I get often get asked how different technologies provide different outcomes for the same area. To illustrate this, I created this diagram with three windows to suggest which homes might benefit from each of  fibre to the cabinet (FttC), fibre to the premise (FttP) and wireless.

Different technologies provide different outcomes

Different technologies provide different outcomes

I picked the Oxfordshire village Swinbrook because its local and it has a very nice pub.

  • The FttC is based on measuring the road lengths from the cabinet to see how far a superfast service mights stretch – in this case the homes to the top of the village appear to beyond the reach of a good VDSL service;
  • FttP is based on the understanding that it can technically reach anywhere but the premises to the north of the village are likely to be uneconomic to deliver;
  • And the wireless panel show which premises (in green) are likely to have a good signal from an existing nearby mast.

From this its clear that to reach 100% of Swinbrook will require some mix of either FttC or FttP together with wireless.

A more detailed map was created of the Devon village of Thurlestone to explain further the way FttC speeds decay with distance.

FttC in ThurlestoneThe purple area is calculated by simply measuring a 1km radius around a cabinet. This is the easy way of estimating FttC reach but it can also mask local issues caused by winding roads so this was remodelled using the road network – in this case green roads are where FttC should deliver a superfast speed and red roads are where there will be minimal impact. It shows how in this case an area within the purple zone is in fact further than 1.4km from the cabinet by road and so likely to get less than 24 Mbps.

Hopefully this shows how its essential to use a mix of technologies if the intention is to deliver genuinely universal superfast broadband.

Broadway Partners is now working with a number of local authorities to help them understand the mix of solutions that may be needed to optimally reach the remaining areas.


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