FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ....... alias ....... FAQs Page 6
14 How will the project be delivered technically?
All 475 homes covered by the project are served from the Fordingbridge exchange. The distance from the exchange to our homes determines the current broadband speeds we can access over the telephone network from the ADSL2+ equipment housed in the exchange – mostly very slow! By running fibre-broadband supplies to 6 new cabinet locations around our parishes BT Openreach will, in effect, be bringing the exchange closer to where we live. Added to that, the equipment in the cabinets will use VDSL2 technology (which can deliver a theoretical maximum speed of 80Mbps). However, the length of telephone cable from the new cabinet positions to our homes will still be a significant factor in determining what speeds we are likely to get. Although the way the network is arranged is perfectly adequate for carrying our telephone calls, it's not optimal for every house when it comes to sending and receiving very high-speed data! However, the distance of every house/business from its proposed new cabinet has been measured, and the best likely speed achievable has been calculated.
In short - bar a handful (literally) of properties everyone will be able to receive 10Mbps or above, with 80% getting more than the 'Superfast Broadband' threshold of 24Mbps. The expected speed for your home will be available from your Broadband Champion.
The 6 new cabinets to be installed by BT Openreach have been split into 'Schemes':
1 - Gorley Green (by the phone box and existing cabinet) - 110*
2 - Hungerford Crossroads (by Hyde shop) - 93*
3 - South Gorley Green - 68*
4 - Hyde Lane / Stuckton Rd jn - 83*
5 - Frogham Crossroads - 71*
6 - Godshill Cross / Blissford Road junction - 50* *properties served
To keep costs as low as possible the new cabinets need to be located close to existing power and the telephone distribution network, and permissions may be needed for siting the new equipment. All this work is covered in the costs.
Houses in the Stuckton area can already choose to migrate to VDSL2 services as they are close enough to the cabinet opposite Hillwood’s Filling Station to get speeds of between 12 and 24 Mbps. We have not included them in the Community Broadband Project as the cost of providing increased speeds to these properties would be disproportionately expensive for the uplift they would receive. In comparison, most of Hyde, Frogham, Blissford and Gorley struggle to get even a 2Mbps service.
The delivery of the fibre services to the new cabinet locations will largely be through BT Openreach's existing duct network. Apart from possibly finding one of their vans blocking a road, or an engineer with his head down a manhole, disruption should be fairly minimal. However, some 'civils' work will be necessary at each of the new cabinet sites to put in foundations, localised cable ducting, power supplies etc.
Options to exploit the HPSN2 (Hampshire Public Service Network) fibre supply to Hyde School have been explored but are not available to us.
15 Why doesn't the plan include fibre extensions to new cabinets throughout the area?
A number of design ideas were discussed with BT Openreach but eventually had to be rejected on the basis of relative cost and benefit. For example when building ducts the civils (trench building, chamber provision etc) cost is about £75k per kilometer plus VAT if in the road or £40k per kilometer plus VAT on the verge. Adding the costs of the power and cabinet, at say a £15-25k + VAT and you have total costs of between £55k and £100k + VAT. As an alternative to ducts, fibre can be strung on poles but BT Openreach prefer not to use this approach unless there are no other options available as it requires a bonded strain wire and poles have to be a maximum distance apart or else repositioned which implies even greater disruption for residents. BT Openreach has also taken a commercial view (adjusted as part of their community approach) on the project and even if we had felt that we could support such large investments their ROI requirements meant they cannot support projects with lower returns.
In the round we had to go for a solution where the cost per premise will hopefully be seen to be a 'reasonable' investment for what people will be getting - we would liked to have provided the “Rolls Royce” solution but felt the overall costs were unreasonable.