The Connecting Cambridgeshire project, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is conducting an online survey1 for businesses about their broadband connectivity. The aim is to identify remaining gaps in superfast broadband coverage, especially in rural areas. Feedback will be used to support bids for future funding to bring connectivity to more businesses.
Businesses are being asked to complete the survey by 16 October.
The online survey is being carried out by the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, which has already rolled out superfast broadband to thousands of homes and businesses that would not be able to get it otherwise. Connecting Cambridgeshire has previously helped almost 2000 businesses across the county to get connected, buy the latest technology, gain vital digital skills and create jobs, through several Government and European Union funded grant schemes, which have now closed. Feedback from the survey will be used to support bids for future funding to help more businesses benefit from fast and reliable internet connectivity.
Councillor Ian Bates, Chair of the County Economy and Environment Committee that oversees the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, said: “Superfast broadband is essential to the economic growth of Cambridgeshire because it means our businesses can thrive and compete in an increasingly digital world.
“We know that there are still some gaps in superfast broadband coverage for businesses, especially in rural areas, and the results of this survey will help to show where further work is needed to ensure they get future proof connectivity.”
Businesses are urged to complete the survey by 16 October at http://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/connecting-businesses/1 or call 01223 703293 to be sent a questionnaire.
- ^ http://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/connecting-businesses/ (www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk)
Openreach is at the beginning of a journey to 12 million premises with ultrafast broadband available to them, 10 million via G.fast pods and another 2 million with full fibre (FTTP, 1 million are likely to be business premises). G.fast has had it seems lots of trials and pilots but the scale is starting to ramp up and in a series of press releases BT Group and Openreach1 has given some rough details for where G.fast will be appearing next. So for example we are expecting to see G.fast appear in parts of Sighthill, Gorgie, Corstorphine, Murrayfield, Fountainbridge, Craiglockhart, the Meadows and Morningside in Edinburgh and parts of Linn and Rutherglen in Glasgow with that giving Scotland some 16,900 premises of coverage. The various pilot areas are already said to cover some 100,000 premises. The 20 main pilot locations across the UK are:
- Bolton, Greater Manchester
- Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire
- Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
- Derby, Derbyshire
- Donaldson, Edinburgh
- Gillingham, Kent
- Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
- Langside, Glasgow
- Luton, Bedfordshire
- Newbury, Berkshire
- Newcastle upon Tyne
- Newmarket, Suffolk
- Rusholme, Manchester
- St. Austell, Cornwall
- South Clapham, Balham and Upton Park, London
- Swansea, Wales
- Swindon, Wiltshire
- Sheffield, South Yorkshire
G.fast is designed to allow those within a few hundred metres of their cabinet to get ultrafast speeds between 100 Mbps and 500 Mbps and initially two product speeds are likely to be sold up to 160 Mbps and up to 330 Mbps.
Indicative wholesale pricing is available, but with the impact a user can have on peak bandwidth ulitisation we may see retail pricing that is somewhat different once the service fully launches. We have been seeing people testing with G.fast and generally it does seem to do what it says on the tin and we may be able to share some average speeds for G.fast in a month or two. We know of 25 cabinets where G.fast is currently available and these are (NOTE: some cabinets may not offer full coverage due to different delivery methods from early trials or distance from cabinet):
- Cambridge Central cabinets 24, 37, 38, 50, 59 and 88
- Cherry Hinton cabinets 36,38,39 and 42
- Cambridge Science Park cabinets 21 and 22
- Huntingdon cabinet 61
- Edinburgh Donaldson cabinet 13
- Gillingham cabinets 9 and 19
- Hoo cabinets 2 and 3
- Medway cabinet 37
- Strood cabinet 28
- Gosforth cabinet 42
- Luton cabinet 91
- Swansea Central cabinet 64
- St Austell cabinets 5 and 11
Our checkers know about G.fast with it mentioned explicitly on our speeds and coverage site2 but on the main site checker3 as the products are not live, i.e. nothing to appear in listings it only shows up as faster speeds than would normally be expected from FTTC. Our cabinet list is not definitive as our core focus is on tracking the superfast roll-outs, so if your is missing please do run a speed test from your G.fast connection4 or drop us a message to tell us your cabinet has one of the new pods attached.
Openreach is often criticised for rolling out G.fast since those who can get it already have VDSL2 at reasonable speeds already available, but with Ofcom planning to slash the revenue that is generated from VDSL2 (specifically the 40/10 product) this is forcing the hand of Openreach i.e. to make money and lever the benefits from the fibre and power that was installed for VDSL2 the faster G.fast services are needed may help to keep the return on investment on track. The 2 million FTTP premises in the ultrafast roll-outs are a slightly different matter as we can see many exchange only lines in city centres where FTTP is now planned, but as with Virgin Media and CityFibre roll-outs we are waiting for the complaints about roadworks, since while Openreach has duct access in many locations, pavement chambers may need expanding or blockages need clearing. In terms of market competition the speeds will take Openreach and its customers head to head with Virgin Media, but once DOCSIS 3.1 is properly launched they should be able to easily offer even higher speeds, the big question mark is what will the relative performance of the two competing platforms be.
The congestion and other issues at Virgin Media is already causing those where performance is important e.g.
gamers and twitch broadcasters to switch to services that have lower headline speeds but are much more consistent in terms of latency and the actual speed they get at peak times.