Colton Superfast Broadband Why it's important and how we can get it......Mike Postle (mike@postle.co)

Looking at the wider picture

Things are happening on the National scene as well which may help us in Colton Parish in the future. Here’s some of the key ones:
  • Connecting Cumbria phase 1 is still going having exceeded the original targets & now reaching what they term more challenging targets. There’s also a change of emphasis to increase superfast coverage (above 24 Mb/s): in line with general expectations as to what constitutes and acceptable speed in today’s world.
  • Phase 2 is underway with 8 cabinets live with a further 18 planned to be live by end of March. This will include an additional Newby Bridge cabinet.
  • Detailed planning has been going on for some time concerning the second and third tranches of phase 2 – where we should be finding Oxen Park in the list. We’ll know more in the New Year.
  • 4G mobile broadband: Contract with EE for provision of coverage across the County by the end of this coming year. Planning permission has been given for a mast north of Oxen Park - (Not without its controversy) - but it may be part of the solution to bringing SFBB economically to some of the more difficult to reach parts of our Parish – at least in the short term.
  •  The idea of a 10 Mb/s speed, for the 1.4m of us unable to dream of even such modest speeds, is creeping forward but currently is still at ‘examining the Options’ stage. Last week Ofcom released its analysis of what it would cost for various scenarios. (Anywhere from £1bn to £1.7bn since you ask). Who picks up the tab? Ofcom’s  assumption is that consumers will through an addition of anywhere between £11 to £20 per year.
  • And finally – an announcement today that the Government has announced a funding pot of £400m to deliver SFBB speeds for up to 600,000 premises. Interestingly the money will be found from ‘efficiency savings’ and ‘clawback’ related to take-up of SFBB. I’m a bit confused about this as we are already benefitting from a clawback mechanism (‘Gainshare’) related to SFBB takeup. Is the same money being counted twice? We’ll have to wait and see.
There’s clearly a head of steam building up to get the job done but expectations and technology always seem to be ahead of the curve. 2017 promises to be just as interesting as 2016 has been.