Sep 17, 2014
With the current Connecting Cumbria project due to complete its work of bringing SFBB to 93% of premises in Cumbria (with the rest getting 2 Mb/s minimum) by the end of 2015, attention has been turning to what comes next.
Last February the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced an additional £250m pot of funding for what has now become known as phase 2 of SFBB implementation. Cumbria’s £2.8m share has now been confirmed but the required matched funding has not. The expectation is that it will shortly be confirmed coming from a mix of Cumbria County Council and European funds.
What’s not agreed is how to proceed with procurement – that’s expected sometime in December. In a nutshell, the options are to either use the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) tendering framework or to go through the full European (OJEC) tendering process. The BDUK process will almost certainly result in a further contract with BT, limited community engagement but lower management and procurement overheads. The OJEC process would potentially give more community engagement and flexibility but could be expensive to manage (15% of project costs have been quoted). Whichever way it goes, we can expect to see some of the areas which don’t get connected to SFBB in phase 1, receiving the benefits of this higher speed under phase 2. Phase 1 ‘Community Build’ discussions with parishes have been suspended (to be resumed next month in a modified form) as phase 2 may well supersede a lot of the thinking behind them.
And Phase 3? Well expect something in the Autumn statement. This will be the first shot in developments foreshadowed in the recent DCMS report looking into the future requirement for digital communications. Holiday reading can be found on : thinkbroadband.com/news/
And the report itself on:
The consultation about this report lasts until the end of this month.
There’s a lot going on……..
Sep 14, 2014
We’re a bit clearer now about the currently planned times scales for connecting parts of our Parish to Superfast Broadband – and it seems to be good news. Current planning indicates that the areas served by Satterthwaite, Greenodd and Newby Bridge exchanges are due to go live within the next 6 months with a target date of December this year.
You can now check the planned connectivity in your area by opening the appropriate page on the BT Openreach site http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/ and inputting your postcode. The Connecting Cumbria web site also links to BT Openreach postcode data but its mapping data is not up to date.
As always, there is a health warning! The information is subject to change as work takes place on the ground. Blocked ducts and other problems could see revisions of the current information.
Sep 14, 2014
There is now an accepted way of bringing SFBB to those areas with phone lines direct from the exchange (‘Exchange only lines’) Good news for the likes of Bouth in our Parish which is connected this way.
Trials are currently taking place in North Yorkshire amongst other places of a new bit of kit: Fibre to Remote Node (FTTrN). These nodes, which can be mounted on poles act like tiny street cabinets – serving about 20 premises and have the potential to bring SFBB and speeds above 24 Mb/s within economic reach. We need to make sure that Cumbria benefits from this technological advance.
Look out for the next post which will detail what is happening after Phase 1 of Connecting Cumbria finishes – things are hotting up! To be notified of future postings, click on https://postleorg.coffeecup.com/api/sdrive/subscription/add/29354/ or on the tab at the bottom of each posting.
Jul 24, 2014
No posts for a while and then three come along at once!
Many of us will have a good idea about what we would do when we get a SFBB connection (or at any rate a much faster connection than we have at present). One of the things I will look forward to is being able to watch the iplayer and other video streaming services with a reasonable definition picture and without it freezing.
I’ve been looking for short, punchy video productions which illustrate some of the things we can do when we get SFBB. The nearest to what I had in mind seems to be a series of short presentations by Nicola Millard for Superfast Surrey. You can get these by clicking on this link: nicola millard superfast surrey . Have a look and see what you think.
Jul 24, 2014
In Cumbria as a whole, the Programme is still on track with 18 exchanges and 31,243 premises connected (last month’s figures). Development work is continuing with miniature cabinets which should enable many more remote premises to be connected to SFBB.
The main ring of fibre optic cabling is in place round the County and the main population centres – Ulverston included – have enabled cabinets. (See the Connecting Cumbria web site).
Best guess is that it will be 2015 before our Parish gets its fibre optic connections then expect a flurry of activity. We can expect to get to know where and when some six months before it happens – and at that stage we can look to see where the gaps in provision may arise and try to get the optimum solutions for the Parish.
In the interview I referred to in my last piece, it was stated that there is a drive to get more than 25% of premises taking up the option of SFBB in an enabled area as this will trigger further BT Openreach funding for the County. The present take up has risen from 3% last year to 9% now – so a bit to go……..
Jul 24, 2014
A big ‘thank you’ to those of you who run businesses and supplied details of them to me. There were 24 of you – many of which I never knew existed! It gives an insight into the extent of economic activity in the Parish and underlines the importance to the local economy of getting a reliable superfast broadband connection.
The feedback I got was that the information was useful and is allowing Connecting Cumbria to draw down ERDF funding for the project as a whole. In a recent radio interview with Martin Rayner (Lakeland Ltd) and a BT Openreach representative, it was stated that one eligible SME in a cabinet area gives priority for connection of that cabinet. If so, our parish should be well served.
Apr 1, 2014
Looking back at these postings, I am very conscious that a lot of it has been about how to get SFBB into our homes and businesses. A recent presentation by the Clinical Commissioning Group illustrates how the technology will to open up new opportunities. In this case it was how telecare monitoring devices and remote consultations could be used to bring services closer to the patient and cut down travel time. A fascinating insight into what is already being planned in Cumbria. What new opportunities will SFBB open up for us in our communities? How do you plan to take advantage of what it will offer?