Hampshire County Council have published details of “Wave 2” of their superfast fibre broadband programme across Hampshire, which gets formally underway in January in partnership with BT Openreach. This should take superfast coverage across the county to 96% – but of course only when the commercial programme of work is also completed.
Hampshire County Council and Central Government have provided funding of around £18.4 million for Wave 2, which will connect 34,500 properties over the next 3 years. According to detail here, BT will add £3.8m to this. Investment in Wave 1 was £10m from Council and Government (BDUK) funding (£5m from HCC and district councils, and £5m from BDUK), and £3.8m from BT, and entering the final few weeks has reached over 72,000 properties.
Costs per property are therefore increasing significantly as the challenges to reach each property mount. Simple maths on the above shows a wave 1 cost per property of around £192; and a wave 2 cost per property of nearer to £645. We anticipate BT’s commercial programme costs would have been nearer to £100 per property.
Whilst the “final 4%” did get a mention in Hampshire County Council’s announcement, it was disappointing they did not address the issue of completing the commercial rollout programmes.