SCC Signs SFBB Contract

Surrey County Council (SCC) have finally signed and announced the long awaited contract to improve “Superfast” BroadBand (SFBB) services across Surrey. No surprise that BT topped the very short short-list. Read all about it in the Superfast Broadband in Surrey September Newsletter and SCC News. It seems little progress will now be made until the issue with the EU is sorted out. BT will “contribute” £11.8m to the project with £20m coming from Surrey County Council and £1.3m from the government’s BDUK fund.

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9 Responses to SCC Signs SFBB Contract

  1. Top Print says:

    What a surprise – only one provider (BT) owns the infrastructure and simply prices any serious competition out by their access charges. They sure weren’t choosen based upon their great track record ofon-time delivery and maintenance of their existing decrepit infrastructure.

    Be interesting to know what penalties for failure are in place to protect the rate payers £20m direct +£11.8m indirect contribution; a hot topic in relation to train franchises.

    FoI: Do you know if the public get access to to the bid documents e.g. how far out was the other bidder?

  2. Top Print

    With respect to your FoI question, the simple answer is yes. Just write to the Freedom of Information Officer at SCC. They will definitely have one, and request the information. They may try and tell you that the information was supplied as “commercial in confidence” but this will not stand up if you pursue hard.

    If you really are keen to do this I can supply you with a boilerplate that has been successfully used many times with Local Councils.

  3. Walter says:

    Those who are interested in the development of the SCC Superfast position might care to read this Cumbrian article followed by one more specifically examining the situation. Cumbria is a little ahead on these matters as it is one of the “pilot areas” but I believe much of their situation is replicated in Surrey too.

    http://5tth.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/cumbrian-news-numbers-and-your-county.html

    http://manicminer69er.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/it-seems-cumbria-has-joined-list-of.html

  4. David Nye says:

    From the newsletter: “£20 million is to be invested by Surrey County Council, with a further £11.8 million and £1.3 million contributed by BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme respectively. … the funding will be used to extend BT’s Next Generation Access (NGA) network to nearly 100% of homes and businesses in Surrey. Through a combination of Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), users will be able to access speeds of up to 80mbps. BT is also launching a ‘Fibre on Demand’ service that will mean that these properties will be able to access up to 330mbps.”

    It’s welcome to see this confirmed and pulled together in one official document, but all this had already been announced, and many questions remain e.g. What does “nearly 100%” mean? (90%, 99%, 99.9%?) What proportion will be FTTP? The use of these “up to” figures has now been generally discredited; what is the minimum acceptable upload and download speed in the contract? Quoting speeds is meaningless without also quoting costs; with a limitless budget one could probably get FTTP years ago. So what are the agreed end user costs?

  5. David Nye says:

    Diane James attended the announcement meeting on 12th and reports that “The estimate given was that 1250 residences would not be connected via this programme.” David Cooper states that this represents 99.7% FTTC/FTTP coverage of Surrey. That seems to answer my first question above.

  6. David Nye says:

    Further details on this announcement, including the completion date (“nearly 100% of Surrey businesses and homes will be covered by the end of 2014″), can be found at http://news.surreycc.gov.uk/2012/09/12/surrey-to-become-best-connected-county-in-uk-with-33m-superfast-broadband-deal-2/

  7. David Nye says:

    And I see that “BT is, much to the consternation of European regulators, the only company to have so far benefitted from funds allocated as part of the BDUK scheme.” at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/broadband/377179/bt-announces-163-new-fibre-exchanges/

  8. David Nye says:

    David Cooper commented on another blog here and calculated the percentage as follows:
    “…Surrey County Council has stated that their contract with BT is for extended deployment of their NGA network to cover 99.7% of the county. This is for a combination of FTTC and some FTTP in order to achieve speeds of up to 80mbps and will involve installation of new cabinets and upgrading of lines where needed. For the remaining 0.3% of premises Surrey County Council says they will explore possible alternative solutions/ technologies or local community finance, in order to provide superfast access. I suppose that most will be content to wait to see if this is delivered. Current BT Openreach deployments suggest that unless radical changes are made to accommodate the rural challenge there is no way that the Surrey County Council ambition will be met. What’s more the FTTC deployments are not FTTP upgradable based on the current deployment practice.”

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