Posts Tagged ‘BT’

Bradley Stoke broadband intervention areas revealed

Posted on Monday 11th March 2013 at 10:47 am by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council broadband intervention areas in North Bristol.

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”.

More: Will you get superfast or standard? Uncertainty remains »

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South Glos signs broadband deal but target completion date slips

Posted on Thursday 31st January 2013 at 9:15 pm by SH (Editor)

Broadband - photo by charmcitygavin (licence: cc-attr).

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has announced the signing of a deal that will bring improved internet speeds to at least 9.4% of premises across the district.

The Council, in partnership with Wiltshire Council, has agreed the £35.6 million project with BT, who were announced as the preferred bidder for the project last November.

£4.6 million of the money will come from the Government (through its BDUK agency), £15.5 million from Wiltshire Council, £2 million from South Gloucestershire Council, £12.8 million from BT and £0.74 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Revised data published today shows that 83% of premises in South Gloucestershire are expected to have access to superfast broadband through commercial investment by 2015. The state-aided project announced today will benefit most of the remaining 17% (19,700 premises), by guaranteeing a minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps to all of them and bringing superfast speeds (> 24Mbps) to between 8,120 and 12,752 of them (corresponding to “minimum” and “expected” district-wide superfast coverage targets of 90% and 94%).

The Journal estimates that around 3,000 homes in Bradley Stoke could benefit from the investment, these being the homes and business that are served from the BT telephone exchange at Almondsbury (01454 numbers) and lie outside the Virgin Media cable area.

For those on 0117 numbers, BT is currently in the process of upgrading its Filton Exchange (announced in April 2010), and the latest projections are that subscribers will be able to order superfast services from 30th June 2013.

The bad news contained in today’s announcement is that the estimated completion date for the state-aided work has slipped to May 2016, an extension of just over a year on the target date of April 2015 announced by SGC last February.

Six months of the slippage is attributed to delays in obtaining state-aid approval from the EU but no explanation for the further seven month delay has been offered.

More: When will BS benefit? No detail on project ‘phases’ »

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Frustration as broadband targets slip again

Posted on Monday 7th January 2013 at 11:02 am by SH (Editor)

Broadband - photo by charmcitygavin (licence: cc-attr).

There’s little New Year cheer for consumers suffering from appalling internet connection speeds in Bradley Stoke with the news that both South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and BT have slipped key dates on broadband improvement projects.

SGC announced in November 2012 that BT had been chosen as its preferred supplier for it £2.2 million project to bring superfast broadband to 90% of the district by April 2015 and said it expected to sign a contract with the telecoms giant in “early December”. That date has now been quietly put back to “the end of January” with the delay being blamed on contractual issues between BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Government agency overseeing the state-aided work, and the need to “recheck the project model” after Swindon Borough Council pulled out of the Great Western Broadband partnership that also includes Wiltshire County Council.

Meanwhile, BT’s self-funded upgrading of the Filton telephone exchange, announced nearly two tyears ago, has yet to bring any benefit to residents of Bradley Stoke on 0117 numbers. The broadband checker on the BT website is currently indicating a projected availability date of June 2013 for superfast broadband at a randomly selected property in the south of the town, which is six months later than originally promised.

Recent efforts by the Town Council to engage with Virgin Media, whose superfast-capable cable network already covers half the town, have only met with frustration. The Town Clerk wrote to the company in June 2011 and October 2012 asking them to consider extending their network but no reply has been forthcoming. A letter sent to Virgin’s complaints department about the lack of response has also gone unanswered.

Despite the promised investment, there is no guarantee that the SGC project will bring superfast broadband to consumers on 01454 numbers, served from the Almondsbury exchange. According to the SGC’s own figures, 21,000 properties in the district qualify for state assistance because they are in areas that are unlikely to receive superfast broadband from commercial providers but less than half of these are guaranteed to get superfast speeds through the Council’s project. The remaining properties will receive assistance to access a “standard broadband” service of at least 2Mbps, which is likely to be viewed by many consumers as being inadequate.

The Journal estimates that around 4,000 properties in Bradley Stoke are eligible to benefit from the SGC broadband project, with around 2,000 of those currently receiving speeds of less than 2Mbps (the national average is currently 9Mbps).

More info: Broadband in South Gloucestershire (SGC)

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BT accepting orders for 0117 superfast broadband in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Monday 2nd April 2012 at 10:21 am by SH (Editor)

Broadband - photo by charmcitygavin (licence: cc-attr)

BT Openreach has announced that subscribers served by the Filton telephone exchange are now able to place orders for superfast fibre broaband but there remains doubt as to how many homes in Bradley Stoke on 0117 lines will be able to benefit from the new technology.

The company announced in April last year that Filton would be upgraded in 2012 and the Openereach website had been showing “March 2012” as the date from which orders would be accepted. The green light for ordering was finally given last weekend.

Residents wishing to take advantage of the service must order it through a communications provider, such as BT, PlusNet or TalkTalk.

Rumours have been circulating that only a fraction of the 0117 subscribers in Bradley Stoke will be able to take advantage of the new service, possibly because BT is only going to install a limited number of new street cabinets or because properties are too far from existing cabinet sites.

A “Check if you can get BT Infinity” tool on the Infinity page of BT’s website can be used to see if you are one of the lucky ones able to benefit.

When The Journal ran the check for a number of 0117 lines in roads in a known broadband ‘slow spot’ in the south of Bradley Stoke, the tool told us that Infinity would be available from June 2012 in Rosemary Close but the service was not offered for lines in Coriander Drive or Tarragon Place.

We’d be interested to hear what BT is saying for lines in your street – please share what you find out by adding a comment to this story.

Subscribers on 01454 numbers, who are served from the Almondsbury telephone exchange, are still waiting to hear if BT will provide superfast broadband through the company’s commercial roll-out that is due to be completed by the end of 2014. If not, they will be dependent on South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) broadband project that aims to bring superfast broadband to 90% of the district by April 2015, with the assistance of a Government subsidy allocated by Broadband Delivery UK.

More: Results of Council’s broadband consultations still awaited »

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