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First among equals: Broadband Rollout Roundup 14/12/2012

Rupert Murdoch may be splitting his empire into vision and publishing, but the only Dirty Diggers in our world are the brave footsoldiers of the broadband revolution.

From BT Openreach building the first fibre broadband cabinet funded by BDUK, to Virgin Media’s WiFi fitters and the magical broadband elves of Superfast Cornwall, Broadband Rollout Roundup has it all in the week ending December 14, 2012.

Broadband's dirty digger

BDUK delivers its first rural superfast cabinet

The biggest headline this week – for us, anyway – was the arrival of the first BT rural fibre cabinet paid for by Broadband for the Digital UK.

The village of Ainderby Steeple in North Yorkshire will now be able to get connections of up to 80Mbps, and the neighbouring village of Selby will also benefit by Christmas.

You can read the full story by following the link above, but hopefully this is the first in an avalanche of BDUK-funded FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) rollouts.

BT’s faster fibre in reach of 78,000 more

Those busy BT Openreach engineers completed exchange upgrades and cabinet installations this week which will put up-to-80Mbps connections in reach of more than 78,000 new homes.

The FTTC technology will be supplemented in 2013 by FoD (Fibre on Demand), which will enable homes and businesses in reach of a cabinet to get a 330Mbps fibre connection, for a fee.

The upgraded exchange areas are:

  • Dundee Fairmuir: more than 12,600 in Downfield, St Mary’s, Ardler and Bridgefoot
  • Teignmouth, Devon: more than 5,500
  • Yeovil, Somerset: more than 14,000
  • Poole, Dorset: more than 12,000
  • Kemptown, East Sussex: more than 34,000

NB: Not everyone in reach of the exchange will get FTTC, which depends on your street being economically useful to BT Openreach. Final speeds depend on your distance from the cabinet.

Virgin’s London Underground WiFi reaches 92 stations

In-station WiFi from Virgin Media was switched on in another 20 Underground stations around London this week, bringing the total to 92.

The new arrivals are: Belsize Park, Notting Hill Gate, Camden Town, Seven Sisters, Chalk Farm, South Kensington, Highgate, Swiss Cottage, Mornington Crescent, Bounds Green, Balham, Finsbury Park, Clapham Common, Holloway Road, Oval, Russell Square, Clapham South, Turnpike Lane, Lancaster Gate, Wood Green.

It’s not all good news for the New Year, when Underground WiFi becomes paid-for service – £2 a day is a lot for a few minutes of connection when you’re not stuck between stations.

Digital Region’s doing it for South Yorks

North Yorkshire gets BDUK, London gets WiFi, but South Yorkshire’s Digital Region is always busy connecting new streets.

This week, they’ve wired up new postcodes in:

  • Barnsley: S73 9EW, S73 9EU, S73 9EZ, S73 9JG
  • Doncaster: DN5 9DT, DN5 4JR, DN5 9DX, DN5 9DS, DN5 7SX
  • Sheffield: S10 2FG, S10 2FD, S3 7WT, S10 2FS, S5 8XD, S5 8XB
  • Rotherham: S66 1WJ, S65 2UY

Big Build busy in Superfast Cornwall

BT’s always had a special relationship with Cornwall, and the peninsula county is doing well from it status as test subject for rural Superfast Broadband technology.

They’ve settled on FTTC, and this week saw more communities connected, in some parts of the Callestick & Perranzabuloe area, the Gorran area including Gorran Churchtown, and parts of the Manaccan exchange area, including Newtown St Martin.

The county’s Big Build has also been pushing forward in Mevagissey, Millbrook, Nanpean, St Austell, St Day and St Dominick, where we expect to see connections go live in the New Year.