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BDUK – Q3 2019 Superfast Broadband Take-up by UK Region

Monday, December 30th, 2019 (8:07 am) - Score 3,589

The Government’s £1.8bn Building Digital UK scheme has now helped to extend “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) ISP networks to 5,198,436 extra UK premises since 2012/13 and the latest take-up data to September 2019 shows demand from consumers continues to climb, reaching just over 70% in some counties.

As usual the figures below reflect the percentage % of homes and businesses that have chosen to take a superfast broadband service (usually via FTTC, FTTP or Fixed Wireless Access technology), albeit specifically those which have been delivered via state aid support from the BDUK programme (i.e. % subscribed of premises passed).

The data is split between the first two phases of the programme and the most recent contracts have tended to focus on remote rural areas, which since around 2017/2018 have increasingly involved deployments of “full fibre” (FTTP) ultrafast broadband networks to reflect the Government’s strategy.

We should add that older BDUK contracts defined “superfast” as offering download speeds of 24Mbps+, while recent ones have increased this to 30Mbps+ in order to align with the definition used by Ofcom and the EU.

BDUK Phases One (Finished Spring 2016)
Supported by £530m of public money via the Government (mostly extracted from a small slice of the BBC TV Licence fee), as well as significant match funding from local authorities and the EU. The public funding is then roughly matched by BT’s private investment. Overall it helped to extend “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) services to cover 90% of premises in the United Kingdom.

BDUK Phase Two (Technically on-going)
Supported by £250m of public money via the Government, as well as match funding from local authorities, Local Growth Deals and private investment from suppliers (e.g. BT, Gigaclear, Airband, Call Flow etc.). This phase extended superfast broadband services to 95% of premises in time for the end of 2017, although some contracts are on-going until late 2020 and will reach beyond 95%.

The BDUK contracts include a clawback (gainshare) clause, which requires the suppliers to return part of the public investment as customer adoption of the new service rises. The funding can then be reinvested to further improve network coverage and speeds via future deals. Efficiency savings from earlier contracts can also be reinvested.

So far it looks as if a total of around £712m could in theory be returned via clawback from BT (here) and more than £200m (Jan 2018 figure – more recent data has not been given) from efficiency savings, which may rise again in the future. BDUK has estimated that this reinvestment might be enough to boost the UK coverage of 24Mbps+ capable networks to around 97% by March 2020 and possibly 98%+ after that, but this is not an official target.

bduk impact march 2019

The Universal Service Obligation (USO) mentioned above is a reference to the Government’s new legally-binding pledge to ensure that those in the final 2-3% of premises, which may not benefit from BDUK’s effort, can request a download speed of at least 10Mbps. This is due to be introduced from March 2020 (details here).

BDUK Phase One Take-up (Average %)

The following tables break the take-up data down by each BDUK local authority (project area) and devolved region (Scotland, Wales etc.), although for the proper context these percentages should ideally be considered alongside the most recent premises passed (network coverage) data, which can be seen at the bottom of this article. Overall 61.48% premises have adopted the new service (up from 59.58% in June 2019).

NOTE: Some of the counties have divided their deployments into separate contracts. For example, Phase One in Shropshire doesn’t include the ‘Telford and Wrekin‘ area because that is part of a separate Phase Two contract inside the same county. On top of that the contracts were all signed at different times and so are at different stages of development.

Project Area (BDUK Phase 1) Uptake % (Mar 2019) Uptake % (Jun 2019) Uptake % (Sep 2019)
Berkshire Councils 63.7 65.5 67.21
Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire 66.5 68.9 71.11
Cambridgeshire, Peterborough 61 62.9 64.97
Central Beds, Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes 66.1 68.6 70.55
Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington, Halton 63.4 65.5 67.78
Devon & Somerset (including, Plymouth, Torbay, North Somerset, Bath & NE Somerset) 57.7 60 62.13
Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire 65.6 67.7 69.51
Cumbria 58.3 60.6 62.92
Derbyshire 56.5 58.9 61.03
Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole 57.6 60 61.98
Durham, Gateshead, Tees Valley and Sunderland 56.5 58.9 61.07
East Riding of Yorkshire 60.7 63.2 65.5
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove 63.3 65.4 67.35
Essex, Southend-On-Sea, Thurrock 62.5 64.8 66.95
Greater Manchester 52.1 55.1 58.27
Hampshire 60.4 62.6 64.62
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire 57.6 59.7 61.75
Isle of Wight 55.5 58.1 60.43
Kent and Medway 61.1 63.2 65.58
Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen 54.5 56.8 59.32
Leicestershire 61.6 63.8 65.86
Lincolnshire 60.7 63 65.18
Merseyside  50.4 53 56.15
Newcastle upon Tyne  52.8 55 57.89
Norfolk 60.6 62.8 65.26
North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire 59.1 61.2 63.3
North Yorkshire 58.2 58.2 58.21
Northamptonshire 64.5 66.8 68.68
Northumberland 61.8 63.7 65.78
Nottinghamshire 60.3 62.2 64.3
Oxfordshire 64.5 66.6 68.15
Rutland 67.3 67 68.47
Shropshire 58.7 61.3 63.47
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 57.9 59.8 61.91
Suffolk 62.2 64.4 66.39
Surrey 64.8 66.6 68.2
West Sussex 64.6 66.7 68.59
West Yorkshire 55.4 57.8 60.43
Wiltshire 62.6 64.8 66.76
South Gloucestershire 64.6 66.5 67.85
Worcestershire 63.3 65.8 67.82
Devolved Administrations      
Highlands and Islands 57.7 60.1 62.49
Northern Ireland 66 67.7 69.39
Rest of Scotland 52.6 55.2 58.01
Wales 51.8 51.8 51.77

BDUK Phase Two Take-up (Average %)

So far in this phase an overall total of 46.79% of premises have adopted the new service (up from 44.02% in June 2019), although some projects have yet to report. We note that a number of Phase 2 schemes also consist of more than one contract and so you may see several figures being reported for certain areas in order to reflect each of those deals (this is sadly very confusing but that’s just how they do it).

Project Area (BDUK Phase 2) Uptake % (Mar 2019) Uptake % (Jun 2019) Uptake % (Sep 2019)
Berkshire 26, 6, 22.2 26, 3.7, 27.4 27.66 ,5.62, 31.66 ,2.17
Black Country 40.9 44.2 48.24
Bucks & Herts 45 47.2 50.02
Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes 46 48.2 52.79
Cambridgeshire no data no data no data
Cheshire 49.5 51.9 56.49
Cornwall 48, 23.6 51.1, 24.1 53.53, 29.41
Cumbria 41.8 44.3 47.61
Derbyshire 38.2 40.5 41.64
Devon & Somerset 10.1, 4, 24 10.1, 5, 26 10.13, 10.3
Dorset 52.9, 1.4 57.1, 8.4 60.4, 14.6
Durham 42.1 46.1 50.22
East Riding (Yorkshire) 53.1 55.1 57.78
East Sussex 51.3 54.1 58.27
Essex 44.5, 34, 9, 0.7 48.2, 26.6, 2, 13.9, 0.3 53.07, 26.61, 2, 17.29, 8.65
Greater Manchester no data no data no data
Hampshire 42.5 45.7 48.21
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire 38, 11.3, 5, 4,11.4, 12.3 37.4, 6, 11, 6.7, 3.2, 16.7, 18.7 37.42, 13.77, 12.95, 9.85, 1.61, 21.42, 38.44
Kent 55.4 59.9 63.61
Lancashire 41.1 42.8 44.54
Leicestershire 41.4 45.2 49.06
Lincolnshire 42 44.9 48.1
Norfolk 49.8 52.4 54.87
North Lincolnshire 43.1 46.2 46.22
North Yorkshire 56.4, 11.6 56.4, 14.7 56.36, 22.03
Northamptonshire 50.5, 11, 23 53.7, 12.9, 11.8 56.93, 10.75, 12.06
Northumberland 45.6 49.8 50.18
Nottinghamshire 44.7 47 47, 2.79
Oxfordshire no data no data no data
Rutland no data no data no data
Shropshire 43.6, 2.2 47.1, 2.2 52.04, 1.7
South Gloucestershire 47.6, 19.9 50.8, 23.9 54.58, 21.07
South Yorkshire 43.4 46.7 50.4, 2.94
Staffordshire 43.4 44.4 47.13
Suffolk 49.5 51.4 54.99
Swindon 9 9 8.68
Telford & Wrekin 55.7 59.7 63.45
Warwickshire 45.8, 1.1 46.9, 6 68.15, 8.42
West Oxfordshire 7 8 11.09
West Sussex 47 52.8 54.76
West Yorkshire 40.8 42.3 45.26
Wiltshire 46.7, 4.4 50.6, 0.9, 16.5 53.61, 0.93, 19.73
Worcestershire 51.7 53.9 55.42, 13.87
Devolved Administrations      
Highlands and Islands no data no data no data
Northern Ireland 42.9 46.2 49.16
Rest of Scotland no data no data no data
Wales no data no data no data

IMPORTANT: Take-up is a dynamically scaled measurement, which means that at certain stages of the scheme it may go up or even down depending upon the pace of deployment (i.e. premises passed in any given time-scale), although over time the take-up should only rise.

Explained another way, earlier phases of the roll-out were easier and faster to deploy, so you could expect to see a bit of a yo-yo movement with the take-up % sometimes falling if lots of new areas were suddenly covered. Some contracts are also younger than others and will thus take time to catch-up. On top of that BDUK’s roll-out pace has slowed to a crawl as it reaches remote rural areas, which will give take-up a chance to climb.

A number of other factors can also impact take-up, such as the higher prices for related “fibre” services, as well as customers being locked into long contracts with their existing ISP (they can’t upgrade immediately) and a lack of general awareness (locals don’t always know that the faster service exists) or interest in the new connectivity (if you have a decent ADSL2+ speed and only basic needs then you might feel less inclined to upgrade).

The fear of switching to a different ISP may also obstruct some services. In other cases the new service may run out of capacity (i.e. demand is higher than expected), which means that people who want to upgrade are prevented from doing so until Openreach resolves the problem, although the scale of this issue is fairly small.

NOTE: This will be our last quarterly update on BDUK progress. Going forward we will adopt half yearly ones instead as there isn’t much change between the quarters.

Now, for some context, here’s the latest progress report on related contracts for the same period (this excludes related match-funding from private investment). Take note that the figures shown below are 3 months behind those above as BDUK has yet to update them (June 2019 figures).

Funding and Premises Passed Progress (BDUK Phase 1 + 2)

  Total BDUK Contracted Funding Total LB Contracted Funding Current Total Contracted Premises Delivered to Date (Jun 2019)
Bedford & Milton Keynes £8,130,000 £9,443,694 56,269 50,745
Berkshire £5,153,017 £4,603,250 43,741 31,886
Black Country £2,988,349 £2,988,349 39,109 37,350
Bucks & Herts £10,837,000 £11,415,000 94,428 88,616
Cambridgeshire £8,250,000 £21,895,592 111,213 103,844
Cheshire £6,461,000 £16,091,055 82,468 82,210
Cornwall £5,960,000 £12,529,786 14,988 12,795
Cumbria £19,959,519 £18,798,000 120,065 120,885
Derbyshire £9,579,550 £9,580,000 103,755 96,651
Devon & Somerset £39,326,673 £28,331,742 297,025 294,872
Dorset £13,741,841 £12,349,470 80,085 77,445
Durham £12,786,267 £11,763,000 112,898 111,817
East Riding (Yorkshire) £10,507,459 £5,193,079 49,510 49,753
East Sussex £13,640,000 £13,000,000 70,040 63,694
Essex £14,254,755 £19,296,658 158,848 132,967
Greater Manchester £3,440,000 £5,923,000 41,363 40,062
Hampshire £15,262,307 £14,220,615 106,434 99,212
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire £31,090,658 £27,305,290 152,367 130,263
Hertfordshire £0 £879,471 546 0
Highlands & Islands £50,830,000 £75,600,000 149,730 149,799
Isle of Wight £2,490,000 £2,490,000 17,617 17,649
Kent £17,063,509 £14,998,391 137,881 138,202
Lancashire £14,670,000 £22,540,000 147,334 145,892
Leicestershire £7,968,895 £10,884,647 75,316 72,760
Lincolnshire £16,110,000 £17,910,000 139,985 134,321
Merseyside £5,460,000 £4,374,000 43,905 43,966
Newcastle £970,000 £941,158 6,760 6,697
Norfolk £24,650,000 £35,099,125 212,687 198,638
North Lincolnshire £4,181,242 £1,880,963 29,442 29,344
North Yorkshire £28,160,000 £14,654,726 175,283 168,882
Northamptonshire £9,856,669 £11,009,000 79,349 74,917
Northern Ireland £11,454,000 £21,954,000 66,907 67,173
Northumberland £10,687,867 £11,986,750 49,620 48,296
Nottinghamshire £7,850,000 £9,288,644 67,387 67,429
Oxfordshire £8,184,500 £20,045,470 79,882 78,274
Rest of Scotland £50,000,000 £107,575,000 581,999 582,406
Rutland £1,000,000 £1,670,000 10,004 9,835
Shropshire £19,317,466 £12,722,000 69,782 66,677
South Gloucestershire £3,370,000 £3,521,123 21,673 19,267
South Yorkshire £10,395,000 £13,353,577 104,222 95,687
Staffordshire £9,620,000 £7,440,000 82,069 80,536
Suffolk £26,940,000 £26,044,703 126,812 123,207
Surrey £1,310,000 £19,020,081 78,245 78,390
Swindon £950,000 £950,000 20,138 17,010
Telford & Wrekin £2,157,000 £1,843,000 8,822 8,698
Wales £69,040,000 £180,651,507 754,791 701,032
Warwickshire £14,557,172 £14,557,172 74,301 61,322
West Oxfordshire £1,600,000 £1,556,675 4,788 2,438
West Sussex £8,011,243 £7,510,000 54,533 53,617
West Yorkshire £11,019,827 £11,175,487 103,485 96,064
Wiltshire £9,270,000 £16,496,000 83,324 75,627
Worcestershire £4,497,032 £11,390,000 64,121 59,317
  £695,009,817 £958,740,250 5,457,346 5,198,436

The above figures only include 24Mbps+ capable premises in BDUK intervention areas.

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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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66 Responses
  1. Avatar NGA for all

    There are so many good elements emerging here, it would be good for BT to highlight just how far these monies, although it is mice to see 98%+ being acknowledged for the first time.

    It is worth highlighting that the 359k contracted not delivered is beng delivered at a mere ~7k a month FTTP. There is no reaosn why this should not be doubled, even before another 500k are contracted in England.

    More will be squeezed if we get an accurate report on BT’s direct capital contributions. This does not help the 17% of SME’s who cannot get superfast, this requires policies on ‘reasonable request’ to be defined and fulfilled.

    The second BDUK table understates Scottish activity by more than 220,000 premises and ignores the 1.1m VM overbuild using the same assets.

    • The Scottish figures are more likely to highlight the fact that BDUK is strictly focusing upon “superfast” capability, while Digital Scotland has a long history of interchangeably using “fibre broadband” (i.e. raw NGA coverage including superfast and sub-superfast) and “superfast” for the same figure they give. Sadly a lot of local authorities never make this key distinction clear, probably so as to make the benefit look better than it actually is. We’ve reported on that a lot since 2013.

      And the Virgin Media overbuild has been well covered before, as you well know.


    • Avatar NGA for all

      I have checked that interpretation and it just appears BDUK are under-reporting Scotland. The VM overbuild and its impact relative to who paid for what is simply ignored.

      If you add 1.1m to the 5.5m it would actually show an improved value for money but then raises more questions than answers in terms of how money intended for rural got diverted to urban all under commercial confidentiality agreements. BT’s contribution to this overbuild cost ~£85m has not been pursued.

      It would however highlight more clearly the need to check on BT’s direct capital contributions and highlights the need to keep pushing 98%+. It is just another upside if pursued.

    • Avatar CarlT

      The cash wasn’t just for rural. You may have intended that when you apparently wrote the guidelines but the contracts themselves evidently disagree.

      See https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=60435&cabinets=12615 for an example of urban BDUK build.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      CartT The original state aid approval referenced rural 13 or 19 times, so there is no ambiguity and the these are defined by EFRA. The focus on rural was lessened during Mr Javid/Townsend tenure when the BLack country got included and then Telford, Merseyside, Newcastle. So it got bent circa 2015 to made the 90% target easier (and any bonus payments), but this does not change the original goal or intent or why the money was approved.

      Neither should it change the need to complete the work outlined in the September EFRA report.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      CarlT , finally (for today) and I am sorry, .. the switch from rural then permitted the nonsense of FTTC cure in highstreets (delaying full fibre) and even more nonsensical FTTC outside business parks where duct is available for FTTP and it would be more efficient to do but it would impact business service sale.

      The record is important from an national infarstructure perspective. The Ofcom modelling in 2017 only found 49k commercial cabs and capex allocated of £1.3bn. The opex will emerge as BT has plenty of discretion on its capitalisation policies. But if the BDUK lesson are applied it will show full fibre for BT not at £30bn but now an incremental £13-£15bn (plus opportunity costs) having had £1.3bn BT capex, and the subsidy of the £1.3-4bn most of which will need to be repaid, when the BT capital and clawback is paid back. BT’s lack of foresight in 2011-12 and greed in the form of the Gambit will cost shareholders and customers dear.

    • Avatar Gadget

      I would have to say that regardless of the original intentions what was contracted was what was notified and agreed in the Official Journal of the European Union contract notification and State-Aid process, that is what the signed contracts are about – good (or bad) intentions being moot.
      One poster’s “Gaming” is another contributor’s “Contingency”, and would have been worthy of the amount of debate here had the contracts been fixed price and not subject to open competition. In fact only recognised expenditure supported by paperwork can be claimed and reimbursed, and AFAIK no-one in the course of the many contracts has made any substantiated accusation of billing malpractice.
      Gainshare processes are part of the contract to address errors and changes in the take-up assumptions which drive the gap-funded methodology, again to ensure contracting Authorities get best “Value for money”.
      Taking all this into account I must say I side with A_Builder in thinking that this is not the worst use of public money, of course things were learnt and done differently as experience was gained, but I look forward in 2020 to NGA’s critical assessment of the funding and contribution in non-BT BDUK contracts to avoid any question of single company bias.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget.. the question might be how could BT with a network to overlay manage to lose to a company with no network at all.

      Contingencies of c10% were claimed in the 2013 evidence by BT only to be found to 38% inflated costs by the NAO in 2015.

      This blatent abuse continued into the 2016 CMS SC oral evidence where FTTC was being claimed to be £500 per premise passed. On challenge it was corrected in the written evidence. No effort to correct in the most recent EFRA committee.

      Comparisons to alt-nets is bizarre. There is no basis to conduct a comparison with a company with a national network and ones with no network.

      The work of the engineers must be saluted, not so the relationship managers and those controlling them.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      Oh, come on guys.

      This is a tender process.

      When any company in any area looks at a tender the first question is “how does this work for us” and if it does not work for us then ‘we are not interested’ is the response

      Some people read that as ‘gaming’ others read it as ‘commercial imperative’. It is just the way tendering is, and why unless you are a poacher turned gamekeeper tending gives an illusion of value for money and usually nothing more.

      Tendering works best where you are doing something very tightly defined and easily measurable. I could see tending working well for say replacing line cards in a DSLAM or maybe even putting in a DSLAM. The more woolly the spec gets the worse tendering is as a vehicle.

      I do, however, agree that commercial confidentialy provisions are widely abused in UK LA & Government procurement to keep the thing woolly so that others cannot experientially learn from the process. And therefore there is no incremental improvement in the strategy. Public sector buying in the UK is big enough by value that if it was mandated that all contracts were open to inspection there would still be good people bidding but maybe not the usual suspects – which might be a good thing. It would certainly change the dynamics. It is easy to forget that we are the 4th or 5th biggest economy in the world and that it is of interest to a lot of people to have a finger in that big a pie.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      A_Builder The circumstances, the lack of competition in 2011-12 did create a unique set of temptations that demanded BT Group show some constraint. That did not happen.

      State aid process demanded and got some cham competition with Fujitsu, who had no network, no wholesale network, no billing system, no customers.

      Please read the 2015 NAO report section 3.10 and this nonsense of every single project reporting efficiencies.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      A-Builder .. As late 2016 as CMS SC Inquiry BT in their oral evidence presented FTTC at £500 per premise passed, when the truth is for the most part in rural average out at £120. When challenged in the follow-up the BT written submission then changed – £26k per phase 1 fibre path/cab. The then Minister Vaizey stated incorrectly that BT had paid its capital contribution – an impossibility given the low cost of the cab and the high flow of state aid. The now ex-Minister’s mis-presentation was mostly reversed by Hancock responses to WIPs. It took a year to get the public record changed but this does not get reflected in the contracts but might be reflected in the Capital Deferral, but this is all hidden.

      Contracts are supposed to be relationships of trust. This was lost in the BT Gambit of 2012 and needs to be recovered. There remains about £300m of direct capital contributions in addition to the clawback which needs to be reconciled in my IMHO. LDPs/DCMS are trapped some form of Stockholm syndrome by the commercial confidentiality agreement they signed.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      A_Builder One final 2011-12 observation which was reported then, and subsequently leaked as the matter was not being dealt with, was the matter of a ‘uniform capital contribution’ to allowable costs.

      The norm for BT contribution ought to be ~£80 per premise passed, commercially ~80×350 creates a budget of £28,000. So when BDUK asks for a 150 premise you would expect BT to pay £12,000 – and susbidy pays the rest minus the clawback.

      In quite a few places, Wales, H&I, NI and I think North Yorkshire BT used the commercial confidentiality process to reduce this contribution to c£40 or less. If this has been permitted to continue then BT would gain a great deal from ought from a state aid perspective be a uniform model. This was one reason LDB were not allowed to see each others workings.

      All these matters were reported within the programme in May-July 2012, and then leaked in September by parties unknown. The work needed doing, so it continues to be a long way back.

    • Avatar Gadget

      @NGA – I assume this is the 2015 report you are referencing? https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/The-Superfast-Rural-Broadband-Programme-update.pdf

      Section 3.10, appears to confirm that estimation at the early stages was high, but mitigated by a control of only paying for what was legitimate bills. It also appears that, according to the Atkins investigated sample there was no evidence that the contract cost was inflated or unreasonable, in fact it turned out cheaper – section of the report copied with source NAO acknowledged:

      “3.10 BDUK’s analysis shows that actual costs are lower than BT’s bid prices but do not, in themselves, assure BDUK that BT priced the contracts economically. An independent assurance review in 2013, which compared supplier bids to a ‘should cost’ model, was hampered by limited cost transparency. In 2014, BDUK commissioned Atkins to undertake a second independent assurance review designed to cost a sample of phase 1 infrastructure so to benchmark BT’s costs. This process will help BDUK to assess whether it is getting value for money from phase 1, and inform phase 2. The pilot phase of the review looked at a small sample of selected infrastructure within one local body, Suffolk. In January 2015 Atkins found that BT had charged Suffolk nearly 20% less than would hypothetically be charged by another efficient supplier, in part reflecting that BT benefits from substantial national bulk buying power compared with other providers. BDUK intends to extend this exercise to other locations in 2015. ”

      Do you know if there were there even any other locations examined?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget, ..No record after work in Saxmundham -Framlingham (quite rural -not urban in-fill in Ispwich),. and the cost tracking was successful (salut BDUK VFM) but it took external pressure to force the matter, and then extent of the excesses (for every project) was not too different from the amount of capital (contribution to allowable costs) BT was expected to invest. Given insufficient work was planned to aborb BT’s contribution how would BT’s capital contribution be used? It would need to rolled over into phase 2 but this did not emerge. So are the LBP sitting on the cash? Was it rolled over?
      Note .. Wales paid unit costs, very large ones and this has not been reconciled publicly.
      The objective of the scrutiny was to stop the money disappearing which it has largely done, (apart from IMHO £300m) but the excesses identified need to be used to complete the upside possible.
      While the inflation of costs was acknowledge in 2015, the consequences of that inflation was not dealt with or reported upon. From July 2015 to I think q2 18-19 the Capital Deferral would grow from £130m to £715m.

      There is still no statement from BT how far in theory this money could go. The evidence by BT. Ofcom and DCMS to EFRA this summer was deeply dis-appointing. Each had the opportunity to declare the upside in their evidence. None did. No reference to the money owed and what could be done in their oral or written evidence. I found this dis-appointing..

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA – ‘the myth of the £100k cab’ has long since gone.

      Would it be appropriate to inform EFRA that ‘The Bit Commons Organisation’ is, in fact, a single ex industry person whose thoughts have not been independently verified? They may be correct (in part?) but you have not shown details of any confirmation of accuracy from anyone else.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Fcats – the Select Committees are aware of my position and the effort needed to unpick a wrong doing. Do as you see fit.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA- I still don’t understand why BDUK and the LAs are not sorting this out. If there are £Ms involved a bit of consultancy is all that is needed if they do not have the skills.

  2. Avatar A_Builder

    Well let’s look on the bright side.

    BDUK goes have a gainshare mechanism and we all seem to agree that it is now providing a roll rate of 7k FTTP / month. Which is of itself great.

    And that there is £1Bn of funding from it to add to Boris £5Bn to get the hardest parts of the FTTP job done.

    So it is working albeit slower than we would all like.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      The slow part is to be expected when rolling out in rural areas (FTTP is slower to build, has more people hours of labour involved), could be a lot faster in rural areas, but would require focus to be on an individual local authority at a time and then the battle would be those left authorities left to the end.

      If there is £1 billion of public money (central + LA + devolved) recycling from the BDUK programme then it must be one of the most efficient state aid interventions ever. Or the flip side is why was it bothered with at all?

    • Avatar A_Builder


      “If there is £1 billion of public money (central + LA + devolved) recycling from the BDUK programme then it must be one of the most efficient state aid interventions ever. Or the flip side is why was it bothered with at all?“

      Well it started with areas that were marginal and these then came commercial and the money was recycled to the next least. The advantage of inwards out build.

      I think it was a very efficient intervention. If the money recirculated once it would have been great some of the money will have been recirculated 3x now (if I’m reading it right).

      I have no idea about the exact amount of money: I’ll leave that to @NGA, @MJ & @CarlT to debate!!

    • Avatar NGA for all

      After 7 Select Committee inquiries +audit function reports + challenges to them, the attempts which amounted to a significant level of normalised deviancy to displace the monies were interrupted. The monies available are a matter of public record but a great deal of denial has meant it will take quite a bit of effort to convert those funds into coverage.

      That battle is not won, the last two Junior Ministers demonstrated absolutely no knowledge of the detail in front of select committees. Ed Vaizeys oral evidence in 2016 took a year before his successor said he had no record of Ed Vaizy’s claims in his evidence. This was all occurring at the expense of the rural user and the UK’s national infrastructure.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA – why can’t each individual LA sort this out? They let their contract.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Facts. In signing the commercial confidentiality agreement, you become a co-signature to the BT Gambit. LA’s were unable to compare notes and one outcome was BT contributing different amounts in different areas. 9.g. much lower in Wales, H&I, early NI .. if there is a record of payment.

      One you declare your have value for money, it becomes difficult to suggest that the project was subject to high levels of normalised deviancy. Joint press releases, photo opportunities… common language..

      It can also be the case that BT may well be paying its capital contribution, (non-standard ie <£40 in places) and the LDP is deciding not to spend the upside on Broadband, while leaving service gaps in rural. This is confidentiality working against the customer for a second time.

      There is an upside for Openreach if they have the courage to act separately from BT Group.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      Mike, this is getting tired!

      As always some basic errors, not least of which is here: “There is an upside for Openreach if they have the courage to act separately from BT Group” – I thought that the BDUK contracts were with BT Group, how could its supplier, Openreach, act separately from it (whatever that means)?

      As for “This is confidentiality working against the customer for a second time”, the customer for BDUK is the local authority as it is the party letting the contract. How exactly is “confidentiality working against” it when it appears likely that all/most of the local authority capital funds will be reimbursed? This seems like a great result, irrespective of how each local authority decides to use that money – I can certainly understand how many may decide to spend it on priorities other than broadband.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      From elsewhere:

      @NGA – please explain what you mean by ‘held to account’. What are you actually going to do?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      New_Londoner …It will work against the goals of what was intended to be a national infrastructure project not some local authority IT helpdesk contract. The goal was to complete rural not conduct some elaborate substitution of what should have been private investment of £2.5bn.

      The work as per EFRA September reports remains incomplete -17% of 6m rural – all the in-fill. There are no basic errors. BT has split up because it failed to invest. We are still catching up on what was an ill-concieved attempt by some in BT Group to deny rural UK the upgrades possible including a large proportion of FTTP in-fill.

      It has been unpicked, but the another round of perhaps 3 rural English regional procurements are needed. It will be very successful when this work is complete. The programme will be considered a failure in time if this work is not complete. The process will work against a customer a second time if Local Authorities receive payments from BT including capital contributions, and these get charged in the cost recovery process but then do not get converted into coverage improvements. BT gets to recover its capital without building the network. This is documented in the EFRA report Chapter 4 and submissions to it.

      Facts – the response to the EFRA report will be the next step. Another SC will pick up the baton (perhaps) if the report is nor responded too appropriately.

    • Avatar CarlT

      It was done to accelerate deployment to less economical areas, Andrew, as you know

      No idea where ‘completing rural’ comes from but then I don’t have the level of fixation on this matter an anti-vaxxer does on vaccines.

      Surprising that, with that level of fixation, basic facts seem elusive.

      However I’ve wasted enough time on this. Regrettably whenever state aided programmes of any variety are even remotely involved in a news story on here, from broadband right down to local authority procurement and anchor tenancy for metro rings, Erin Broadbandovich appears.

      New resolution for the year: a gentleman best avoided.

    • Avatar CarlT


      Open up LinkedIn, first thing I get is this story, with NGA proclaiming this is the first time 98% superfast was considered possible and that the £5 billion additional funding for rural won’t be necessary.

      98% superfast was mentioned by Matt Hancock as a target in 2017, the £5 billion isn’t for superfast but hyperfast, gigabit-capable, and is certainly not intended exclusively for rural areas.

      When a guy can’t get simple facts right and their answer to most questions is meaningless verbosity, pointing at clueless politicians’ statements, citing their own comments as evidence for their own comments and not grasping that the customer in a public sector procurement is the public sector body is there a point in responding?

      Confidentiality was broken, a contact terminated and a forest has been stuck on a shoulder seeking vindication for over 7 years.

      Life is too short. Time for some social media pruning.

      Happy New Year, all.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Carl T I have answered your points. The 98% is not in any of the B-USO or DCMS or Ofcom documentation in 2016-2017. I have not seen Matt’s comments. The £5bn will need to be evidence based. I did not see referenced in the autumn budget.

      Simple facts I stand by and evidenced, sledge if you wish.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      “It will work against the goals of what was intended to be a national infrastructure project not some local authority IT helpdesk contract.”

      It was a national *framework* contract, with individual contracts subsequently awarded by (mainly) individual county councils. If, as you contend, it was meant to be a national infrastructure project then surely it would have been contracted that way?

      “The goal was to complete rural”
      Again this is clearly incorrect as this was not stated in either the BDUK documents nor in the county contracts. I’m sure that you are sincere in your belief that it should have been all about rural, however this is not in reality what BDUK was all about. For example, only London and the major city centres were excluded, with parts of many suburbs, towns etc covered from the earliest days of the deployments.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      New_Londoner – the original state aid is clear, the gap funding mechanism is clear and given the costs, it would mean if properly applied the monies would end up in rural where needed. Your contention that it was not about a final third largely in rural is an unacceptable re-writing of events.

      That BT commercial was less than 50% in BI and Wales and not marginally more in Scotland provides an indication of just how much BT Goup used the scheme to reduce its commercial footprint and abused the commercial confidentiality process to do so.

      The outstanding information is on BT capital contribution to direct allowable costs.
      For FTTC 4.7m premises (400k FTTP) (l+1.1 VM premises) x £80 = £464m for FTTC plus a further £120m for the ~400k FTTP, the latter excludes Cornwall. On top of the clawback balance of ~£660m, there is likely to be at least a further ~£300m to be found.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Your rural assertion and aspiration follows right up to the point where the contract terms were published in the OJEU and the subsequent OMR initiated – then it became, as your forum name suggests – NGA for All.
      That is not to say that Local Authorities could not have wished to prioritise certain areas although the situation where you have to pass through suburb to get to a rural area does suggest that this would not always have meant true outside-in deployment.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA – does anyone else in the industry agree with your numbers?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget – perhaps but if you create and run a gambit, then it will twist the outcome away from rural and into urban, but if the gap funding worked then the matter could be reversed. We are half-way through that reversal given the budgets available.

      The BT Group Gambit was such a monster and so stupid, it permitted all sorts of little companies to emerge and gain a foothold at the expense of Openreach building full fibre capacity. The £100,000 per cab (2012-13(?) or the ‘£500 per customer passed for FTTC (2016 CMS oral evidence) is evidence of very poor intent and little ambition.

      Facts – it is about get questions asked and then answered. EFRA report (Sept) is the latest attempt to do so. The numbers will be estimates but based on the published evidence and industry data to date.

    • Avatar Sunil Sood

      @NGA “The £5bn will need to be evidence based. I did not see referenced in the autumn budget.”

      The £5bn is for gigabit broadband and was a commitment first made when Boris was standing for election as Conservative leader and then repeated during the general election.

      I’m surprised you reference an autumn budget – there hasn’t been one since Boris became PM.

      In fact, 2019 is the first time in 251 years that there hasn’t been a budget in the year at all.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      “The £5bn is for gigabit broadband“

      Well yes it is. But all the BDUK is now mainly for FTTP as well.

      The £5Bn is also outwards -> in FTTP investment.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Sunil, I stand corrected on the autumn statement, it was slated twice. The preliminaries were not highlighting the £5bn, it went missing and subsequent wordngs is about the legislation to institionalise guidelines written in 2010-11 on changes to building reg to accommodate fibre roll-out.

      It will need to be evidence bases.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA – Again. Who agrees with you?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Facts, .. who agrees? How bizarre! As long as 2+2 = 4 and is not permitted to be 2+2= whatever you want to be, then agreement is only at best delayed.

      The truth has been emerging and will continue to emerge more fully from behind the mis-use of commercial confidentiality…it does not matter if anybody agrees. You only need 1 member of 1 SC to pose the question and keep posing it until it is answered. I think we about £300m short(unreconciled) and 500k more rural premises to be contracted for full fibre and thus short of the outcome possible.

      Despite the dystopian nature of BT Group’s involvement in this project, it does not take much to highlight the mispresentations and disinformation. This is much easier than orchestrating 1571 in BT in a company that did not want to do it. Similarly, Communicator clients failed but SKype used BT’s sors, so the proposition was sound but BT could not change its approach. The failure to invest in fibre (2012-2016) shows a profound failure in foresight by those in charge at the time.

      Your continual peculiar questions have played their full part. Happy New Year and Thank You!

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      You’ve been making these unfounded allegations about some sort of conspiracy for some time, now re-titled the “BT Group Gambit”, with the extra capitalisation to add credibility presumably? Your dodgy dossier of 2-3 years ago was meant to provide the missing proof and seems to have disappeared without trace. Simply providing yet more input in the form of further modelling based on misunderstandings, misleading extrapolations of data and guesswork is not going to lend credibility to what are essentially conspiracy theories.

      The problem as I see it is that you’ve been insisting that 2+2=5 despite all of the evidence to the contrary and despite the many people highlighting the many errors in your workings. What will it take for you to finally accept that 2+2 really does equal 4 after all and move on?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      New_Londoner Happy New Year to you.
      The term Gambit was decided upon by a BT person on this forum. Documenting the BT ‘Gambit’ -inflated costs (accepted), – diversion of subsidy from urban to rural (accepted), and non-payment or very delayed payment of BT capital is not yet definitive but it is necessary if the UK rural economy is not to be denied the upgrades needed.

      The termed Gambit offered by BT folk is useful. You need a lawyer when discussing a conspiracy to defraud, a sociologist to describe the impact of Normalised Deviancy and a Bishop to describe what he might describe as sin. Not all are defined contractual terms but essential to manage if the optimum outcome is to be achieved.

      The latest version of evidence you malign is sponsored by the EFRA Select Committee here.https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvfru/2223/2223.pdf Chapter 4 is relevant.

      Can you point to a better public data source?

      The most import bit is how the already available funds can be deployed to complete the task set out in 2011-12. Your perspective on how best to complete rural would be welcome.

    • Avatar The Facts

      @NGA – from the link: ‘Mike Kiely, Founder of the advisory organisation The Bit Commons’

      Please tell us about this organisation, it’s just you isn’t it, based at home with no website?!!!

      All I ask is for you to tell us if there is anyone who agrees with your thoughts.

      Happy New Year!

    • Avatar Gadget

      I’m not sure about the wording or source of the acceptance for:

      Inflated costs – whilst bid costs will have had margin for contingency since only the validated and receipted build costs were eligible for refund so the choice of description IMHO implies a belief that there was an active premeditation to defraud which I do not believe. Perhaps caution application of contingency costing might be less polarising although still ultimately moot as only incurred costs can be claimed.

      diversion of subsidy from urban to rural – while that may have been the intention with it’s supporting “sound-bites”, the tender and subsequent contractual requirements are not about rural over urban enablement but AFAIK a government requirement to achieve the largest number of premises. and it will be against contractual requirements that the rollout was proposed, discussed and agreed.

      non-payment or very delayed payment of BT capital – I cannot find any specific mention of this in the cited report which does mention transparency of claw-back and the need for a national approach which is in the gift of the authorities (local and central) and not the successful bidder in any contract. But search as I might I’m struggling to link those sentiments above with anything in the EFRA document.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Facts . I have answered you question.

      Gadget.. the further separation of Openreach ought to be enough for most people, but compare 2013 evidence ..our best prices..~8% contingency to 2015 with 38% inflation..
      The cabinets counts in Liverpool, Glasgow again ought to be enough.. but not for you.
      On the capital.. more to come in 2020.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA – so the ‘organisation’ is just you!

      Presenting as evidence does not mean it is analysed and accepted as correct.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Facts, in this particular case it was commented upon by other experts but the process is indeed imperfect.

      I can use only use the process that is available using information that is in the public domain, mostly BT information.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      Quote: “The latest version of evidence you malign is sponsored by the EFRA Select Committee here.https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvfru/2223/2223.pdf Chapter 4 is relevant.

      Can you point to a better public data source?”

      This is not a public data source, this is simply a record of a committee hearing where you made a number of unsubstantiated statements – unsubstantiated in the sense that you offered no third party evidence, just referred to your own report which has had many inaccuracies highlighted on this site and others.

      Restating an error does not magically turn it into a fact, even if you state it in the Palace of Westminster! I note that the report summary on page 3 makes no reference to any of your points.

      In your comments to @TheFacts you suggest that your evidence was “it was commented upon by other experts”. It is not obvious from the report that any of the other witnesses passed comment on your report of other statements. In addition, the Country and Land Business Association, Rural Services Network and Action with Communities in Rural England are experts in the rural economy not broadband.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NL – correct!

      @NGA – I wonder if you are misleading the government committee by claiming to be an ‘organisation’ whereas you are just a single person outside the industry trying to understand the situation from very limited published information.

      As said before you do not have access to any contracts, financial details, invoices etc. that would be needed for a proper analysis. Well meaning, yes, and no peer review.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Facts & N-L the data quoted is referenced back to BT and other sources including earlier BT submissions which have proven unreliable.

      If your dismissing Parliamentary efforts, then no individual or entity no matter how inconsequential will be permitted to question the abuse.

      I would be relieved if 2+2 = 5 (4 +1) as the +1 would have made a sensible contingency. What was witnessed and reported was more like 2+2 = ~40. The scale of the latter meant the utilisation of BT capital was unlikely.

      The use of ‘unit costs’ of £300 in Wales was particularly criminal in intent in my opinion and was at least not repeated in the Framework, ditto the capital contribution in North Yorks which was so very low.

      Even the late Bill Murphy, someone who enjoyed bullying people, thought at least privately the gambit was OTT.

      The matter is worth pursuing for Openreach and UK customers as it will allow a threshold to be passed in terms of coverage it will permit the notion of a ‘reasonable request’ for full fibre. Under no circumstances should 17% of SME’s (Ofcoms ‘Nations’) or indeed 17% of rural customers (EFRA) be denied upgrades because of the folly originating from individuals no longer in BT or Openreach.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      Bringing the deceased Bill Murphy into this debate and making public accusations of bullying is just wrong and disrespectful of the deceased who cannot defend themselves.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      I note that you’ve disregarded all of the points in my last post and instead launched into a disgraceful ad hominem attack on a deceased person. I hope that you will reflect on this and apologise publicly to his family.

      In the meantime, to repeat my previous points and to address some of your diversionary ones:

      1. You claimed that EFRA endorsed your report when it did not – the reality is that you referred to your own report and the EFRA notes simply documented that you had done so;
      2. You claimed that experts at the hearing had endorsed your position when they did not – as far as I can see based on the EFRA report, none even referenced your comments let alone agreed with you;
      3. You have subsequently claimed that “the data quoted is referenced back to BT and other sources including earlier BT submissions which have proven unreliable”, this is misleading as your report uses assumptions, guesswork and extrapolation in order to reach false conclusions about the data, something which has been drawn to your attention many times over the years and that you have ignored;
      4. You now introduce new points to divert from your lack of response such as your views on the notion of ‘reasonable requests’ for full fibre, something of your own invention which does not address the shortcomings in your analysis in any way;
      5. You continue to disregard the basic premise of the BDUK frameworks and the subsequent contracts let by the various local bodies, repeatedly suggesting that these should be set aside and money diverted exclusively to broadband in rural areas, irrespective of the wishes and priorities of the local authorities whose money it is.

      Bottom line: your views are misinformed by poor technical understanding and faulty financial analysis and are completely undermined by your refusal to acknowledge the contractual realities of BDUK. This is your choice but please stop wasting the time of others, especially those funded by taxpayers, with what is no more than an unfounded conspiracy theory.

      I hope some of the real experts on here will reach out to the EFRA committee to correct the record by providing factual input to inform their thinking.

      Don’t forget that apology!

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Referencing unreliable sources does not seem to be a good move…

    • Avatar NGA for all

      N-L I look forward to the corrections and the evidence to support calendarised payments to allowable costs that you think are needed. They are seven years in the waiting. At present they are lacking.

      You will get an apology if or when the evidence emerges of the above payments and investments to allowable costs. Show when those payments were made and how they supported the roll-out.

      Bill enjoyed the fight, we can honour his memory by getting full disclosure of all payments by BT to these projects. It is took 18 months to raise the money, LDP stripping social services budgets to fund this work. The very least that should be done is show when BT’s contributions were made and how they were applied.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Well the latest Audit Scotland report https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2018/nr_180920_broadband.pdf Exhibit 3 quotes the moneys from BT, Scottish Government, Local Authorities and EU in a very easily digestible diagram. I think it would be fair to assume that Audit Scotland would have done accounting due diligence before publishing these numbers.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA – a simple question – why are the LAs or BDUK not investigating this?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget, The Audit Scotland 3 report was challenged. The simple diagram suggested BT had paid all its operational capital in advance. Impossible. I have written up as best I can. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/audit-scotland-bt-funding-expected-mike-kiely/

      Audit Scotland if asked would now suggest the payments are ‘expected’. BT Group must be devoting huge levels of resource to deny these bodies the information they need. Audit Wales was 12 months late and incomplete. Audit NI is 12 months late and no sign of it. Audit Scotland 3 is embarrassing, compared to a fantastic first report. Report 3 relies on an impossibility. I do not understand how this happens.

      All BT relationships directors must be haunted by the ex CEO statement that ..a Cabinet was like a hand made piece of catpentary and costs £100k ~ 2012. If half of this amount was inbedded in the framework which it was if you look at the NAO tables in 2013, then it would eliminate the need to plan for FTTP in rural in phase and eliminate the need for BT capital to play a part.

      It will be good and healthy to get these matters resolved in 2012.

      Facts – IMHO BDUK have done a good job on the costs, although it took until 2015, and the clawback clauses is good, provided the money is not dribbled back and unreported ought to be good, securing a uniform capital contribution in a timely fashion may be beyond the process. The latter needs to be extracted somehow. LDP take what they are given and seem to work blind of one anothers variants in the gap funding model.

      New_Londoners intervention to demand transparency on any outstanding amounts will be most welcome, the £100k cab (2012) or the £500 per premise passed (2016) needs to be well and truly slain, although no doubt their will be one.

    • Avatar The Facts

      @NGA – ‘Audit Scotland if asked would now suggest the payments are ‘expected’.’

      That’s a weird set of words.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Facts, it sure is, to ‘expected’ you can add ‘contracted’ ‘anticipated’ and many others.

      The chances are, or at least your would expect all outstanding monies get put in R100, so why not itemise them. I have itemised an estimate of £267m to transfer into R100 from this project. I have itemised a £225m costs for 5,107 cabs/paths Ho £178m, £26m on submarine cables and £21m for a shamefully small amount of FTTP. This is less than the public subsidy available.

      Of the £267m transfer in there ought to be a total of £121m clawback, ~£75m in BT capital contributions to allowable costs. (This excludes whatver opex BT is charging as a cost.) I have not allowed for any overbuild of VM in Glasgow, that would be an extra contribution.

      The focus on urban in Scotland meant BT commercial is between 50% and 59% premises demanding how you count it. BT commercial cabs ~3,500 versus subsidised a remarkable ~5,100. The latter gives a picture of the substitution that occurred and why the monies need rolling over.

      No more on this now until the responses to EFRA are in.

    • Avatar Gadget

      @NGA – why are the number of cabs surprising? A quick trawl through Samknows or other public domain sources will show the additional cabs as completely reasonable given the size of the exchange, the population density and the number of EO only exchanges.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget…Opinion 1) relatively, Scotland needed the most fttp in-fill but has the least at this stage. 2) If Gap funding was working BT would not have needed subsidy in large parts of Glasgow – urban, 3) Many EO, copper cure solutions are sustained by the myth of the £100k cab – by that I mean the option to plan and pay for full fibre was taken away by existence of excessive levels of normalised deviancy.

      This should have been understood by the FTTP in-fill being completed in Cornwall, but I suspect the resourcing issue was a factor as was the temptation to withold BT capital from the process for as long as BT could get way with..(my opinion)

      If you treat FTTC/G.Fast as some panacea, which was certainly the case until 2015 (BT Group at its worst) then you can account for the imbalance. When you combine the Gambit (mis-directions on cost and capital), the resource issues and the normalised deviancy you can understand why so little FTTP in-fill was planned or resourced.

      I am looking forward to BT people eventually giving a more complete picture as to why a national infrastructure project had £712m clawback when if calibrated correctly the rollout would match the funds available – ~£1.6bn + £500m contribution to allowable costs + clawback. Clawback just means that clause is working (at least in PR terms), but the contractual process fails if the work in rural is left incomplete.

      This nonsensical deviancy is now blocking correction of a much more serious piece of gaming by Ofcom, where spectrum yield has for years sacrificed the eco-systems needed for converged services. It would be wrong to focus only on the BT Gambit without highlighting the hypocrisy of the much larger Ofcom gambit which will sacrifice the potential of 5G in the way 3G and 4G have been comprised in terms of quality. The BT Gambit, such as it is, in my opinion is a by-product or consequence of Ofcom gaming this abundant gift of nature. It does not make the BT actions right, but the industry processes seem to force sub-optimal behaviour given the materials the engineers and developers have available to them. Investment in networks and convergence is good, paying huge sums for spectrum reduces investment and delays convergence. Sorry for the rant.

  3. Avatar joe

    Devon & Somerset: Missing the figures from the last data point?

    10.1, 4, 24 10.1, 5, 26 10.13, 10.3

  4. Avatar Aimee

    Well in my area they have not even reached 24Mbs under the BDUK project, let alone 30 Mbs.
    The authority refuse to accept that there is an issue.
    There appears to be no redress or method to get the authority to rectify the mistake, so its the long haul to FTTP, 15M by 2025 state OR, 100% states YouKnowWho.
    Annoyingly a load of us are paying the same prices as those getting up to 40Mbs, and do not have the privilege of going over 40Mbs.
    Hopefully 5G using Huawei gear will arrive sooner and then ditch existing service.
    (No, not in the sticks, or in the city, we are ‘in betweenies!!, the missed forgotten ones)
    Should have gone to FTTP from adsl when they had the chance.

    • Avatar Rural FTTP

      The disparity between areas is significant. Classic example is Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

      North Yorkshire’s BDUK plan is clear and publicly available (http://superfastnorthyorkshire.com/#where-when), and they are rolling out FTTP to 99%+ of the remaining properties as part of BDUK phase 3 which are all listed on the map on their website along with a time of when its to be done.

      Lancashire is god knows, BDUK details are sparse the website (http://www.superfastlancashire.com/) is full of dead links and hasn’t been touched in years.

      2 counties very similar geographically but because its down to the county council very different experiences regarding BDUK.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @RuralFTTP, I agree with that assessment. I’m in a Fastershire area – I’ve been in plan with superfast broadband coming “soon” for 6 years. I’ve been registered for updates all that time, yet the last update they e-mailed out was “Project Update Issue 7” in December 2014.
      They no longer respond to e-mail queries. They claim that the build in my area will start in Q1 2020, but Gigaclear who are contracted to provide it will only say by 2022 – and I don’t have any confidence they can manage that (they would have to speed up by an order of magnitude to make that deadline). On the other hand Fastershire do attend a lot of industry award dinners, and sometimes win awards – so they’re presumably not the worst.
      Some local authorities / BDUK bodies seem to be doing a good job in rollout and keeping people updated with progress, others not so much.
      Building FTTP can be hard, providing updates shouldn’t be.

  5. Avatar Sunil Sood


    It’s a shame you no longer propose to publish these figures every quarter – they are very interesting to see – even if you think they don’t change much per quarter – as they give an idea of the seasonal take-up and also how new builds affect the figures.

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