons. 1- ensure the network was compliant with the gigabit voucher PRP terms and conditions. 2- reuse existing ducting that was in place from the nearest exchange to the kings court building. 3 – provide a £0 installation cost for all tenants on the street and a competitive monthly rental cost that is more in line with FTTC pricing rather than leased line pricing.

      There was no civil work needed and the network was installed out of hours over a 4 week period to limit disruption to what in one of York’s busiest tourist areas.

    8. NGA for all says:

      Tom, thanks. Did the existing subsidised infrastructure, the fibre paths make any contribution to making this happen?
      Did BT refuse to extend beyond the subsidised cabinets?

    9. A_Builder says:

      Actually I’m interested that the copper could be removed at all ATM.

      Who’s copper was it?

      Presumably private copper not OR copper??

      There is a bit of info missing here.

  2. Yes says:

    I swear when I visited York minster etc back in the day they had VM points outside every shop

    Is that not enough capacity for them?

    1. Yorkiebar99 says:

      VM is a bit of a dirty word in York. The ultra fibre optic roll out has seen a lot of people jump ship and save a lot of cash. I’m surprised City fibre aren’t the company doing the work in the shambles. I had a walk down the shambles at the weekend and couldn’t find a trace of the cables etc. It’s very well hidden.

  3. TheFacts says:

    ‘removal of the entire previously used copper line network ‘ who did that belong to?

    1. Yorkiebar99 says:

      Can’t vouch for all premises but I’ve seen two with OR master sockets fitted. Main exchange is just over the road.

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