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One Ring to Rule Them All: Broadband Rollout Roundup 19/10/2012

Broadband Rollout Roundup this week is a rather BT-heavy one. If it’s not announcements about BT rollout then it’s been progress on the Superfast Cornwall project that has reached our ears.

In fact with the way things are going right now, brace yourselves for a lot of BT-related rollout noise. With the competition for County Council contracts non-existent you can expect that BT will be hoovering up the jobs in the remaining 45 councils.

That’s not to say it’s been all about BT – Mancunians can rejoice with news that the giant fibre ring installed by Atlantic Telecoms back in 2002 has been bought and is being readied for work by business ISP Gamma.

One Ring to Rule Them All: Broadband Rollout Roundup 19/01/2012

No word yet on when Manchester will benefit from this legacy of the Commonwealth Games but it’s good to know that its already waiting in the ground – no need for any more digging.

Further down south, London is being treated to a few more months of free public WiFi thanks to Virgin Media. Us Londoners were expecting to have to be coughing up for the privilege of subterranean tweeting post-Olympics. Well, Londoners who aren’t Virgin Media punters anyways.

Without further ado, here’s the latest thrilling instalment of Broadband Rollout Roundup, week ending 19/10/2012.

127,000 homes and businesses connected to BT Infinity

Digital Region and CityFibre have set up fibre networks in South Yorkshire and Bournemouth, offering FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband respectively.

This hasn’t stopped BT from unfurling its fibre tentacles into the dales and beach huts though. This week BT announced that 18,000 locations in Askern, Dinnington and Stocksbridge can order the FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) based BT Infinity products.

Down south, more than 10,000 families and firms in Westbourne can now sign up for FTTC broadband, with a lucky few also able to get FTTP.

Right now, BT’s Infinity 2 FTTC top download speed clocks in at 80Mbps. The BT Infinity 100 FTTP product offers a more impressive 330Mbps top download speed.

Note that as it the case with current ADSL broadband, there’s still a distance:speed ratio with FTTC. In other words, the length of the last mile – which is made of copper, not fibre – will determine the top speed you’re likely to get, and it cases where the last mile is longer than 3 kilometers, you won’t see much of a difference between FTTC and broadband as it is right now.

Elsewhere in the UK, BT lit up 23,000 new locations in Scunthorpe with FTTC broadband and a total of 76,000 locations in Elland, Horbury Ossett, Ilkley, Milnsbridge, Moortown, Rawdon and Sandal, West Yorkshire.

Other BT exchanges confirmed for upgrades by Openreach this week include:

Bexhill (FTTC) Rother District, East Sussex
Fleetwood (FTTC) Wyre District (B), Lancashire
Kettering (FTTC) Kettering District (B), Northamptonshire
Leatherhead (FTTC) Mole Valley District, Surrey
Ryhope (FTTC) Sunderland District (B), Tyne and Wear
Sudbury (FTTC) Babergh District, Suffolk
Wallsend (FTTC) North Tyneside District (B), Tyne and Wear
Widnes (FTTC) Halton (B), Cheshire

If you’re connected to any of these exchanges there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to order BT Infinity 2 which offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and unlimited downloads.

As always, check first with SamKnows to see if your postcode is connected to a street cabinet that’s been upgraded for fibre. If not, then you’ll not be able to get BT Infinity.


Superfast Cornwall Big Build continues, Truro and Newquay get more fibre

Superfast Cornwall continues to roll out and connect more homes and businesses on the Cornish peninsula.

This week engineers have been working at Camborne, Camelford, Goonhavern, Mitchell, Newquay, Penzance, St. Just and The Lizard. Based on information released by Superfast Cornwall, there’s no homes or businesses in Camelford, Mitchell and The Lizard that can yet get superfast broadband.

We have however reproduced current coverage percentages of all the listed areas as well as dates for when full coverage in those areas is estimated. This is all available from Superfast Broadband in this handy PDF if you want a closer look.

Exchange Name – Coverage – ETA

Camborne – 28 per cent – March 2013
Goonhavern, Truro – 77 per cent – March 2013
Newquay – 39 per cent – May 2013
Penzance – 19 per cent – April 2013
St. Just – 28 per cent – April 2013

Like we said, there’s no activity in the following places yet. But we’ve added start dates as well as the ETA dates for when the job’s supposed to be done.

Camelford – Nov 2012 – Mar 2013
Mitchell – Nov 2012 – Feb 2013
The Lizard – Nov 2012 – Dec 2012

If you’re a resident of The Lizard and an engineer comes to connect BT Vision, make sure there aren’t any actual lizards coming out of the TV once they’re done…


The Loop: Manchester’s secret 10Gbps network

There’s been much talk about London’s Olympic Legacy now the games have come and gone, but its the legacy of a previous sporting event in Manchester that’s making a more immediate impact. An asset leftover from the Commonwealth Games is being repurposed by ISP Gamma to bring 10Gbps fibre broadband to businesses in and around the city.

Initially it’s only businesses that will benefit from Gamma’s fibre ring or ‘The Loop’ as it’s been cannily dubbed. You’re either in the loop or you’re not…

Head over to theloopmanchester.co.uk for more information.  


London Underground Virgin Media WiFi: free to the end of 2012  

Speaking of Olympic legacies, here’s another – Virgin Media’s WiFi network on the London Underground was supposed to be a paid-for thing once the games had finished. However it’s since been announced that it’s going to be free for everyone for the rest of the year.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media, said: “Commuters and visitors will be able to make use of the internet throughout 2012 and we’re in positive talks with potential wholesale partners to ensure a fantastic experience for all Tube passengers throughout 2012 and beyond.”

It’s expected that ‘wholesale partners’ will be bigger ISPs like BT, TalkTalk and Sky as well as the UK networks.

Virgin Media is now supplying more than 600,000 people day with WiFi with the majority of those connecting at Waterloo, Victoria, King’s Cross, and Oxford Circus. 

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