Earlier this week, I reached a very important milestone in my personal 18-year journey towards better broadband, when Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) (also known as ‘Gigabit Broadband’) was installed at my home in rural Cambridgeshire. Every week, I receive many emails through my Increase Broadband Speed website from people living in rural areas across the UK frustrated with the current state of broadband infrastructure and I am very grateful that various things worked in our favour to make FTTP a reality for us. Having said that, the process to bring FTTP to my village was certainly not as smooth as it could have been so I was delighted to have the opportunity to formally feed back my own experiences – positive and negative – directly to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
I hope that improvements can be quickly made to the roll-out of ‘Gigabit Broadband’ across the UK, to help the many people who contact me to drive forward the provision of broadband in their areas. Areas that I discussed with DCMS include:
- the need to dramatically improve communications to local communities from suppliers (such as Openreach) at all stages of deployment, which can be abysmal
- the importance of local broadband enthusiasts/champions, who can massively enhance the viability of FTTP projects, and the need to support them
- improvements that can be made to the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme (including more consistency in voucher policies across local authorities and improved communications to reduce confusion among those pledging vouchers)
- the importance of increased competition (or regulation) to Openreach in the roll-out of FTTP in rural areas
- the need for national Government (e.g. DCMS) to work in partnership with local authorities (e.g. Connecting Cambridgeshire and its equivalents in other regions) on FTTP roll-out.
Stepping back from the many improvements that need to be made, I am absolutely delighted with the performance improvements achieved with FTTP, compared with a high-quality Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) connection.
According to Ofcom (in its Spring 2021 Connected Nations Update report), full-fibre broadband had reached only 21% of UK premises by early 2021, so I feel very grateful that this is now available in such a rural location.
Now that FTTP has been installed, I will now be able to expand my guides on my Increase Broadband Speed site to cover FTTP services in detail. The first of these guides will be published next week!
You can view photographs that I have taken here:
You can visit Spaldwick’s broadband information page here:
Other articles on this blog you may be interested in are: