Thanks for that Andrew. I agree that this seems to be the way they are going forward but if you read their initial pitches for BDUK funding it was communities such as ours who were currently poorly connected that would get priority.
I just find it very disappointing (not alone I'm sure!) that they don't look at the basic solutions first to deliver an adequate service for everybody.
From a project perspective, BT don't know the details of which cabinets are going to be upgraded until they've performed some of the survey & planning work (and even then details can change). Only then can they get an idea of which properties are going to benefit from FTTC speeds.
With the project broken down into a number of phases (some projects have as many as 10 phases), the survey & planning work for the later phases doesn't happen until a long way into the overall timescale.
But it is only at this point that anyone can say, with reasonable certainty, where the properties are that will fail to benefit from the fibre installation - and are therefore the ones to qualify for "basic" provision.
If the project starts providing "basic" service for "everyone" before the cabinet coverage is known, you'll find that the budget gets wasted (or totally blown) on 2Mb rather than on 24Mb+. At best, you'll provide 2Mb support to many properties that subsequently end up with superfast provision.
The councils want to get as many properties served by 24Mbps, and want to waste as little as possible on 2Mb provision. With those requirements, there isn't much of a different approach that can be taken.
However, with a second batch of funding coming along, councils will have to make that decision all over again: do they push the 2Mb provision to the back again, or do they just go with the existing plan, and accept that some of this will be over-provisioned with superfast speeds later? At least BT will have better survey data in time for that decision to be made.
Suffolk are the only ones to have made a decision on the phase 2 extension funding so far - and have chosen to keep the basic provision in place, accepting the potential for waste.
North Yorkshire had a similar decision, but their increase in funding was from within phase 1; they decided to push the 2Mb portion back by a year - but doing that freed up £2m that could be re-budgeted from the "basic" provision into the "superfast" provision.
I read one of your articles on ADSL2+ with power boosting that would have been ideal for a community such as our with a long-ish line from the FTTC cabinet. Surely a solution such as that can't be that expensive?
Where was that article?
There are technical problems with running a "power boost", where the lines with boosted power overly interfere with lines that aren't boosted.