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Broadband Hot Spot Plan
I have been heartened to see the news that the County Council has been awarded a government grant to enable it to go ahead with superfast broadband in the county. However, I am surprised at how little information about this seems to have been published. Presumably the County Council must have submitted a project plan for the grant: where can this be viewed? What is the timetable? How will it be rolled out? Have contracts been awarded? Or have tenders been invited? What will be done about those of us who do not yet have minimal broadband, let alone superfast? Can there be a bit more information made available?
Since the approval of Lincolnshire County Council's Local Broadband Plan, over the next few months the council will enter into negotiations with suppliers and hope to have a contract in place by late 2012. At this time, we are uncertain which communities will be the first to benefit but we will communicate that information as soon as possible.
In the meantime I would recommend that you encourage as many people in your area to show their desire for better broadband by registering their interest on our web-site. Potential suppliers will be looking at the evidence of demand in communities and we continue to stress the importance of registering on the website. Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated and will also put your community in a stronger position to receive better services.
I suspect BT will have some type of "trigger ratio" where if a certain percentage of the exchange wishes to upgrade they will carry out the work.
Going by the "Race to Infininty" numbers, only exchanges that had over 1000 houses could apply for fibre- of course only a few exchanges in Lincolnshire are over 1000 houses so that number will have to be revised down.
I hate to say this but BT aren't going to upgrade on exchange where they are not going to break even or make a profit in the long term. That's why I believe the "trigger ratio" will be around a half of houses showing interest in fibre.
What I do not what to see from the council is the waving through of plans to subsidise the update of exchanges which already can already get high speeds via cable such as Grantham. This is not what the money was assigned for after all. Do the council have a "veto" on these plans?
I expect full plans to be unveiled sometime in April.
You can be assured that public funds will not be spent in areas such as Grantham that already have cable services. Public funds can only be spent in rural areas where there is no existing superfast service that everyone can access. Â
Also you can find our broadband plan on the site here http://www.onlincolnshire.org/news/broadband-news/96
and download the pdf.
Is it up to BT to decide the priorities? If this is government and County Council money surely they should set the agenda?? One priority should be those areas which cannot access even basic broadband.
Although it's not up to BT to decide where the money is spent I suspect they will have a big say in viability etc as there are so many sole BT exchanges in the county.
How I would roll it out would be (In order of priority)-
Exchanges where broadband is not yet available.
Bundled exchanges where speeds are lower than 2 Mbps (smallest to largest).
Unbundled exchanges where speeds are lower than 2 Mbps.
Of course how you measure average broadband speed is debatable- do you go for an average or the slowest speed in the exchange?
As I've stated before BT aren't going to roll out fibre into areas where they won't make a long term profit. Hate to be a doomsayer but this could be a major sticking point for any rollout.
The impact of 4G has yet to be factored in and hopefully by 2015 it will be widespread in the county.