The East Sussex BDUK project with BT working to deliver its phase I and phase II have declared successful completion of phase I, which means its our chance to look at what has been delivered.
The BT press release talks of the project making fibre broadband available to some 73,000 premises, and its should be highlighted that the project area is East Sussex plus Brighton and some cabinets have been delivered in Brighton in areas where commercial operators had previously declared they were not planning to venture when the original Open Market Reviews took place.
There is also the claim that the project when combined with the commercial footprints has made fibre broadband available to 380,000 premises. The eSussex website talks about some different figures, such as 66,500 premises passed (we are assuming the 66,500 postcodes is a mistake) and will install 400 new fibre cabinets.
So what does our tracking show, well we can see 347 VDSL2 cabinets delivered by the phase I project with an additional 45 FTTP areas, so the 400 is pretty good (our aggregation of FTTP in some areas may merge some areas. It has taken a day longer than we expected to start writing up this news, as our initial run was not attributing all the FTTP delivered to the project, and we should add we can see from the eSussex website that more FTTP is on the way that may boost figures by several hundred premises more.
|thinkbroadband analysis of
USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage for East Sussex and The City of Brighton and its component district councils
Figures 16th March 2017
|Area||% fibre based
FTTC, FTTP, Cable
> 24 Mbps
>= 30 Mbps
>= 100 Mbps
|Openreach FTTP||Under 2 Mbps USC||Under 10 Mbps USO|
|Combined Area City of Brighton and East Sussex||99.1%||95.5%||94.7%||32.3%||1.0%||0.5%||1.7%|
|377,794 premises for combined area||374,299||360,648||357,672||121,992||3,818||1,758||6,577|
|Delivered via Phase I contract
Excludes cable overlap
|Premises for Phase I||62,685||53,789||51,971||3,382||3,382||1,039||3,896|
|The City of Brighton||99.6%||99.4%||99.4%||90.9%||0%||0% (***)||0.1%|
(*) while this is 100%, there are still additional premises where FTTP appears to be planned from phase I, our coverage tracking does not include FTTP until such time as it is live within each postcode.
(**) There is an additional 3.5% (2,272 premises) of cable coverage but as BT should not be paid for overlaps with Virgin Media premises we exclude these from the figures. It is possible given the Virgin Media expansion that some of these cable premises were delivered after the project enabled a VDSL2 cabinet, and thus may account for some of the difference with the BT figures.
(***) while 0% due to the rounding, there are 23 premises we believe with access to only 1 Mbps broadband in the City of Brighton and in Eastbourne just 6 premises sub 2 Mbps.
The difference between the 73,000 of the BT press release and our 62,685 premises for phase I, is a fairly large gap, but given the eSussex project is talking of 66,500 premises it seems there is a not a total consensus and the wording of the BT press release is such that the 73,000 may include phase II which looks like it has addressed some 1,281 premises so far, add the variation due to the 2,272 cable premises and maybe another 800 to 1,000 FTTP on the way things are looking a lot closer. Other factors such as the potential for home based businesses to count as just one premise in our data, does a hospital count as one premise or a premise per building or premise per distinct department to be included in the BT data but excluded from ours may also explain some of the gap between the combined total of 380,000 fibre based premises and our 374,299 VDSL2/cable/FTTP premises passed. Another factor may be conversions of single premises dwellings to multiple dwellings, which with no new postcode being issued are much harder to spot.
Something we would ask BT Group to be better at doing in their press releases is to make it clearer that areas such as Brighton are included are in the figures, it confused us as for a while and may well be misleading the public as to the scale of what is being delivered.