It’s been a landmark week for Broadband Rollout Roundup news. While BT’s big announcement has commanded the headlines we’ve also seen some action in the sticks.
Both Allpay and B4RN are connecting more and more people living off the grid to the broadband revolution, the former extending its reach throughout Hereford and the latter beginning to connect its very first customers after a solid summer of digging and just getting on with it.
We’re particularly pleased to see all of B4RN’s hard work finally paying off. Ever since we first heard of B4RN just getting on with it themselves and writing investors names on lengths of cable we’ve been keeping a close eye on the project’s progress.
Here’s Rollout Roundup for 02/11/2012.
The big news from BT this week was the announcement that it intends to hit its two-thirds of the UK target way in advance; by Spring 2014 instead of the end of 2014.
This will see some 19 million UK homes and businesses able to order in FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) within a couple of year’s time. Pretty impressive progress for a company that’s planning to hit 12 million locations with new lines by Spring 2013.
As well as this, the new announcement will have a knock-on effect regarding BT’s BDUK contracts. By completing it’s own £2.5 billion rollout program ahead of time, BT will now have more time to invest in connecting those rural parts of the UK it’s been charged with upgrading. So it’s a double win this week for BT.
As well as this, Openreach has also been able to upgrade eight new exchanges, seven in England and one in Scotland:
Ardwick (FTTC) Manchester District (B)
Bursledon (FTTC) Eastleigh District (B)
Costessey (FTTC) South Norfolk District
Cowes (FTTC) Corby District (B)
Greenhithe (FTTC) Dartford District (B)
Norwich (FTTC/P) Norwich District (B)
Perranporth (FTTC/P) Carrick District
Ardrossan-Saltcoats (FTTC) North Ayrshire
After an intense summer of digging, digging and more digging the B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) team have finally started piping 1Gbps broadband to the first premises in Arkholme, Lancashire.
Work to finish the Quenmore part of the route is nearly finished, which will then pave the way for fibre broadband to start hitting homes in Abbeystead.
Exciting stuff for the plucky team who’ve been doing it for themselves, fuelled by self-investment, self-determination and as B4RN’s Martyn Dews put it, “big diggers, spades, wellies, mud, cups of tea and most importantly, cake!”
This is perhaps a slightly premature entry for Rollout Roundup as the wireless broadband services of Allpay haven’t yet reached any homes or businesses in Garway, Golden Valley or Peterchurch.
The Herefordshire locations however are on the Allpay roadmap and wireless broadband services there are expected to go live by the end of November.
Allpay provides a basic package of 2Mbps but also has 10Mbps and 35Mbps for those speed freaks and business users who want the fastest speeds going.
All of this is delivered over the air, sans a phone line, so you avoid the installation and extra charges associated with phone lines and line rental. There is still the matter of getting an engineer to come round and install a wireless antenna on your roof which costs £100 but if you look at it another way, most Line Rental Saver plans these days see you paying over £100 a year and of course with wireless broadband, you’re only paying for the broadband and nothing else.