It is generally accepted to mean broadband services delivered partially, or wholly, using fibre optic cabling instead of the traditional copper wire infrastructure used for telephone communications. Superfast broadband will deliver internet download speeds in excess of 24Mbps (Ofcom definition). The best domestic fibre-based broadband can currently deliver download speeds up to 100Mbps although few providers sell services at this speed at present. There are two main types of fibre optic broadband: Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premise (FTTP).
The aim is to provide improved broadband services to around 47,000 premises across the county by 2015. The main communications providers are also working on similar improvement programmes in several other areas across the UK so resources will be at full stretch. It is inevitable therefore that some areas will be broadband enabled before others. The rollout plan will take into consideration both the demographics, needs of each community and the practicalities of the engineering work required to enable each area. You can help demonstrate demand for broadband in the area where you live or work by registering on www.superfastberkshire.org.uk By registering your interest you may demonstrate to service providers that there is more demand than they realise, which may result in your area being broadband enabled earlier.
The Superfast Berkshire Programme will utilise the Government's BDUK grant funding, cash contributions from Berkshire's Unitary Councils and contributions from Berkshire Parishes and Businesses to improve broadband services where communications providers are reluctant to invest. This additional funding alongside existing supplier investment will make additional parts of Berkshire more commercially viable to suppliers.
Although the preferred supplier will receive a subsidy they will still have to invest their owns funds. This will not happen unless they can see a demand for Superfast Broadband. Signing up commits you to nothing. It only shows that you would like Superfast Broadband to be available in your town or village.
You can help stimulate demand in your town, village or parish by volunteering as a "Digital Champion". You will be provided with ideas, information on project progress and supplies of flyers and posters. You also have the support of our project team for meetings. You can do as much, or as little as you wish. Some champions are just putting posters in public places whilst others are knocking on doors and signing people up using an iPad. Look at our registration map at http://www.superfastberkshire.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=25557 and you'll see where the champions are very active.
Suppliers are rolling out Superfast Broadband across the UK. Investment is in the region of £3billion over a 3 to 4 year period. Unfortunately they only invest in areas where they can realise a return on their investment, which is the same as any other business. Left to market forces, around 47,000 homes and businesses in Berkshire would still have inadequate broadband and the funding from Central and Local Government will subsidise their investment. The rollout for these areas will begin in the Autumn of 2013 and run for about 2 years.
The market prediction is that the average home or business will need 10 times the current bandwidth within the next 5 years. There are more devices in each home, with users involved in on-line gaming, uploading photographs and videos, video calls to friends and family, downloading movies/viewing them in real time, video doctor consultations, etc. The list is endless and we're sure there are many more to come in the future.
Go to www.superfastberkshire.org.uk and click on the register tab. In the "Your location and connection speed" box (4th box down) there is a speed checker. You will notice your download speed is probably 10 times faster than your upload speed. This is due to the old technology currently being used which was designed as an internet browser and email gateway. Now broadband is being used for an increasing number of applications, many of which need much higher speeds in both directions.
No, but you will find that some suppliers will only offer lower speeds for a lower price.
Not necessarily, but in this world you generally get what you pay for. Low price equals low speed. The price for a typical 30/40 Mbit/sec package is in the region of £18 per month, but is often "bundled" with telephone and TV packages which often provide better value.
There are no guarantees, but registration "hot spots" will be seen by suppliers as "quick wins" and a quick return on their investment. We use this information to influence broadband suppliers to show there is a business case for them to invest in the infrastructure.
The rollout programme is expected to run from the autumn of 2013 to the end 2015. If you show high demand in your area you are likely to be towards the front of the queue.
Each town, village and parish will be different and some remote areas will not get much better than 2Mbit/sec, although many will get between 2 and 24Mbit/sec. There will be some difficult areas and these may be addressed using different technologies. e.g. wireless, satellite, DSL rings, additional fibre to their area, etc. If there is a very high demand in a remote area it may also become a potential "hot spot" for investment.
This has nothing to do with the BT campaign. BT Infinity is just one of many retail products that are available in the market. This project is trying to deliver fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premise (FTTP) as the primary wholesale solutions available to the retail market. All retail providers will have access to these solutions once they are in place and be able to offer their own individual package solutions to end customers.