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BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
12-09-2014, 05:36 PM
Post: #1
BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
Hi,

As I am very concerned about Sheffield being left behind in the "Superfast" broadband race, I thought it was time to see what the council had to say about the BDUK program.

My question was really weighted towards the "City Centre" exclusion zone, what with SLSF being the only exchange in the centre but serving many thousands of people outside of the centre.

This is the question I sent to David Oliver, who was given as the point of contact on the SCC website for their BDUK rollout;

Quote:Hello David,

I have been reading about the proposed Broadband Provision ideas following the collapse of Digital Region. I note the proposals do not include funding for the City Centre, which seems to put people even far outside of the centre at a disadvantage, just because they are connected to the main Sheffield exchange in the centre.

I note from the meetings in July that one of the points was noted as below;

(h) to request City Council Officers to develop as a separate initiative and bring forward for consideration a Sheffield city centre superfast broadband strategy.

I do not seem to be able to find any more information on what is happening with point (h), despite finding news items celebrating the signing of a deal (which again, will exclude the majority of people but at a disadvantage broadband wise) with BT.

Would you be able to give me any kind of update or idea of what the council has planned or even if any meetings are scheduled to discuss this further?

And this was the reply I got;

Quote:Re: City Centre Area

The Sheffield city centre had to be excluded from the project due to the way in which the government set up the BDUK Framework. Essentially, the scheme was set up as a rural programme and excluded urban areas. BDUK defined urban areas as the city centres of the “core” cities (Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham etc). We pushed back very hard with BDUK on the size of the geographic area to be excluded, but ultimately they would not move on their definition. I understand that the area excluded in Sheffield is one of the smaller city centre areas excluded in this programme, so we did do better than some other cities.

Please note that “city centre” is defined in geographic terms, not by the exchange that you are connected to.


Re: City Centre Broadband Strategy

You may know that earlier this year BT announced a £50m scheme to implement superfast broadband in city centres, and we are meeting them soon to try and find out what their plans are for Sheffield. So far BT have not made any public announcements about what they will do, where or when.

The city centre strategy work hasn’t started in earnest yet. This is for 2 reasons. Firstly because we want to understand what BT’s plans are for Sheffield city centre so that we know what the size and scale of the problem is re: superfast broadband connectivity. Secondly, because it has taken a lot of work to get the BDUK Programme completed, and we have had to concentrate resources on getting that work completed first.

The BDUK contracts will be signed very soon, the meeting with BT is scheduled for September, so we will start to develop a city centre broadband strategy very soon. I hope that helps answer your question. The publicity and communications activity will start to ramp up once the BDUK contracts have been signed and more information will then become available. Please get in touch in the new year for a progress update on the city centre strategy if you havent heard anything publicly before then.

BT regularly update their website with details about what exchanges/cabinets will be fibre enabled and when so its worth checking there every so often (http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/). Please also be aware that you can lobby BT directly and the methods of doing this are described on their website. I know of a housing estate in Barnsley that recently lobbied BT to replace an “exchange only” copper service with a “fibre to the cabinet” service – this was part funded by the residents.

My bold in regard to City Centre defintion, i've asked David to provide a map of what the agreed exclusion zone would be so i'll update this thread if anyone is interested.

Maybe this sub-forum should now be renamed "South Yorkshire Broadband Discussion"? Smile

Hope this was of interest to anyone !

Phil
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12-09-2014, 06:13 PM
Post: #2
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
That should be interesting.

As for the forum name, it would be WAY more fun to see if anyone can come up with a clever name that matches the DRL initials, so the domain can stay the same. Wink

Not that changing the forum name would necessarily need a domain change, I think most people just use Google anyway and pay sod all attention to the domain name. I have told my mum off for using Google to load a URL when she could type the URL in directly.

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13-09-2014, 09:13 AM
Post: #3
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
I've not thought about forum branding.

BDUK Yorkshire?

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Spencer Davies
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13-09-2014, 03:49 PM
Post: #4
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
Its not like anyone pays attention to the forum name, it seems to be entirely down to if Google picks up any relevant posts. However, I would think staying away from any company/scheme name is probably advisable.

I remember Digital Region were less than impressed with the forum as it could come across as being an official forum from the name.

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17-09-2014, 08:12 PM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2014 08:15 PM by gribz_uk.)
Post: #5
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
Forgot to post the next reply I had from David, i've attached a map of how the BDUK project defines the Sheffield "City Centre".

This looks like partially good news as it just seems to encompass the inner ring road, plus a bit more.

I'm not sure how they will justify upgrading the SLSF exchange just to serve people connected to it but outside the city centre area (like myself) but I hope they get a move on with it!

Here's the rest of the email I received;

Quote:The BDUK definition of the city centre is attached. Unfortunately, I can’t give you any more detail at this stage other than that the roll out will be broken down into 8 or 9 phases and implemented over 3 years. There will be a detailed survey before each phase and that is when the details of the roll out will be known for that phase. Once the contract is signed the communications effort will ramp up and the project team will provide as much detail as possible during the implementation.

Many Thanks,

David Oliver
Solutions Architect

I don't know what the colours in the map mean, however I have today learnt of two new Sheffield areas, "Little Sheffield" and "Port Mahon". Smile


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17-09-2014, 10:28 PM
Post: #6
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
Norfolk Park is rural then. Utterly bizarre but I'm not complaining. Must mean the Sheffield and Attercliffe exchanges (if not city centre cabs) are to be sorted...?
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18-09-2014, 10:08 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2014 10:08 AM by essenby.)
Post: #7
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
Atterclife is not inside that area so I would guess it means it's "not ruled out" rather than "definitely included".

Unfortunately the Sheffield exchange is well within that coloured area so probably will be ruled out.

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18-09-2014, 10:25 AM
Post: #8
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
Re; Sheffield Exchange, I think (hope) that it'll be a case of upgrade exchange but only roll out the FTTC cabinets outside of the area.

Wouldn't be fulfilling the bduk contract if they did anything else, IMO.
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18-09-2014, 10:31 AM
Post: #9
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
(18-09-2014 10:08 AM)essenby Wrote:  Atterclife is not inside that area so I would guess it means it's "not ruled out" rather than "definitely included".

Unfortunately the Sheffield exchange is well within that coloured area so probably will be ruled out.
Hopefully not - from the OP:
Quote:Please note that “city centre” is defined in geographic terms, not by the exchange that you are connected to.

Which would imply that BDUK funding could be given for Sheffield exchange and the cabs outside the inner ring road; BT could then do as they please with the cabinets inside the ring road.
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23-09-2014, 09:54 PM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2014 09:55 PM by Knaggsy.)
Post: #10
RE: BDUK "Superfast" Sheffield Questions
(18-09-2014 10:31 AM)WillPS Wrote:  
Quote:Please note that “city centre” is defined in geographic terms, not by the exchange that you are connected to.

Which would imply that BDUK funding could be given for Sheffield exchange and the cabs outside the inner ring road; BT could then do as they please with the cabinets inside the ring road.

I seriously hope that this is the case. I recently moved to Sheffield from Barnsley where I had digital region before the closure (I had it from the very beginning). Unfortunately I have moved into the doomed Sheffield City Center exchange area but I am well outside of that 'city center' zone.

The worst thing about it is that everywhere around my estate can get virgin media's 150mb. I am less than 50 meters from a house that has 150mb available and when I contacted Virgin Media they wanted £75k to wire up the estate.

As I am so far from the exchange I only get 3.25mb on an upto 24mb service. Fiber optic just can't come quick enough.
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