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4G and FTTP in the villages: Rollout Roundup 23/03/13

Broadband Rollout Roundup this week is rather devoid of any big-name announcements. BT has been busy announcing that extra homes and businesses will benefit from superfast broadband under its own commercial rollout plan, as well as revealing that it’s been awarded more BDUK contracts. 

While there’s just a handful of locations left on the BDUK list now it’s all but decided that they’re going to BT. With Fujitsu pulling out of the BDUK process the game is up. BT is the only remaining bidder in the room. 

Until the work really starts beginning on these contracts, we we’re not expecting to hear much from BT in terms of rollout announcements so far. Thus, these are the top stories that have reached our ears for this week, ending 23/03/13. 

4G and FTTP in the villages: Rollout Roundup 23/03/13
The Internet – a series of tubes

Fibre to the Pasties – More FTTP connections roll out in Superfast Cornwall 

Earlier in the week we heard that FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) lines were rolling out to more homes and businesses in Cornwall. 

Doing a little more digging we heard a bit more about whereabouts the next-gen superfast lines, promising download speeds of up to 330Mbps would land. 

Anyone who thinks that BT’s FTTP lines are purely for those living in built up high-density areas can think again; this week residents of rural St. Buryan in Cornwall (population 1,215) are enjoying getting connected to FTTP lines from one of the three street cabinets that have been sited there. 

As well as St. Buryan, this week saw engineers connecting FTTP lines to premises in Hayle, Millbrook, Praze, Redruth, Roche, St Ives and Truro. 

Thanks to lightweight fibre cables, BT engineers have been able to deliver FTTP broadband to homes via telegraph poles instead of ducts, something which has seen Superfast Cornwall revise its original target of 80 per cent superfast coverage by 2015 to 95 per cent. Recently, there’s also been progress for residents on the Isles of Scilly as Superfast Cornwall announced that an undersea broadband connection will be used to connect the island to superfast speeds. Given that broadband services are currently delivered via a radio link this’ll be a real step up for residents in early 2014 when it’s expected to arrive. 

EE’s fixed location 4G broadband to switch on in Cumbria 

EE has announced that 2,000 residents in Cumbria’s rural Northern Fells will benefit from fixed location 4G broadband, delivering download speeds of 8Mbps, 12Mbps and 20Mbps. 

Residents will be able to enjoy fast download speeds without having to pay for line rental. As it’s delivered over EE’s 1800MHz spectrum it won’t interfere with Freeview transmissions either – only 4G services on the 800MHz band will interrupt Freeview broadcasts. 

It’s not yet been announced from when the services will be available or how much they’ll cost but we’ll update once we know more. 

Northamptonshire’s Tove Valley to get superfast broadband 

Defra’s RCBF (Rural Broadband Community Fund) scheme will see over 60 per cent of Northamptonshire’s Tove Valley connected to superfast speeds. 

Speeds of up to 30Mbps will be rolled out across the area, with money being spent on upgrading the wireless broadband network provided by Abthorpe Broadband Association. 

The cash will also be used to upgrade the network which will link together Abthorpe, Weedon Lois, Wappenham, Slapton and Weston. 

Eric Malcolmson, chair of the Abthorpe Broadband Association, said:

“Everyone in the upper Tove Valley is very excited that a superfast broadband service will soon be available. Defra’s approval for funding our project means that our communities deep in rural Northamptonshire will benefit from fast connections to the internet. This is an opportunity for the 60 per cent plus of properties which have a business interest to survive and thrive and provide a step change in the way households can use the internet.”

Up to 50 per cent of the project costs will be met under the terms of the RCBF, which means that another £117,000 of funding will need to come from somewhere else in the long term.


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