North Yorkshire to spend £20.5m to add five per cent superfast broadband coverage

The details of the phase three BDUK contract in North Yorkshire are now known and while the locations are not known for who will precisely benefit i.e. where the 14,239 premises are with superfast coverage at 90.1%[1] in the local authority areas and the number being helped adding another 5% it is a fifty fifty lottery this time. A list of communities expected to benefit is expected in April, but as previously just because a community is mentioned it does not automatically mean that everyone in that community will benefit. The contract a public funding value of GBP20.5 million[2] and is split with GBP12m from the local authority, GBP7.3m from BDUK, GBP1m from ERDF and an additional GBP9.2m from BT.

With take-up in the area running at a reported 50% (this is higher than the national average) we presume that some of the value of this contract or BT contribution is down to gainshare and effeciency savings from the previous two phases. The phase two project ended at the end of December 2017, but we are still seeing some activity which is not unusual as there are always a few cabinets held up or FTTP areas that take longer than originally planned. The really good news is the Openreach and North Yorkshire has got the news that full fibre is the fashion as some 12,500 out of the 14,239 are going to be full fibre (FTTP) based, which explains the fairly high per premise funding of GBP1430.

Openreach via a mixture of new build and the North Yorkshire project already has a 2.8% FTTP presence and when other operators are included this rises to 3.2%.

The final 5% are apparently being considered and additional investment may be made to shrink that number some more by the time this phase three contract ends in 2021.

We have mentioned in the past that new build activity can mess up the percentage target plans, hence why the majority of projects headline with the number of premises delivered, and if the same level of property construction happens in the next three years as did in 2014/15/16 then North Yorkshire is set to grow by around 4,500 premises and unless 95% of those premises are built with superfast access it will mess up any ambition to see a 95% superfast coverage figure in 2021.


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