Thursday, 30 April 2020

Broadband performance by location in the UK

Broadband performance by location. Devon doesn't come out well in these results:

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) Broadband Scheme: New Procurement Process

Connecting Devon and Somerset, stated on 21 Feb 2020 that:

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has today launched a fresh procurement to find new contractors to roll-out superfast broadband across the two counties.

CDS is working closely with Building Digital UK (BDUK) agency on the new procurement process. It follows confirmation of the Government’s funding extension for the programme in Devon and Somerset – helping to provide a £38 million public investment in the region’s broadband, with funding also coming from the Heart of the South West LEP, CDS local authorities, European Regional Development Fund and the Rural Development Programme for England.

An Open Market Review (OMR) and public consultation was carried out by CDS last year to map areas where broadband infrastructure already exists and where it is planned for the next three years. Investment from CDS can only take place in areas where there are no current or credible future plans to deliver Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure capable of download speeds of at least 30Mbps.

Following the OMR, CDS has carried out extensive early market engagement with a wide range of potential providers to establish interest.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said "I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure funding and get back on track to bringing the benefits of faster and more reliable broadband to people and businesses in Devon and Somerset.

“We’re absolutely committed to levelling up the country with better infrastructure, and have recently pledged a further £5 billion so that hard-to-reach areas will get gigabit-capable broadband at the same time as the rest of the country."

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills and CDS board member, said: “CDS is working hard to find alternative broadband providers for our residents and businesses. BDUK has always stated its commitment to extend the funding for the programme, and it has backed us by doing exactly that.”

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “These contracts will deliver connectivity to some of the hardest to reach premises in the CDS region, ensuring future-proof broadband infrastructure which is critical for residents and businesses alike. In an increasingly competitive market, I look forward to seeing proposals from a range of providers to maximise coverage for those premises that are yet to benefit from decent broadband speeds”

CDS has delivered superfast access to more homes and businesses than any other broadband programme in England. Nearly one million homes and businesses in Devon and Somerset now have access to superfast broadband thanks to the Government supported CDS programme and stimulation of the commercial market which is an important element of CDS’s role. Of these, over 300,000 homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband as a direct result of investment by CDS.

The whole Connecting Devon and Somerset programme is expected to deliver an
£800million boost to the regional economy.

Final bids from qualified bidders in the procurement process are expected to be received by CDS by late Summer, and contracts are due to be awarded in December.

For more information go to

4G Mobile Internet Coverage

"...£1 billion deal to make poor and patchy rural phone coverage a thing of the past.
The Shared Rural Network (SRN) is a deal with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone investing in a network of new and existing phone masts, overseen by a jointly owned company called Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited, they would all share.
It will provide guaranteed coverage to 280,000 premises and 16,000km of roads. We can also expect some further indirect improvements over time, including a boost to ‘in car’ coverage on around 45,000 km of road and better indoor coverage in around 1.2m business premises and homes.
The deal will lead to increases in coverage in some areas by more than a third, with the biggest coverage improvements in rural parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
It means all four mobile network operators will deliver 95 per cent combined coverage across the whole of the UK by the end of 2025 and consumers can rely on their own provider’s network wherever they are."

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Wayleave Rates for Telecoms Cable

The article at the link below considers the cost of wayleaves and asks why wayleave rates for buried fibre have gone up instead of down since the 2017 Electronic Communications Code updated the Digital Economy Act given that the revised code was meant to reduce costs and delays.

The new Code indicates that rates should be based on the loss of value to the landowner instead of open market value.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Get Fibre Broadband in East Devon with Jurassic Fibre

Register your interest in getting Fibre Broadband from Jurassic Fibre in East Devon using the link below.

The initial rollout area is as follows:

We understand that residents of other areas can also register their interest to encourage Jurassic Fibre to rollout there.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Some Broadband Problem Areas Reported in Last 12 Months

Just a few mentioned on this map.

If you'd like to report your area or village then please get in contact and/or fill in the survey - see the right hand side of the website.



Saturday, 11 January 2020

Universal Service Obligation to Provide Broadband

Key points

From 20 March 2020 homes and businesses will be eligible to receive a Universal Service Obligation connection if:
1/ they cannot receive an affordable service (if the broadband connection available costs no more than £45 per month over the course of a contract) with download speeds of at least 10 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 1 Mbit/s from any existing network; 
2/ if they are not due to receive such a service from a publicly-funded scheme in the year following their request; and 
3/ the cost of connection is not more than £3,400.

BT, or Kington Communications in Hull and East Riding, are the Universal Service providers you would approach.

The following advice on the eligibility of people to have broadband access paid for is from Ofcom:

What is broadband USO?
The broadband universal service obligation (USO) will give people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. Under the USO, eligible homes and businesses will be able to request a connection, where the cost of building it is no more than £3,400.

What is a decent broadband connection?
For the USO, Government has defined decent broadband as a service that can provide a download speed of 10 Mbit/s, and an upload speed of 1 Mbit/s upload. There are other technical features that ensure a quality service.

Ofcom is implementing the broadband USO, by designating the universal service providers who must connect customers, and by setting the rules those providers must follow.
Legislation for the USO was brought in by the Government at the end of March 2018, and customers will be able to request a broadband USO connection directly from the designated universal service providers – BT and KCOM – from March 2020.

Why is it taking nearly two years?
We are working to implement the USO as quickly as possible, but we needed time to put an appropriate process in place and to then to consult with the public on who should deliver USO connections, and the rules they must follow.
We also expect to consult on funding arrangements, including designing an industry fund to compensate the providers for any unfair costs, identifying who should contribute to the fund, and how it should be run.
The Government’s initial commitment was for the USO to be in place from March 2020, so we are on track to deliver to this time frame.

Is this similar to previous broadband rollout schemes?
Rollout schemes usually involve extending broadband networks to meet anticipated demand by homes and businesses.
However, under the broadband USO, homes and businesses which cannot already get decent, affordable broadband can request a USO connection from the relevant providers.

Will everyone be eligible to receive a broadband USO connection?
Homes and businesses will only be eligible to receive a USO connection if they currently cannot receive an affordable service with download speeds of at least 10 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 1 Mbit/s from any existing networks, if they are not due to receive such a service from a publicly-funded scheme in the year following their request, and the cost of connection is not more than £3,400.

Will I need to pay?
A consumer or business will only have to contribute to the cost of a connection if it exceeds a threshold of £3,400. Above that level, properties can still be connected if they pay the excess costs or do some of the work themselves to help bring costs down.
There is also the option of using alternative technology, such as commercially available satellite outside the USO scheme, or keeping their existing service that delivers a lower speed.
To help as many USO connections as possible fall below the £3,400 threshold, the USO providers are required to assume and aggregate the level of local demand. This potentially brings more connections under the reasonable cost threshold by sharing the costs.

Why 10Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload speeds?
The Government set these minimum speeds for the USO when it introduced legislation in March 2018.
Ofcom’s research shows 10Mbit/s is the speed currently needed to meet an average household’s digital needs. This allows multiple users to use the internet at the same time, including web browsing, video streaming, video calling and gaming. However, we are aware these minimum speeds will need to increase over time.
Ofcom will review aspects such as these speeds when 75% of UK premises have taken up superfast broadband.

Will people get a broadband USO connection in 2020?
Consumers will be able to make requests for connections from March 2020. Once a consumer or business requests a connection, the Universal Service Provider will have up to 30 days to confirm if their request meets a set of eligibility criteria, including whether the estimated cost of that connection falls under the £3,400 cost threshold. If it meets the eligibility criteria and is estimated to cost less than £3,400, the connection can start to be delivered straight away. If the cost is estimated to be over the threshold, and the customer would still like to proceed, the Universal Service Provider will carry out a full survey and provide a detailed quotation to the customer within 60 days. If the customer decides not to pay the excess costs, they can consider commercially available satellite broadband (outside the USO scheme).

Am I guaranteed to receive the speeds mentioned here?
The actual speed provided to a customer will vary throughout the day depending on factors like the number of people going online at busy times. Under the USO, other minimum requirements have been set, to improve consumer experience and reliability of connections.
Other factors, such as the quality of wiring in buildings, can also affect the service experienced by users. However, these factors are often outside the control of broadband firms. Ofcom’s mobile and broadband checker is one tool that could help people and businesses who may be affected by such factors.

Where can I find more information?
More information is available in the broadband universal service obligation statement.

West Hill, East Devon, Broadband Rollout by Jurassic Fibre

West Hill is in Phase 2 of the Jurassic Fibre roll out in East Devon.

Jurassic Fibre Limited East Devon Broadband Plans

Jurassic Fibre says it will be rolling out a gigabit capable network in the South West over the next five years, as part of a long-term £250million pound infrastructure project.

Phase one of the network build starts this autumn covering areas around Exeter Airport, Sowton Industrial Estate, homes on the eastern side of Exeter and nearby villages including Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Sowton Village, Farringdon, Lympstone and Woodbury, and then south to Exmouth. The network will subsequently roll out to cover areas including Honiton, Tiverton, Barnstaple, Teignmouth, Taunton, Dorchester, Weymouth and Yeovil.

Plans can be seen here:

In addition, Jurassic Fibre Limited (JFL) and South West Communications Group (swcomms) have signed an agreement to bring ultrafast fibre broadband to businesses in towns and rural communities in the South West.

Reasons for Termination of Gigaclear Broadband Programme in Devon

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has stated that Gigaclear gave 5 main reasons for delayed rollout which lead to the termination of its contract.

Graham Long, chairman of campaign group Fast Broadband for Rural Devon and Somerset, is reported to have stated that one of the reasons was that some of the roads didn't have proper foundations so they couldn't use narrow trenches so had to do a lot more work.

But CDS said "Poor road foundations wasn't one of them [the reasons]."

Gigaclear connected about 496 properties before its contract was terminated.

Further information from CDS about this here:

£5 Billion of Taxpayer Money to Support Rural Fibre Broadband

The Register has an informative article from Oct 2019 about the use of £5 billion in taxpayer money to fund rural broadband rollout including information on some of the techniques that Openreach is looking at to put that money to best use such as a trench-digging diamond cutter.

The cutter can apparently enable installation of 700 metres of cabling a day. BT claims that is more than 20 times the length that can be laid by a two-person civil engineer team using traditional methods of drilling and excavation.

Latest Broadband News from Connecting Devon and Somerset Initiative

On 6 January 2020 the project team at Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) Initiative (mainly taxpayer funded) stated that they were about to launch a new procurement process to appoint a new provider in areas previously awarded to Gigaclear.

If CDS receive viable bids from the private sector it is anticipated that winning bidders would then need several months for mobilisation before CDS can start to release information on intended coverage plans.

In North Devon and Torridge, which was the only area to previously awarded to Gigaclear, rollout continues through with Airband Community Internet.

CDS say that they are also helping communities to investigate other funding possibilities that might attract private sector companies to areas such as taxpayer funded Gigabit Vouchers, or the soon to be launched revised Universal Service Obligation from telecommunications regulator Ofcom.