Ambitious plans for Super-Fast Broad-band for all of Surrey

We attended a presentation at Denbies winery yesterday to learn more about Surrey’s plans for making Surrey the best connected county in the UK.

The introduction was from Peter Martin, Deputy Leader, Surrey County Council and he introduced Bill Murphy: Managing Director of BT Next Generation Access and he in turn introduced Programme Director Lucie Glenday from Surrey County Council.

Surrey wants to enable access to 99.7% of all Surrey residences and business to what they are calling SuperFast Broadband. They want this complete by the end of 2014.

See image for overview of project plans.

BT network plans

Other counties have similar Broadband plans but none come close to reaching 99.7% of residents or so claim Surrey.

This project has substantial funding from Surrey, BT and Whitehall.

Key points:

  • Surrey County Council signed the £33.1 million contract with BT in September 012.
  • £20 million is to be invested by Surrey County Council, with a further £11.8 million by BT and £1.3 million by the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK.
  • This funding will be used to extend BT’s fibre-based network to nearly 100% of homes and businesses in Surrey. Through a combination of ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ and ‘Fibre to the Premise’, users will be able to access speeds of up to 80Mbps.
  • Surrey County Council and BT are committed to finding a superfast broadband solution for the small number of hard to reach properties where it is still not possible to deploy BT’s standard fibre network. They will look to work with local communities to develop alternative commercial models and look at different technologies. Both Surrey County Council and BT have ring-fenced funding to support the development of solutions for these properties.

As from yesterday the project is in the network planning stage. This entails the details logistics on a post code by post code plan of how to bring Fibre Optic to the distribution box, that’s the Green Cabinet you see on the streets. Our local Albury box look like this:

BT box at GU5 9AF

BT’s plans require all the Telephone exchanges to be upgraded to Fibre Optic capabilities and then add new Fibre Cabinets next or close to all existing Distribution Cabinets and connect the new boxes to the local exchange by laying new fibre. This combination then permits the existing copper cable to deliver a much faster DSL solution to the premises. Just how fast is dependent on your distance from the existing distribution box.  At the presentation claims of 80 Mbits were banded about, if you are close. The plan is to provide all subscribers with at least 15 Mbits at all times.

This is of course a wholesale network and individual ISP will then be able to provide retail services to residential or business clients. So the pricing will still be in the hands of the ISPs like Virgin, BT, Talk Talk, Sky etc.

We await the website to monitor performance and will be tracking our local Post Code project on a regular basis.

Now the precise details of the plan were to be announced on the SuperFast project website. The site is still not live, 24 hours after the go-live time of yesterday morning. The site will allegedly show the timing of installations at each post code. Luckily the team had printed copies of the post code plans. Do you know how many unique postcode are in Surrey? Well there are over 8,000 and the report listed them all. For us GU5 9AF we have Q4 2012.  So by year end we should have access.

You can look up your code on the website – When it’s live that is.

We await the website to monitor performance and will be tracking our local Post Code project on a regular basis.

Update: June 5th:

Overnight signs of possible construction have arrived. The existing BT Green Box has been surrounded by road work signs, barriers and sundry cones along with a few bags of cement.

3 thoughts on “Ambitious plans for Super-Fast Broad-band for all of Surrey

  1. Paul

    I just searched and GU5 9AF is set for year end. I have a talk talk contract that I so want to ditch.

  2. taybridge

    Update June 6th. Is this work starting at the Green Box? See recent images.

  3. taybridge

    Just seen BT at work in Shere. See updated post.

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