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Lincolnshire Exchanges,

#1
I've been doing some looking at the sizes of all the telephone exchanges in Lincolnshire and their sizes based on their residential numbers and their current broadband capabilities.  

The document can be found here:
http://www.4everload.com/index.php/download/d8a11c191a96/exc.pdf.html
Click on the link and then click on "VIEW PDF" for east access.

It would appear from the various numbers and patterns on the list that BT are upgrading ADSL MAX exchanges that serve above 1000 residential connections to ADSL2+.  

What I and many others would like to know is given the current trend by BT to select the larger exchanges on the list first for a FTTx upgrade, will this approach change at all with the BDUK funding, OnLincolnshire and BT working together??  

I can understand why OnLincolnshire would like to know which areas are demanding faster broadband.  My concern is that I feel that there are too many different ways you can register your interest for faster broadband across the web.  I know on various ISP's websites you can submit your interest in faster broadband.  BT too on their Infinity site provide a tool to register your interest.  BT also did the "Race to Infinity" a while back which was a big flop in my opinion given it was prone to abuse.

I guess the ideal comparison would be the registation for faster broadband sites would be like all the different charities in the world.  Ideally you would donate to the 1 that will have the most effect and it's the same with the websites only it's impossible to tell which 1 will actually make your vote count.

Can someone from OnLincolnshire shed some light on these points?,
#2
Good Morning Matthew,

Thank you for taking time to write to us.

In terms of BTs current commercial strategy, I am unable to formally comment on this, but would suggest that the bigger exchanges probably provide a larger customer base from which to gain commercial benefit.

When we commence the project in Lincolnshire, the objectives are to deliver Superfast broadband coverage across 90% of all premises in Lincolnshire. To achieve that, given the population and BT Exchange density of Lincolnshire, a significant number of Smaller exchanges will need to be upgraded.

When we have signed the contract with our preferred supplier,  the implementation plan will be far more clear and we will have a more accurate view of who will get what and approximately when.

With regard to registration, it is important that the residents of Lincolnshire register an active interest in obtaining improved broadband. This stimulates interest from potential suppliers and makes Lincolnshire an attractive proposition in terms of potential customer numbers.

We do know that BT monitors OnLincolnshire with regard to registrations, so we feel that this forum is as good a place as any to register.

Please do not hesitate to come back to us should you have any further questions you feel we may be able to help with.

Regards
Steve

Steve Brookes
Lincolnshire Broadband Programme Manager
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#3
Thanks for the reply.  

Can I ask why you are still asking people to register their interest but on the homepage you have stated that "Registration is now closed".

That's a bit misleading to a new visitor to the site who could read that and a be put off submitting a vote if it's "closed".

Surely the registration system should always remain publicly open and each month could be a deadline for which to get a vote submitted to count for a given month??

I also think that there should be more facts and figures on the OnLincolnshire website, even a dedicated page to facts and figures would be useful.  

I keep seeing this same line around the site:

"minimum of 90% of Lincolnshire premises"  

If this is the goal of The Lincolnshire Broadband Plan then what's the harm in mentioning that the 90% mark actually translates to around 270,000 premises out of about 300,000 premises in Lincolnshire leaving 30,000 premises without the next generation upgrade?

If there are around 700,000 residents in Lincolnshire then 90% would be roughly 630,000 which would potentially leave 70,000 residents without a upgrade at their premises.,
#4
On the onlincolnshire website it states clearly that the registration process is closed and it coincided with the closing date for the responses to the ITT. The ITTs are currently being evaluated and we will hopefully be making an announcement in the near future. To avoid confusion we have consistently stated that the project was aiming to provide superfast broadband to 90% of premises in the county, which is what the funding is for.

We believe that the site has a considerable amount of information but if there are any gaps please tell us what you are looking for. The site is currently being redeveloped and the new site will have additional functions that will allow you to search for detail  about any planned upgrades in your area.
,
#5
But why can't the registration process remain open to enable communities to keep expressing their interest?  Some communities who hardly expressed any votes at all now don't stand a chance of adding more votes to their exchanges especially if they are just coming across your site?,
#6
One of the reasons why Onlincolnshire started a  demand registration process was that it would inform potential suppliers about the demand for better broadband in the county. It was also a requirement of the central government funding. Once the deadline for the receipt of tenders passed it was of little value. The opportunity to register an interest has been open for 18 months and has been heavily publicised so residents, businesses and communities have had ample opportunity to register. Almost 11,000 did so in that time and we have the necessary data that we need. Also as a means of staying in touch and keeping up to date of any news, we are encouraging people to sign up to receive our regular e-newsletter.

If a community wants to get in touch to talk about their broadband and a possible solution, either short or long term they can email onlincolnshire@lincolnshire.gov.uk and someone can talk to them about different options for their area. ,
#7
Is that 11,000 residents or premises that have registered??  If its residents then 11,000 out of 700,000 is only 1.6%  If it's premises then 11,000 out of 300,000 is 3.7%.  I can understand that you've been operating the campaign for 18 months but my guess is that you weren't expecting such a low turnout from the overall population in the County.  Either way, by stopping the registration process, you are stopping people across the county from still being able to cast their vote.

I've got local residents on my telephone who still wish to put forward their vote but are now unable to do so.  

Only being able to offer the remaining 689,000 residents or 289,000 premises the chance to sign up for a newsletter telling them whats going to happen without their vote being acknowledged seems not much use from a unregistered residents point of view.  

The whole idea of the OnLincolnshire website/campaign was to encourage local communities to come together as a collective to make themselves heard and I'm all for that.  But to take away that empowerment option from a resident who wants to sign up doesn't do much for installing confidence.  

I'm sorry that these messages may come across abrupt or out of context but am just trying to speak up for those residents who now cannot have their say at all but instead receive a newsletter.,
#8
Re the message from Matthew we probably would have liked to have seen more than 11,000 registrations but that figure is more or less on a par with the results in other authorities. We dont have tables of the results elsewhere but we understand that Norfolk had 15,000, Northumberland 13,000, and Northamptonshire 3,500 registrations during their campaigns. Whilst your analysis is broadly correct it is worth remembering that 50% of premises in Lincolnshire already have access to superfast broadband so it is not surprising that the registrations in areas such as Lincoln were very low.  However, our survey collected much more information than some of the other counties generated so in reality 11,000 was a very satisfactory return. The registration process wasnt an election. It was a means of identifying the demand for superfast registration and capturing some of the issues at a local level.

As for residents not making themselves heard they are able to do so in exactly the same way as you are doing via the Forum, and that facility will be available to them for the duration of this project.,
#9
Thank you for your response Ian, your understanding and views are mutual :)

Jenny, I never insisted that the registration process was a "election".  

I have residents who are on the local residents association and some are elderly but do not have home access to broadband but are still encouraging the concept of the Superfast upgrade to our local exchanges and others across the county and therefore wish to register.

How do you propose that they register to these forums to register their interest if they can't access the forum from their own home??

Surely there should be a "Facility" that caters for all residents within Lincolnshire to register their interest whatever their circumstances maybe??

Some people have broadband, some people just have a phone line, some people don't even own a line.  Either way, all residents in these circumstances deserved to be heard.

Lincolnshire needs to play catchup with broadband infrastructure.  Too many times have we heard from BT various excuses that rural areas aren't worthwhile upgrading etc.  

What I would like to see is the OnLincolnshire campaign pushing for is the delivery of more true fiber connections such as FTTP or FTTH to rural areas.  We all pay roughly the same line rental rates and yet receive different levels of service with standard broadband technologies like ASDL, ADSL2+ and FTTC which are all distance dependent mediums.

With FTTH and FTTP connections, the distance becomes a next to nothing factor in terms of delivering speed and quality.  

It would be nice to see OnLincolnshire pushing to make the Lincolnshire county not just "on par" with the rest of the country but instead pushing the boat out a little further and going that 1 extra step further in helping deliver something to really shout about,
#10
I've also just read the latest news about BT's final commercial rollout and I've got to say yet again it's a joke that not a single Lincolnshire based exchange has been included out of 99 exchanges planned for the final commercial rollout.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/02/bt-confirm-the-next-uk-locations-for-its-superfast-broadband-rollout.html

Its so frustrating that BT clearly see the majority of Lincolnshire as a no go for helping to line their pockets.  If there are 5459 telephone exchanges in the UK and only 1700 are worthy of carrying fiber then that says a lot.  

I still can't believe that out of the 1700 exchanges that BT have chosen, only 15 are in Lincolnshire that have been selected for Fibre!!!  This is just simply awful given that the latest batches are due for the upgrade by spring 2014.  This means that anyone in Lincolnshire are probably going to have to wait until at least late 2014 or early 2015 for a BDUK funded upgrade :(

Also why are these posts taking so long to be approved??  Taking 5 mins to type a reply and then having to wait more than 24hrs before its displayed isn't really productive when you are trying to create an open discussion :(,
#11
Re Matthews post it  seems that there is a little bit of confusion about what onlincolnshire is aiming to do between now and 2015. It might help if you consulted the Lincolnshire Broadband Plan which states quite clearly that the countys aspiration is that 100% of premises will have a guaranteed 2mbps connection and that 90% will have access to a superfast connection (>24mbps). That will be achieved via an FTTC solution with an estimated cost at the time of about £50 million. Estimates at the time of publishing the plan were that an FTTP/H solution would cost just £300 million and the project cannot even begin to address those sort of capital costs.

You can read the Local Broadband Plan at http://www.onlincolnshire.org/Resources/Lincolnshire-Broadband-Plan
,
#12
I've just come across this website and shocked to find that my village exchange / post code is not in this roll out plan. The village of Eastoft is classified by post code as "North Lincolnshire" yet your roll out map neatly ignores a large number of villages/town. What hope is there if you don't know who helps pays your taxes! Is it to much to ask to be recognised?
Secondly - who do you think really needs high speed broadband? Someone who resides in a city/town with all there amenities and services or those in rural communities?

I await your reply on why my exchange of Eastoft or our neighbouring Crowle are not being recognised on your map...
#13
Hi David

The Onlincolnshire Broadband Project is being run through lincolnshire County Council so only covers the areas in lincolnshire. Your village of Eastoft is in North lincolnshire. North and North East lincolnshire Councils have their own broadband plan which covers those areas, have a look on their websites to find out where they are in terms of their broadband project.

I hope this clarifies things
Jenny Evans
Onlincolnshire Team
#14
I've only just found out about this today. It's about time something was done. We suffer from poor speeds when the Internet is actually working and after 27 months of BT's inability to sort out problem with the Internet dropping out around 50-100 times a day. Cannot download large files as its likely to cut out at some point. I have contacted BT no less than 50 times, had 10 engineers out and still the same problem. Given up now.
#15
Fao Tim Simpson, just a quick question please are you in Friskney village and are you receiving 50meg from AB internet?
We live in Friskney and are struggling so much with our broadband from BT, it's maddening that it is so slow. We did check last night and it read at 1 meg and sometimes it's less than that. We have just discovered AB internet, is there anything you could tell us if you are using there wireless broadband?
Thank you, Karen
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