Peter Cowen of BT denies accusations, published on pages 8 and 9 of the South East Business September edition, that BT deliberately scuppered the Ewhurst & Surrey Hills Broadband project last year. His letter, on page 7 of the South East Business October edition, also claims that average connection speeds in the UK are not far behind the fastest East Asian averages, but on page 6 of the same issue Peter Cochrane casts doubt on the figures quoted.
According to Mr Cowen “The first Ewhurst homes and businesses now have access to this exciting fibre broadband technology” which is news to us! Perhaps he thinks that some Ewhurst premises are served by one of the Cranleigh cabinets which is active. However, enquiries to our BT contacts suggest that in fact he was unaware that his letter could be published so quickly, and optimistically assumed that one Ewhurst cabinet would be active. This might suggest that the works scheduled to start on Thursday are intended to complete the ducting for our fibre link, and that fibre blowing will follow very soon after.
Once again we see the statement “that access will be available next year to our Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) ‘on demand’ technology”, and this time with a clear indication that Ewhurst is to be included. Whether this will provide a practical solution to any of those who will not get adequate service from FTTC remains to be seen. We now know that BT has contracted with SCC to provide “nearly 100%” coverage across Surrey, so we can expect that the FTTP on demand technology will play a key role in this. Critically, what we do not yet know, is how much more the “outliers” will be expected to pay if they want, or need, to take advantage of the service.