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Staffordshire UK Complete Superfast Broadband Rollout Project

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 (4:50 pm) - Score 1,440
fttc cabinet shropshire

The state aid supported Superfast Staffordshire project, which is working with Openreach (BT) to extend the local coverage of “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) services, has today announced the completion of its contract. As a result of the rollout more than 97% of local homes and businesses can now order such speeds from an ISP.

The project, supported by an investment of £32 million (£8.06m from Staffordshire County Council, £9.62m from the Government’s Building Digital UK scheme and £14.77m from BT), originally began in 2013 when just 65% of local properties were able to connect at “superfast” speeds. The additional rollout has since helped to upgrade a further 82,500 premises via 650 green roadside cabinets (DSLAMS).

Much of this deployment was achieved via the use of hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) technology, although in recent years Openreach have also built their gigabit-capable (1000Mbps+) Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network out to 6,600 properties under the same scheme.

Separately, Openreach’s commercial deployment of FTTP technology in the county has also reached 35,000 premises (including the 6,600 above) and they intend to build out to 240,000 more over the next five years – mostly in urban and suburban areas, as well as a few rural communities.

NOTE: Gigabit broadband coverage in Staffordshire is currently c.35% and rising.

Cllr Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council, said:

“As a result of our Superfast Staffordshire programme 97 per cent of county properties can connect to faster broadband speeds so it really has made a difference to our communities.

Superfast broadband is an essential for everyone’s day-to-day living, enabling people to access health, education, banking and leisure services and more. It is also critical for business operations, growth and increased productivity.

While this scheme has been completed, we are now looking forward by developing a long-term digital strategy for Staffordshire. This will focus on gigabit technology provision for all communities, maximising the benefits of 5G roll-out, connecting isolated areas and growing our digital economy.”

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s Regional Partnership Director, said:

“Staffordshire County Council have been great partners from the outset, and alongside them, we’ve delivered a huge amount of good work across the county. Technology moves at pace, so although today is about celebrating the fantastic achievement of reaching 97 per cent of premises with superfast broadband, work is already in full flow as we make Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband widely available.

We are also fully aware that there are still some properties – in the most rural and remote parts of Staffordshire – that are still without a broadband connection that’s as quick as they might like. We’re investing heavily in rural broadband, and the council has a number of schemes available, so it’s certainly worth getting in touch to find out more.”

The catch, as hinted above, is that around 20,000 premises in the county are still unable to access “superfast” speeds, although it’s hoped that some of these may be tackled by future commercial deployments, as well as via the Government’s voucher scheme and the forthcoming £5bn Project Gigabit (F20) deployment. The latter is set to begin in Staffordshire during 2022, but we’re still a long way from getting the final details on that.

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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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9 Responses
  1. Randy says:

    Only in the UK is 30mbit “superfast”. You have to wonder why they built a new FTTC development now, in a time when FTTP is all the rage. Oh wait, costs.

    1. Chris says:

      I can’t afford to get faster broadband, can you pay the costs for fatty ln demand for me?

    2. Puzzled island man says:

      Randy that’s the definition of superfast/NGA capable across all of Europe.

      Never understand why the definition upsets people so much (rather than the ambition it represents)- it’s like saying “high definition” video shouldn’t be called that anymore because it’s not the sharpest picture now available.

  2. Lister says:

    Article says recent build has been FTTP.

  3. NGA for all says:

    Is there a url for this report? Please.

  4. Geoff D says:

    I have so called super fast broadband which on a good day is 20mb not 30mb as they suggest. I believe that the term super fast broadband was originally 50mb but downgraded to 20mb because it could not be achieved. I had adsl 2 broadband prior to this super fast fibre and that managed around 25mb.
    This fibre we have was a sticking plaster bodge rather than to take fibre directly to the home. My system is wired 600metres away from the fibre supply, although I tried to get a closer connection about 150metres away, to no avail. Why they call it fibre, is beyond me.
    What this rubbish speed really means is that if I try to sell my bungalow, then the sale could be jeopardized due to this low speed. Most children I believe now expect 50mb to play games.
    In my opinion, SUPERFAST should be at least 100mb minimum now
    Staffordshire has wasted its money updating an already outdated system

    1. Gadget says:

      Geoff – I think there may have been some problem with your speedtest for ADSL as the theoretical maximum is surely 24Mbps before allowing for overheads, and even then you’d need to live next to the exchange or inside it.

  5. Geoff says:

    Ok, perhaps my memory is playing up a bit, although I know it was better than what I get now. Nevertheless, it does not excuse the rubbish speed I get now. Nor does it compensate me for having to pay a premium to BT for a slow speed as we have to.
    I remember my son saying to me that the broadband speed in Estonia was about 60 mb over 10 years ago. We are being hoodwinked.

    1. Mark says:

      If there is a business case to supply the speed you aspire to, a commercial operator will get to you in time. If there is not a business case, you have two options – pay for it yourself or keep asking somebody else (i.e. the tax payers of this country) to pay for it instead. It’s as simple as that.

      My landline broadband is non-existent, but I’m afraid I don’t have too much sympathy for the “why can’t mine be as good as my neighbour / the next town / an apartment block in Singapore (delete as applicable…) without any realistic suggestion of HOW.

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