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Min. 2Mb/s by end of 2015 for all ?
I live in a small village which is served by an exchange and cabinet in the next village some 4 miles away. The exchange has been recently upgraded to fibre, but my fellow villagers and I cannot benefit due to the distance to the cabinet (see my posts in 'broadband connections' under 'Withern Cabinet 3' for details).
I have had a survey carried out by AB Internet with a view to having their fixed wireless service, only to find that they cannot deliver due to lack of line of sight to their masts.
The governments 'rural broadband' paper dated 16 April 2015 pledges to deliver 'standard broadband', which is defined as a minimum of 2Mb/s, to all rural communities by 2016 (i.e. by 31 Dec 2015).
Additionally, I have contacted Europasat / Tooway (satellite broadband), via the link on this website, who are claiming that satellite broadband will be made available to those properties who cannot benefit from the current fibre rollout and are obtaining less than 2Mb/s (I am averaging 0.9Mb/s).
I fully appreciate that the onlincolnshire team have a duty to maximise the return on the funding, but the government directive seems pretty clear to me - and as it stands I have not seen any evidence to suggest that the governments commitment will be discharged by the end of the year.
I welcome any comments.
Good Afternoon Jon,
Thanks for taking time to write to us.
Under the original contract we signed with BT, the commitment to deliver the minimum download speed of 2Mb/s to 100% of premises (known as the Universal Service Commitment or USC) was the 31st March 2016. That was until the Government announcement you refer to came into existence.
At the time of that announcement, I voiced my doubts re. the revised delivery target and I have continually asked BDUK for guidance on exactly how we will achieve this commitment and what the process/mechanics for delivery will look like.
Sadly and to date, this still hasn't arrived, although I am assured it is imminent as it has been for some time.
Realistically, I believe we will receive the guidance/process documents shortly, but in terms of achieving the physical implementation, I am confident this will not happen by 31st December 2015.
I think we will see a process announced by the end of this year, but I cannot see the full implementation completing until well into the New Year, given the size of the task.
The other question I have raised previously is one of actual capacity in Space to deliver to this many premises across the UK. My view is that this may well be an issue, but hopefully, it will not be..
As soon as we get the process, we will publish on our website.
Thanks for the quick response Steve.
Whilst I await this announcement with interest, am I right in assuming that any imminent subsidy in providing a solution this year, (eg funding to cover the cost of satellite installation) as suggested by many sources, is outside the remit of your good selves and would need to be arranged by other channels?
I also assume that your comment on space availability is referring to satellite systems? as the research I have carried out to date suggests a very variable service with inconsistent speeds, probably due in part to internet traffic.
Good Afternoon Jon,
The funding to provide the subsidy for the satellite solution sits within this programme. In April, the Government, through BDUK, announced that they would complete before the end of this year and as a part of that acceleration, satellite was put forward as the only solution, where previously it was only a part of it.
We have been awaiting guidance from BDUK to inform us of the process for deciding who gets it, how we will deploy, how the subsidy will work and what part BT has in all of this. These are just a few questions yet to be answered. They may well announce the process shortly, but the actual deployment will definately not complete by the end of this year. As soon as we get something, we will announce it, but at this point, we are in the dark.
My comments about space availability was referring to satellite systems as you suggest. Since the announcement I have asked the question about available capacity in space and to date, I haven't had a positive response to this question.
My apologies if this all sounds a little negative, but we are keen to roll this out to those that need it as soon as possible but at the moment, my hands are tied so to speak.
I read this with interest as we are in the same boat, though our connection speed is far worse, on a good day we are getting around 0.12 mbps. So we have been looking for an alternative for quite some time, just like the other 5 properties on our road, as like Jon we cannot get line of site on the wireless.
Our question is if we went down the route of sat broadband now can we claim back any of the associated costs when the program finally goes ahead?
Good Morning Roy,
I'm still waiting for the guidance to arrive from Government and hopefully, this will contain detailed explanation of the funding and how it will be applied. My initial thoughts are that we would fund the installation and that the monthly package costs would be down to the end user, but until I see the guidance, I could be wrong.
In terms of whether you can claim back any associated costs when the programme finally goes ahead, I'm a little unclear as to what you are asking here. Are you asking whether any monthly costs would be refunded if and when we provided fibre broadband to your property? In which case, I can confidently say that the answer to that question will be no.
There is no chance of us ever getting fibre to our property, what I was meaning was would we be able to claim back the install / equipment cost of sat broadband if we purchased this now rather than wait for the never ending story that seems to be this extra funding for not spots..
On another point are you going to address the discrimination, that not spots have to pay over double the monthly cost of standard land line broadband just to get a useable service.
Good Afternoon David,
I haven't seen the Government guidance re. the satellite rollout as yet so cannot be sure at this point, but if I were to take a stab at your question, I would say that it is unlikely that you would be able to reclaim the costs you mention.
As soon as we get the guidance, we will publish it.
With regard to your question regarding discrimination, that subject falls outside of the scope of this project, so I am unable to comment on it I'm sorry.
Hi Steve / David
Just to add my further thoughts on the subsidy .... from a cynical point of view, the government have pledged to provide the USC by the end of the year, and if satellite is the only practical means to provide the service in that timescale for the numerous properties like ours - it would seem to be in their interest to promote the satellite service but quietly expecting the take up to be limited due to the hefty tariff rates associated.
More importantly (to me), I cannot help thinking that satellite should not be the preferred solution - particularly if it prevents investment in a properly considered approach. If it is being promoted as a stop gap whilst the 95% and 100% phasings progress of the next 2 years then I cant argue - we will see.
I completely agree with Jon as you say sat is not a long term option and more needs to be done to invest in the existing infrastructure for community's like ours.
Does OnLincolnshire actually have realistic figues of the number of households and businesses that have a sub 1meg connection? As if you go by BT line check we are fttc enabled so on paper we can get proper speed in reality we are 9.5
Km from the box and struggle to keep a 100kb connection open. So is this where the OnLincolnshire figures that so many are connected fall foul?
Good Morning David,
Whilst I agree that satelite isn't the answer long term, I am also conscious that build costs to some areas are prohibitive.
You mention sub 1Mb/s connections and what we know of them. We are actually looking at sub 2Mb/s connections and we get build completion reports that show what speeds are applicable to which property.
Having said that, we are still awaiting the Government guidance on exactly how this whole thing will be implemented and until that happens, we are all speculating.
All this could have been avoided if AB Internet had planned the whole thing better in there rollout of there towers, My current understanding is for the skegness area that there is 1 in ingoldmells one in boston and one in old leake leaving huge blackspot right in the middle surely with better planning these masts they pout up should have bee put on higher ground or on high buildings placing them in on sea level position in a small village isnt the best idea, what makes it worse is there are high builds and structures where these masts could have been used and erecting them in areas where fttc is available is a ridiculous idea and a waste of perfectly good funding.
Referring to Davids point about being 9.5km from the exchange and there for fttc is out of the question what planning was undertaken to cover such areas cos i would be willing to bet that the area closest to him with fttc available will also have access to the ab internet network proving once again bad planning in his area.
I dont think you will approve this post due to the critism of ab internet and the lack of planning on there behalf but it was worth a try to explain how people feel.
Good morning Tim.
Thank you for your contribution. AB Internet were asked to target a particular area, an area which had been defined as an area of need. This is why funding was applicable here. Their implementation covered this area, and more - any additional coverage outside the original intervention area is deemed incidental - it is, I suppose, an added bonus which is unavoidable due to the technology being used. Their planning was completed to ensure minimum incidental coverage so they did think about the implementation thoroughly. Although this may sound strange, this is how State Aid works and we needed to avoid working outside the intervention area as much as possible. The company completely fulfilled their brief, and more, and are providing a very good service in the areas they serve.
I dont disagree the service they offer is good, I disagree with the planning on where to install there masts having spoken to a ab internet installer regarding this matter he confirmed that there is a huge black spot where those who are ment to receive this simply cant and this is down to bad planning for instance the Old Leake tower why put it in a village where tree's simply block the signal now your never gonna please everyone i understand this but better planning would have resulted in better results yes there checker is fantastic and looks good when you go and test if your in the area but in reality its rubbish simply because if you live near a tree the service is unavailable so instead of installing in a small village wouldnt it have been better to install further inland on higher ground creating a bigger footprint and leading to a better customer base.
I really hope that once the whole bduk rollout is complete exact figures are released for those who have benefited and not those shown on pretty maps which make it look good