The areas in Bradley Stoke that are likely to benefit from state-aided investment in broadband infrastructure have been revealed in a detailed map released by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).
The council, working in partnership with BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), is planning to invest £2.2 million to improve broadband speeds across South Gloucestershire by March 2016.
Until now, SGC had only made available a low resolution map from which it was impossible to discern the exact boundaries of the ‘intervention areas’, where telecoms providers have said they will not be investing on a commercial basis. However, the new map shows the information at postcode level, which makes it possible to determine which streets are likely to benefit from the investment.
Related link: Broadband Interventation Areas [PDF, 1.1MB]
Whereas some consumers currently suffering poor internet speeds are likely to gain comfort from seeing their street within a purple intervention area, those living in the remaining white areas on the map are likely to see improvements earlier, since BT has said it intends to complete its commercial rollout of superfast broadband by spring 2014.
The intervention areas include most of central Bradley Stoke plus the area around Oaktree Crescent and Stanshaws Close in the north. Two smaller pockets in the north are shown at Primrose Close and Honeysuckle Close. There are also two small pockets in the south: Marjoram Place and the north-east corner of Juniper Way.
The absence of other purple zones in the south implies that BT is intending to bring superfast broadband to the bulk of this area through its commercial upgrade of the Filton exchange. That upgrade was announced in April 2011, but subscribers on 0117 numbers have since become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress, with just the Stean Bridge Road area yet to be offered the Infinity superfast fibre broadband service.
In January, the official BT Broadband Availability Checker was giving a date of 30th June 2013 for the availability of Infinity on 0117 numbers in Coriander Drive (south Bradley Stoke), but that has recently slipped (again) to 30th September 2013. Industry insiders suggest that these ‘end of quarter’ dates are holding dates that are “most at risk of slipping”.
Superfast or standard?
Across South Gloucestershire, 17% of premises are eligible for state-aided investment (83% will have access to superfast broadband via the commercial rollout programme).
SGC says it is aiming to increase superfast coverage across the district to “a minimum” of 90% and “an expected” 94% by March 2016. The remaining 6% to 10% of properties will be guaranteed a “standard” broadband speed of just 2Mbps.
The council says it is not yet in a position to determine which areas will get the superfast service.
SGC’s qualifying comments on the new map
“The map has been created at postcode level, and at this stage can only be a guide to visually demonstrate the areas we are allowed to invest in. The purple area of the map is the area where there is state aid clearance and will be surveyed as part of the project. The white areas of the map are the areas the telecoms market has already or plan to (in the next three years) invest in.”
“The map cannot show how the broadband network is currently deployed, as broadband networks are complex infrastructure that does not fit clearly into postcode areas. So for example, two premises within the same postcode could potentially be connected to different aspects of the network. The map therefore shows whole postcodes as either within the intervention area or outside of the intervention area, which may not be accurate. The physical surveys that will be completed will allow us to have a more accurate view about which premises are connected to which infrastructure.”
Note: Copyright restrictions apply to the map, as detailed on the legend.
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