The Reach of BT’s FttX announcements
October 6, 2010 in Adrian's tech blog
Now that BT’s has made its sixth set of announcements I decided to map the expected coverage of BT’s FttX roll-out so far. Below is a mini gallery of the UK coverage and for my neighbours in Oxfordshire (click on each image to load larger version)
The good news, for me at least, is that I should have FttC in time for Christmas next year and since I can see the green cabinet from my office window hopefully it will make a major difference.
Generally, however, the roll-out seems to be following the DCLG model of NGA deployments for 65% coverage, which for my neighbours means we may reasonably expect to see Carterton, Eynsham, Didcot Wallingford, Kidlington and Woodstock announced in later phases – although probably not much more for Oxfordshire.
Of course this is where maps can provide a tilted picture – although the area covered is still very small, the population is disproportionately large as these are typically areas with very high population density. By my calculation from ONS data and trying to predict the exchange areas, it looks like the announcements so far will reach around 24% of homes in England and Wales – it sounds like we are about a third of the way through BT’s announcements.
As a personal comment on progress – BT announcements have recently been good news which few could really criticize, so its a shame that they had to spoil it by announcing a competition for qualifying communities to prove their demand with the prize of BT enabling the five most ardent areas. With smaller exchanges excluded, this is more likely to allow a very small number of people to jump a queue they didn’t know they were already in, and by my calculation the lucky communities are more likely to get 4 numbers or more on the National Lottery than win BT’s prize.
The slow build of broadband investment in the UK is becoming an emotive debate. While BT’s announcements of new areas help to demonstrate real progress, spin like BT Retail’s “Race to Infinity” competition are more likely to further stoke emotions.