Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire are working together as a Connected Counties and the phase I BDUK roll-out has completed and the phase II roll-out is underway in Hertfordshire and should start delivering in volume to push the two counties towards a goal of 95% superfast coverage in 12 months time. The news today is that there is some ?800,000 to ?860,000 of money that is going to allow an additional 2,500 premises to be added to the roll-out specifically in Buckinghamshire. ISPreview spotted the extra build first and we’ve been a bit slower as we wanted to do a sweep to ensure we were not missed anything exciting in terms of delivered broadband across Buckinghamshire. What is interesting is when you go hunting for more information we can find more on the Wycombe District Council website, but this confusingly talks of investment for 4,500 premises in Wycombe as part of a 12,500 premise roll-out across the county.
We believe that this may be a figure that is combining some of the new roll-out and the phase II work. So a little like the confusion that makes the public angry when coverage figures talk about fibre with no clear definiton of what baseline speed is implied it is no surprise that people are confused about what is being delivered. What we can say is 2,500 additional superfast premises in Buckinghamshire will add 1 to 1.2% to the overall superfast figure and our knowledge of the existing coverage and premise counts for Buckinghamshire and its district councils is set out below (remember Milton Keynes is working with Central Bedfordshire and Luton in their own roll-outs).
|Buckinghamshire County Council||95%||91%||90.2%||35.7%||33.2%||0.19%||0.7%||4%|
|Aylesbury Vale District Council||92.8%||88.6%||88%||44.2%||37.4%||0.49%||1.1%||6%|
|Chiltern District Council||96.3%||93.6%||92.8%||49.2%||49.2%||0%||0.4%||2.4%|
|South Bucks District Council||95.2%||89.6%||88.5%||25.1%||25.1%||0%||0.7%||2.1%|
|Wycombe District Council||96.7%||92.7%||91.8%||23.3%||23.3%||0%||0.6%||3.4%|
So with the premise counts its easy to judge what difference an extra 2,500 premises will make and the phase II project.
The big unknown now is how much more recycling can the gain share clause trigger and add to the roll-outs and therefore take things closer to the magic 100%. As with other projects it is unfortunately a waiting game to find out where roll-outs will be going and what will be delivered, our sweep of the county showed that there are still some exchanges with a central core of exchange only line ripe for upgrade, and outlying clusters that would benefit from infill VDSL2 cabinets to pull them up to superfast speeds. Fingers crossed as the phase II and extensions progress there will also be more of the fashionable full fibre service rolled out.
Update 21st June 2017 To make sure that confusion over premises and funding are reduced we have received the following breakdown on the phase II and clawback roll-outs. Phase II funding comprises
- ?100,000 from Chiltern District Council
- ?860,000 from Wycombe District Council
- ?400,000 from Aylesbury Vale District Council
- ?675,000 from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP
- Match funding from BDUK of ?2,035,000
This is intended to benefit 12,500 premises, so 5 to 6% of the county. Subsequent to the 2,500 in addition there is via claw-back (gain share) some ?399,000 from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP and ?469,000 from Buckinghamshire County Council i.e. the benefits from the levels of take-up in the phase I project area.
The combined effect of this funding is that we may be looking at 96% to 97% superfast coverage at over 24 Mbps once work has completed and if the delivery is directed to the right areas could all but eradicate the 4% of premises under 10 Mbps ahead of the actual launch of the Universal Service Obligation.
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THOUSANDS of people in Luton can now get some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country as Openreach has begun switching on pilot areas for its new ultrafast network. Around 19,000 households and businesses in places like South Luton, Round Green, Wigmore and Biscot are set to benefit from the new G.fast, which provides download speeds of up to 330Mbps – more than 10 times the UK average. The faster speeds that ultrafast broadband brings means a two hour HD film can be downloaded in just 90 seconds, a 45 minute HD TV show in just 16 seconds and a nine hour audio book in just three seconds.
People living in the pilot areas who want to try the new service should contact their internet service provider to see if they’re offering a service, and to find out more about availability and pricing. Kieran Ingram, Openreach’s general manager for East Anglia service delivery, said: “A huge amount of effort and substantial investment has already taken place in the development of this exciting new technology. “So I’m delighted to announce that we can now start connecting people in Luton and at the 19 other locations around the country.
He added: “Whether you are somebody aiming to work more efficiently or grow your business, or a household going online for shopping, entertainment or studies, fast access to the internet has never been more important.” Kim Mears, Openreach managing director for infrastructure delivery, added: “The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to superfast broadband but technology never stands still – that’s why we’re building on our existing fibre network and leading the way in deploying ultrafast speeds. “We need to stay ahead in order to meet the evolving needs of our customers.
G.fast will allow us to do that by building on the investment we have made in fibre to date.
It will transform the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast, and it will reach the largest number of people in the quickest possible time.”
Residents of North Hertfordshire and parts of Bedfordshire are suffering from internet problems. Sky Broadband has announced on its website that repair works are underway because of problems affecting Broadband, Talk and Fibre Broadband services. On social media customers have been complaining about internet problems in towns in North Hertfordshire and parts of Bedfordshire.
In Mercury land there are issues to Stotfold, Hexton, Shefford, Baldock and Letchworth GC. There are also fibre broadband issues in Shefford, Baldock, Hexton, Letchworth GC and Stotfold. The website says that repair work is currently underway and it is likely to continue throughout the afternoon.
Engineers are currently working to repair the broken fibre cables between Luton and Dunstable.
A spokesperson for Sky said: “We’re working on fixing the problem and we’ll provide an update on this page once we’ve discovered what is causing the fault.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.”