The roll-out of superfast broadband in Nottinghamshire is to be extended beyond 2018 after further funding was secured to give access to some of the county’s most remote properties.
The County Council is to seek assurances from local planning authorities that they insist all new homes are ‘future proofed’ with broadband access, after a survey found that some new housing developments have been constructed with no in-built provision. The ?31m Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme, led by Nottinghamshire County Council, is on course to ensure 98% of homes and businesses in the county have access to superfast broadband by September 2018.
That will still leave 16,505 properties in the county without access to superfast broadband (30 Mbps) and not part of any planned future roll-out by the commercial providers. But now a further ?1.23m has been secured for a third phase of BBfN, which will be concentrated on rural areas in the Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood Districts, where superfast broadband availability remains behind the rest of the county.
A procurement exercise to find a delivery partner for the third phase has already begun. The County Council will also bid for additional funds with a view to extending the third phase even further. The procurement exercise will determine how many properties can be covered during phase three, using a model which will ensure the maximum number of homes and businesses will be reached for the available budget. Broadband availability in Nottinghamshire is already amongst the best in the UK. Latest figures from Think Broadband show the number of properties with access to download speeds of 30Mbps and above are:
- UK – 92.6%
- East Midlands – 95.4%
- NOTTINGHAMSHIRE – 96.3%
- Derbyshire – 91.7%
- Leicestershire – 94.6%
- Sheffield 92.9%
- Lincolnshire – 88.2%
Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Nottinghamshire is leading the way in making broadband available to businesses and residents but we remain determined to stay ahead of the game as we expand the network to every corner of our county.
“Access to good quality broadband is rated by many residents on a par with other utilities like gas, electricity and water.
It is essential if we are to fulfill our ambitions to grow the Nottinghamshire economy and create jobs.
“I am pleased that we will be able to carry on growing broadband availability in Nottinghamshire and we will leave no stone unturned to secure further funding in addition to that already committed by the Government and the Council, so that our network goes even further and even faster.”
Meanwhile, the County Council is to write to local planning authorities to encourage them to do everything within their powers to ensure all new housing developments have superfast broadband provision built-in. The move comes after a countywide survey to identify properties with no superfast broadband provision found that hundreds of homes developed in the last five years did not have in-built provision. Councillor Cutts added: “Whilst Nottinghamshire enjoys good overall broadband provision, it’s disappointing that coverage could have been even better if planning conditions had required that broadband infrastructure be included in all new housing developments.
“It beggars belief that, in the last five years – when the importance of good broadband at home and at work has been well known – new properties have been built without connectivity.
“For BBfN to retro-fit broadband at new developments means digging up newly laid roads and pavements and installing infrastructre at the taxpayers expense that could have been there in the first place.
This is especially frustrating as the main commercial providers – BT Openreach and Virgin Media – are often willing to install fibre broadband to individual premises during construction, free of charge.
“We are urging District Council planning authorities to ensure that superfast broadband is included within development requirements from now on, just as they would with an electricity, water and gas supply.”
Details about properties covered by phase three of BBfN are likely to be available early in 2018.
For homes and businesses with no broadband or only access to speeds of less than 2Mbps, financial help is available to install a satellite or wireless service through the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme.
The South Gloucestershire Council in England, which is already working with Openreach (BT) to extend “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) coverage to 97% of the region by December 2017, has signed a new ?3m contract that will benefit a further 4,300 premises (3,800 via FTTP).123
The deal, which is supported by funding of ?2m from the central Government’s Broadband Delivery UK4 programme and ?1m from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), aims to complete the extended roll-out in South Gloucestershire by the end of 2018 and this should take local coverage of “superfast broadband” very close to universal levels (currently it’s already at around 95%). The deployment is expected to use a lot more of Openreach5‘s ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP6) broadband technology than before, although the operator will also continue to roll-out their slower hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC7) service in a number of areas. Work to provide the service will start later this year.
Cllr John Goddard, Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, said:
“So far, more than 20,000 homes and businesses have been able to access fibre broadband as part of our rollout across South Gloucestershire. We have always said that we are committed to providing an improved broadband service to as much of the district as possible and this latest investment could see up to 99 per cent of premises covered when combined with the commercial programme. Once complete, thousands more homes and businesses in more rural areas are set to benefit from a service that would not have been available without the council’s continued efforts to bring about these improvements.”
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital, said:
“The transformation of the digital landscape in South Gloucestershire to date has been tremendous, but there’s still more to be done.
I’m delighted that another 4,300 local homes and businesses are now going to benefit from a faster and more reliable broadband service, ensuring they can get the fast and reliable connectivity they need, both now and for the future.”
Some of the communities set to benefit in the latest phase of the programme include several rural areas not previously covered by the existing roll-out and remaining communities from the previous two phases, including: Almondsbury, Alveston, Aust, Bitton, Bromley Heath, Cold Ashton, Cromhall, Dodington, Downend, Doynton, Falfield, Frampton Cotterell, Hanham Abbots, Hanham, Hawkesbury, Horton, Iron Acton, Kingswood, Marshfield, Olveston, Patchway, Pilning, Severn Beach, Pucklechurch, Rangeworthy, Rockhampton, Soundwell, Siston, Sodbury, Tormarton, Tortworth, Westerleigh, Wick, Abson, Wickwar, Winterbourne and Yate.
Leave a Comment 0 Responses
- ^ South Gloucestershire Council (www.southglos.gov.uk)
- ^ Openreach (www.openreach.co.uk)
- ^ FTTP (www.ispreview.co.uk)
- ^ Broadband Delivery UK (www.gov.uk)
- ^ Openreach (www.openreach.co.uk)
- ^ FTTP (www.ispreview.co.uk)
- ^ FTTC (www.ispreview.co.uk)
- ^ South Gloucestershire Broadband (www.southglos.gov.uk)
- ^ Fastershire (www.fastershire.com)
An internet service provider (ISP) has made a “significant” investment in next generation broadband services in Leicestershire. WarwickNet has completed the build stage of 20 roadside cabinets across the county, which are set to bring high-speed internet connectivity solutions to firms on industrial estates and business parks where traditional broadband services are notoriously poor. Sites benefitting from the investment include Grove Park, Dodwells Bridge Industrial Estate, Whitwick Business Park, Beaumont Leys Industrial Estate, Barkby and Great central Industrial Estates, as well as Scudamore Road, Chartwell Drive, Duns Lane and Cobden Street, totalling almost 100 customers.
The move comes on the back of WarwickNet’s increased presence in Leicestershire, having recently helped international logistics firm RTW Global, based in Bardon Industrial Estate, replace its previous slow and unreliable service. Neil Mayhew, director at RTW Global Trade, said: “Our existing internet was inadequate for our needs, with a slow and unreliable connection.
“The business, like many others, relies on emails, extensive browsing and commercial use and downloads. We identified WarwickNet as the only high-speed provider for this location and since making the switch now enjoy a much faster and more reliable service – in the process helping improve productivity.”
WarwickNet provides download speeds from 40 Mbit/s up to 100 Mbit/s, dedicated gigabit leased lines, back-up services and hosted voiceover IP solutions.
WarwickNet founder Ben King said: “WarwickNet is proving its commitment to liberating Leicestershire businesses from poor internet connectivity with this dramatically improved presence across the county.
“We recognised a number of firms across Leicestershire weren’t able to benefit from what the majority of us now take for granted – a fast and reliable internet service.
“We have already helped transform productivity for a number of businesses in the county and we have major plans to build on this in the future.”