Worcestershire residents can get an early idea if they’ll get lucky under the county’s £20m superfast fibre broadband project.
The provisional Superfast Worcestershire rollout map has been released ahead of detailed planning and technical surveys to work out which streets will benefit from fibre to the cabinet or even to the premises.
BT Openreach’s £20m contract with Worcestershire County Council will deliver over-24Mbps superfast connections to more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses.
Read Recombu Digital’s guides to Rural Broadband and BDUKRob Shakespeare, BT’s senior project manager for Superfast Worcestershire, said: “Planning and survey work is essential to ensure we get the design of the fibre infrastructure right.
“This is a big job and includes surveying all the underground ducts serving homes and businesses in the area. We’ll then draw up a plan for where the fibre, new ducts, street cabinets and additional underground and overground equipment goes.”
Openreach will survey underground ducts up to 80 years old, which could be blocked, collapsed, or encounter archaeological finds ignored when the original network was built.
The nine-month survey may find that some ducts are so full of old cables that Openreach needs to build new routes, Shakespeare added.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: “We remain confident that more than 90 per cent of residents and business premises will receive high-speed fibre broadband over the next three years but what we simply do not have is the detail.
“It is, therefore, important that the information released today is treated as an indication of the anticipated roll out only.”
The draft plan is available as a PDF detailing Openreach’s existing commercial rollout, areas of full and partial coverage under Superfast Worcestershire, and where will be left with the over-2Mbps rump service.
The map also indicates where the Community Pathfinder Wireless Broadband project, being conducted with Airband UK, crosses over with the BT rollout under Broadband Delivery for the UK.
Residents and businesses can register for updates to the rollout, and the final survey data will be incorporated into a postcode checker based on BT Openreach’s national superfast fibre broadband finder.
Councillor John Campion, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for Commissioning and Transformation, added: “We are totally committed to sharing the most accurate information when it is available which will be before each phase of the deployment.
“We are working to develop a website so that local people and businesses will be able to register their details and be notified when faster broadband is coming to their area and will work to keep local people updated.”