Broadband: speed patches

Sunday 29th April 2012
The illusion of speed sometimes is just that, an illusion. Courtesy:

As Glasgow fails to become one of the UK's top ten 150,000 plus dwellings cities to benefiting from superfast broadband, BT admits it cannot deliver super-fast broadband service to everyone in the rural locations that won in its Race to Infinity competition. Seems that broadband is a still a very patchwork quilt.

Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle have been been selected as superconnected broadband cities.

That  leaves  just one contender to win through out of Liverpool, Sheffield and Nottingham and make up the last select superfast broadband 10.

Unfairly perhaps,  London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast are automatically in the list as capital cities.

To "the bird that never flew, the tree that never grew,  the bell that never rang.  and the fish that never swam" add the "not so 'broad' band.

The Herald reports  that the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) criticised the city's proposals for being "unambitious", "lacking clarity" on plans to upgrade digital skills and "lacking detail" on value for money. It was also faulted for its absence of a delivery timetable and lacking a plan to boost broadband take-up rates.

 "The panel felt the scale of the challenge facing Glasgow, with one of the lowest rates of broadband take-up of any city in the UK, was recognised in the proposal, but the measures proposed fell short of meeting that challenge."

DCMS's Super-Connected Cities Initiative  £100m Urban Broadband Fund (UBF), was intended to launch 10 "super-connected cities" across the UK with 80-100Mbps broadband connectivity. 

In addition to  national capitals Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, bids were invited from other cities to compete to be among the six further cities designated to receive support to achieve the superfast broadband speeds over the next three years.

A DCMS spokesman said: "The Government undertook a detailed assessment of each bid against each of the criteria set in the bidding guidance. The cities chosen were those which best met the criteria set by the competition."


BT has acknowledged it cannot deliver super-fast broadband service to everyone in the rural locations that won its Race to Infinity competition. Accordingly West Hagbourne will not receive fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service, despite being connected to an exchange that won BT's upgrade competition.

The contest aimed to identify six exchanges to be upgraded to high-speed fibre connections by asking people to vote. In the end, 10 winners were chosenin February 2011 to have their local exchanges enabled for BT Infinity broadband "in early 2012".

However, Zdnet reports West Hagbourne, one of the villages connected to the winning Blewbury exchange, will not be able to receive the fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service. Unlike fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), FTTC uses copper for the final connection to the building.

"Blewbury is one of 10 communities in the UK to secure super-fast broadband following BT's hugely popular Race to Infinity competition," said a BT spokeswoman  

"The race offered the winners an upgrade to an exchange, but we clearly stated throughout the competition and during conversations with campaigners subsequently that when an exchange is enabled, there will be some premises not able to receive fibre."

BT said that work being carried out at Blewbury will result in higher speeds for  (right) West Hagbourne, but not provide a fibre-based service. 

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