We’ve just heard that the Filton exchange, which serves 0117 numbers within Bradley Stoke, is to be upgraded to superfast fibre optic broadband in 2012.
BT press release:
BT today announced that more 25,000 more homes and businesses in Bristol and nearby towns will have access to super-fast fibre broadband by the end of next year at the latest.
Bitton, Filton, Nailsea and Winterbourne are the latest communities to benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out plans for super-fast broadband. They are among 14 communities in the South West and 156 across the UK included in today’s announcement.
- Superfast fibre broadband to be rolled out to 25,000 more homes and businesses in the Bristol area (BT)
- Openreach unveils more locations for super-fast broadband (BT)
- Better Broadband Campaign (The Journal)
The Journal comments (on 8th April)
This is great news for residents in Bradley Stoke on 0117 phone numbers who have suffered with inadequate broadband speeds for so long. Sadly, the majority of us are on 01454 numbers (served from the Almondsbury exchange), so our campaign will go on until such a time as everyone is getting a service worthy of a developed country in the 21st century.
Given that recent statements from BT to the BBC and Bradley Stoke Town Council were adamant that some form of public subsidy would be necessary to solve Bradley Stoke’s broadband woes, it comes as some surprise to see Filton featuring in today’s rollout announcement. This really does make one wonder whether BT’s left arm knows what its right arm is doing.
To upgrade Filton, a large exchange almost fully covered by Virgin Media’s competing cable system, in preference to Almondsbury, where Virgin’s coverage is probably below 50% makes no economic sense. BT has clearly learned nothing from a similarly misguided strategy in Cardiff, where they are now very publicly wondering why the take-up rate for their Infinity product is so low.
Likewise, residents of Nailsea can already access a 100 Mbps service from Virgin, putting BT at a massive disadvantage as they start building their superfast broadband system in the town from scratch.
In terms of customer demand, BT’s own Race to Infinity survey gauged 11.2% support in Almondsbury but only 2.1% in Filton, 1.9% in Winterbourne and 0.9% in Nailsea. So much for the promise that BT would use the results of the competition to “plan where the roll-out goes next”.
We haven’t given up on the Almondsbury exchange, or on Virgin Media. The fight goes on – watch this space!
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