Openreach Fibre in Basingstoke

As time goes by, more detailed data for Openreach PCP and broadband cabinets is becoming available online.  In particular we can now see the spread of coverage of Openreach fibre services across Basingstoke, with the relevant hot and not spots; cabinets still scheduled to be upgraded (which includes ours, PCP102);  and data like the number of properties connected to each fibre-enabled cabinet.

All of the provision by Openreach (incl. BDUK) to date has been via FTTC.  Data shows that there is however some FTTP planned for the very centre of town, cabinets 180 and 201 under BDUK Phase 12b.  This appears to be confirmed by the map for Jul-Dec 2015 coverage on the Hampshire Superfast Broadband website.

FTTP overlay planned for PCPs 180 and 201

Ignoring cabinets falling into other exchange areas (eg/ Dummer exchange serves some areas of Beggarwood), there is only one other cabinet planned but not yet live under the BDUK Hampshire Wave 1 90% rollout, which is cabinet 19 serving part of Rooksdown.  Two fibre cabinets were installed in this area in 2014 so we assume one has not been able to be made live.  BDUK Hampshire Wave 2 rollout for 2016+ does not yet show to cabinet level.

Four other cabinets show as planned from Openreach’s commercial programme;  the delayed cabinets 92 (Marnell Park, Taylor Wimpey zone) and 95 (Rooksdown, again Taylor Wimpey developed area);  cabinet 20 in Old Basing (which was in Phase 06a, due to have been implemented in 2011, unclear why that is delayed as the neighbouring Old Basing cabinet was made live way back in 2010); and ours, PCP102, which shows as Phase 13a and is the only one not as such ‘delayed’!

The data shows a fairly high number of 51 cabinets where a fibre service has neither been provided or planned as yet;  but more than double that, 121 cabinets, have been upgraded or are in the 7 listed above still ‘planned’.  We’ve not fully analysed the locations of the unplanned cabinets, but by putting their rough locations onto a Google Map (see below), it appears they are almost all in industrial areas.  The outline map for BDUK Hampshire Wave 2 appears to include provision for a number of these.

Of most interest though is the number of properties fed from each of the enabled cabinets.  These figures range from a high of 677 on cabinet 118 (Hatch Warren),  652 on cabinet 77 (Chineham), and 640 on cabinet 110 (Winchester Road, towards the town centre) to those in the low and sub 100s, such as cabinet 2 (129 properties, also off Winchester Road), cabinet 57 (100 properties, similar location, even closer to the town centre), and cabinet 14 (82 properties, again, very close to the town centre).

Four of the five lowest-by-property-count enabled cabinets were supported by BDUK funds as may be expected, including cabinet 88 at Merton Rise.  Cabinet 97 in Rooksdown, with nearer 200 properties connected, was also BDUK funded (interesting that delayed commercial cabinet 95 is very close by).  Two part BDUK-funded cabinets on the other hand, incl cabinet 43 in Abbey Road, have over 400 properties on the according to the data, which does appear to make them odd candidates for BDUK funding.  Why Openreach decided these areas would not be commercially upgraded is unknown, especially as much of their footprint is also believed to be covered by Virgin Media.  It is because of a lack of full coverage of these areas by Virgin Media that we assume BDUK funding could be applied, had this weeks announcement by Virgin Media to spend £3bn filling in these previously omitted gaps been earlier, the same may not have been true.

51 of the enabled cabinets each supply over 400 properties each, but 63 of them supply 400 or less (and 42 less than 300), so in that regard, with housing density (all should get superfast speeds) and the proximity in all directions of already-enabled cabinets, it’s easy to see why PCP102 falls into the commercial programme.

Google Map showing rough locations of Basingstoke PCPs, green enabled, yellow planned and red not planned