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£3.5m Deal Sees 3000 Tees Valley Premises Get FTTP Broadband

Thursday, March 5th, 2020 (8:31 am) - Score 1,624
2019_openreach_rural_fttp_engineer

The Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) has announced an investment of £3.5m with Openreach (BT) under the existing Digital Durham project, which will see the UK operator extend their 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network to cover another 3,000+ homes and businesses by late June 2021.

At present Openreach’s (BT) deployment in the area is being supported by public investment from the £38m Digital Durham project, which has already helped to raise the coverage of “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) ISP networks across the county to over 96% (i.e. 110,000 premises have benefited from this programme). Most of that was delivered using hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) technology, while the new deal is more focused on “full fibre” connectivity.

The £3.5m investment in this latest extension phase is split between £1.2m from the TVCA and £2.3m from Openreach (it’s good to see OR putting in the largest share of funding). The related roll-out for this has already begun in Stockton-on-Tees and more will soon follow across the Tees Valley area (i.e. Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland).

Matt Warman MP, UK Broadband Minister, said:

“The Government is committed to levelling up the whole of the UK with world-class broadband so that everyone can make the best use of new technologies.

We will create the right opportunities for industry to push ahead with nationwide rollout and invest £5billion so that the hardest-to-reach areas aren’t left behind.

I’m delighted that further government funding has been allocated to give homes and businesses across Tees Valley faster, gigabit-speed internet that will improve lives and boost the local economy.”

Mayor Houchen said:

“If we are going to support our innovators, job creators, entrepreneurs and risk-takers then we need to make sure they have access to high speed, reliable internet connections no matter where they are in Teesside, Darlington or Hartlepool. I look forward to seeing the number of households and businesses suffering from poor internet connections in the Tees Valley reduced.”

We should point out that the new extension is separate from Digital Durham’s complementary plans for a major new Phase 3 roll-out contract, which is a plan that we touched on last year (here). A procurement exercise is currently being carried out to find a supplier for that, although we wouldn’t be surprised if Openreach scooped that one up too. We should know more on that future phase in a few months’ time.

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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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11 Responses
  1. CarlT says:

    Interesting.

    Would expect this to cover quite a bit more than 3,000 premises if Openreach are putting in that amount of money else the cost per premises to them is way higher than being seen in their commercial deployment.

    Would have expected more like 5,500 premises passed for that amount of money, unless Openreach have substantially changed their criteria.

    1. chris conder says:

      yes indeed CarlIT, an altnet would probably do far more for that amount of money.

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      I think the actual figure may be closer to 4,000 premises but for whatever reason the official announcement just chose to say “more than 3,000”. Remember though, they are into the more rural parts of Durham.

    3. CarlT says:

      I very much doubt it, Ms Conder. These areas are likely to involve quite a bit of hard digging for someone to do from scratch and not be amenable to cutting across farmers’ fields with their attaching ploughs to their tractors gratis.

      This’ll involve extensive use of existing infrastructure alongside some new construction.

      Cost-wise no-one can touch Openreach in areas like this.

  2. New_Londoner says:

    @CarlT
    Good point but sadly some never let the facts get in the way of a bit of trolling.

  3. EOLimping says:

    We’re making the assumption OR will attempt to reach the difficult rural areas. It’s a 96% target so some will still get the ‘4G will do for you’.

    People expressing their personal experience with OR’s service performance is neither non-factual or trolling. Also the statistics for Broadband speeds in the UK are facts that speak for themselves and OR plays a big roll in that. When the UK is no longer trailing the rest of the developed world, congratulations will be in order. Happy customers = less trolling

    1. CarlT says:

      No-one is making any assumptions about where Openreach will cover here – it’s specified.

      No-one is working from their own experience.

      A claim was made that an alternative network could cover far more premises with FTTP than Openreach with the funding provided which is almost certainly wrong.

      Nothing more. No-one said anything about difficult rural areas, Tees Valley is not especially rural.

      Comments like the above devalue legitimate points that may be made by the same poster, especially when the same things are said over and over again.

    2. EOLimping says:

      Yes you’re correct I’m just venting and it’s not constructive or relevent. I retract my previous comments.

    3. CarlT says:

      Well understood. Something we all need to do from time to time.

  4. Astro blaster. says:

    Redcar person here : the fastest non-Virgin speed I can get is 3-4 Mbps, 400 on Cable, thank god for Virgin.

  5. Alan lauwers says:

    I moved into a property. I have a your phoneline box which is turned off. How much would it cost me to get broadband.

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