Superfast Programme Update 18th August 2015
Posted on Tuesday August 18 2015 by Alexandra Paton
As the number of premises reached by the National Superfast Broadband rollout hits 3 million, Hampshire's Superfast Broadband programme has brought fibre to 60,000 premises across the county.
Including Government funding, Hampshire County Council and its partners are investing more than £26 million which will provide Superfast Broadband access to at least 95% of homes and businesses in Hampshire by 2018.
Since the last quarterly update in April, 35 cabinets across the county have been upgraded to offer superfast speeds.
The latest cabinets to be enabled demonstrate the extensive reach of the programme and the commitment to provide as many premises as possible with Superfast Broadband, covering parts of: Abbotts Ann, Andover, Ashurst, Bentley, Bransgore, Cadnam, Chandlers Ford, Crondall, Grateley, Hartley Wintney, Hythe, Kings Somborne, Liss, Lymington, Medstead, Romsey, Rownhams, Selborne, Silchester, Sway, Totton, Wallop and Winchester
These newly enabled cabinets bring the total number enabled by the Superfast Broadband Programme to 273.
Exchange Only Lines
Some of the cabinets completed since April and many of the remaining upgrades due for completion by the end of Wave 1 in December of this year are Exchange Only (EO) lines. These upgrades are more complex and expensive to complete than standard fibre to the cabinet installations.
EO lines are connected directly to the local telephone exchange and do not pass through a green cabinet so there is no aggregation point to which we can connect the fibre cabinet (DSLAM). In this situation BT has to re-route the copper connections and install two cabinets. This means that it often takes longer to deliver fibre broadband to these properties than to properties within the same area that are connected to an existing cabinet.
Due to the complex nature of EO installation it is not until the exchange only lines have been connected to the new cabinets that we will know which properties will be able to benefit from the superfast broadband service. This creates challenges for us in terms of letting people know that the service is available.
Take up across the county continues to be in the top 5 in the country. Take up in Basingstoke's Rooksdown ward is the highest in the county at 68%. This is followed by Hatch Warren and Beggarwood Ward (49%) and Bramley and Sherfield Ward (48%). Take up is crucial as it allows the County Council's "gainshare scheme" to kick in - the more residents that sign up for superfast broadband once it is available, the more funding the council can claim back from BT to reinvest in the final 4%, the county's hardest-to-reach areas.
BT and Hampshire County Council are currently undertaking the planning of Wave 2, which will extend coverage from 90% to 95% of premises across the county. We will be able to release more detailed information regarding Wave 2 later this year.
Our postcode checker on the home page of our website remains the best place to recieve updates on the status of your area.