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Connected Counties Newsletter 17

Monday 17th September, 2018

Programme Update

The Connected Counties programme is still working hard with Openreach to rollout superfast broadband to residents of Herts and Bucks. The partnership made 2,700 new superfast connections available in the last three months across the two counties. 

We remain behind where we’d hoped to be at this stage, but we are working with Openreach to catch up, however we’re pleased to announce that coverage in Buckinghamshire is now above 95% for Superfast availability (24mbps or more), in line with national targets.

To see if you can upgrade your home or business to superfast broadband, enter your landline or postcode in the checker at http://www.connectedcounties.org/

If you'd like an update on the position at your address please drop us a line at info@connectedcounties.org.  

G.Fast/GFast

G.Fast is a new broadband service which is currently in the process of being piloted across particular towns and cities within the UK, including four areas of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

G.Fast provides premises with Ultrafast speeds of over 100mbps by building on infrastructure already in place, and changing the way broadband signals are transmitted along the existing copper wire from the local cabinet to your premises.  This will allow you to stream Ultrafast HD TV in one room and download music in another without needing a full fibre service.

Openreach are piloting G.Fast currently within Aylesbury, Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe and St Albans. If you live or work within any of the aforementioned areas and already have a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connection, you could take advantage of the pilot in your area, although bear in mind that currently the only providers participating in the G.Fast pilot are BT and TalkTalk.

Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review

In late July, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published their Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, outlining their digital strategy for the next few decades. Within the report, the DCMS stated their aim to get UK nationwide blanket coverage of Fibre-to-the-Premise solutions by 2033, and for the market to deliver 15 million of these connections by 2025.

The report also highlighted the importance of 5G coverage, and whilst this technology is still being developed, it is hoped that the majority of the UK population will have 5G coverage by 2027. This will improve on the current 4G coverage, which is at 87%, and aims to be at 95% coverage by 2022.

The Connected Counties programme is continuing to deliver both Fibre-to-the-Cabinet and Fibre-to-the-Premise solutions to enable better connectivity for close to 100,000 premises across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, and both counties are continuing to explore options for extending the availability of Superfast coverage.

The benefits of the broadband rollout

An Ipsos Mori study for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has recently taken place to review the overall effect of the National Broadband scheme to increase Superfast Broadband coverage nationwide. The programme targeted areas which were unlikely to benefit from commercial coverage without intervention.

The scheme was initially backed by £530m of public funding, with the aim of extending superfast coverage to 90% of UK premises by early 2016. The programme expanded in 2015, with a further £250m made available to extend coverage to 95% of premises by the end of 2017.

This scheme has led to the availability of coverage to more than 4.8 million premises across the UK and continues to deliver additional coverage across both Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The report estimates that subsidised coverage led to the creation or retention of 49,000 additional jobs in those areas that received upgraded infrastructure, and that business turnover, wellbeing and national economic output (GVA) have increased substantially as a result.

Summary of some of the estimated benefits of the nationwide programme:

  • Subsidised coverage resulted in the creation of 49,400 jobs.
  • The chief beneficiaries of subsidised coverage were the education and health sectors. These sectors saw gains in turnover per worker of 4.7% and 3.7% percent respectively.
  • For every 10,000 premises upgraded through the programme, the number of Job Seekers Allowance claimants fell by between 34 and 40 over a three-year period. The total reduction in claimant numbers attributable to subsidised coverage was estimated at 8,800 by 2016.
  • Employment rose by 1.3% in response to subsidised coverage in urban areas, and to 0.6% in rural areas.
  • Total turnover of businesses located on urban postcodes receiving subsidised coverage increased by 1.4%, and to 1.2% in rural areas.
  • Estimated that the national programme could deliver benefits of up to £12 for every £1 of public subsidy spent.
  • The full report is published online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-the-economic-impact-and-public-value-of-the-superfast-broadband-programme

Frequently Asked Questions about the Connected Counties Broadband Programme

We regularly get questions about the programme and the programme and are always keen to hear feedback and provide information.

We have a selection of some of the more commonly asked questions complied on the site, so it’s always worth checking here first.

Click below to see more information:

http://www.connectedcounties.org/#faqs


Useful links

BT Broadband Availability Checker

Virgin Media Post Code Checker

Gigaclear Post Code Checker

Thinkbroadband Post Code Checker

Cable.co.uk

USwitch.com

http://www.lgauptospeed.org/

 


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& businesses across Bucks and Herts