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Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Thu 12-Mar-15 13:46:35
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Does USC exist?


[link to this post]
 
Does the USC still exist?

I'm getting indications the DCMS/BDUK are letting BT out of the USC portion of the contracts - though obviously will not get paid for these parts.

At the moment, it looks to be on the contracts based on the central framework.

eg: http://myparliament.info/Debates/Commons/2015-03-04/...

Edited by WWWombat (Thu 12-Mar-15 13:48:59)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 12-Mar-15 14:35:02
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
Enforce USC rigidly now - which is an option and get satellite or BET vouchers a plenty

OR

Knowing that more money for superfast is on the way (the 95%) and then more for beyond that and go for getting much faster speeds without the satellite step.

I think the words from Ed Vaizey are not what was actually meant, since the USC is still a part of the contracts and some councils are exploring wireless and satellite solutions. He meant Con/LD got rid of the 2 Mbps by 2012 first, and decided to adopt a 90% superfast with 2 Mbps for the rest, but that has now change to 95% and if the final 5% pilots work out, then the solutions and cost for that will be known.

As a individual waiting longer to get any improvement is a real pain, as a nation building to hit superfast targets probably is better value for money. Doing the two at once was always going to be interesting.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User TheEulerID
(member) Thu 12-Mar-15 15:41:43
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Satellite was always the cop-out option for some of BDUK, it was just how much. From the PAC meeting it was promised that there would be 2mbps by 2016 to all those remote farmhouses so they could submit all their forms online. It was just a matter of how many properties would only get service that way and whether there was going to be some form of reserved capacity. The Australian NBN is even going to have a couple of dedicated satellites for their service for hard-to-reach areas.

In the meantime, things are suspiciously quiet on the USC front. I've no doubt that everybody is doing as much as possible to minimise the number of locations that will have to rely on satellite for a 2mbps USC as that will be an embarrassment for all. Also, if there has to be some reserved bandwidth to meet USC requirements, then it's going to be awfully expensive. As yet, no hint on what's to be done.


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Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Thu 12-Mar-15 16:06:24
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I think the words from Ed Vaizey are not what was actually meant, since the USC is still a part of the contracts and some councils are exploring wireless and satellite solutions. He meant Con/LD got rid of the 2 Mbps by 2012 first, and decided to adopt a 90% superfast with 2 Mbps for the rest, but that has now change to 95% and if the final 5% pilots work out, then the solutions and cost for that will be known.


I agree entirely - that Ed Vaizey's answer at the bottom refers to the old unfunded policy from the ex-government, blown away by the coalition.

My mistake was in just linking to the whole debate, when I specifically meant to refer to just Anne Marie Morris's question - which I don't think got answered... and I've since seen more indication (offline) that the USC no longer appears to be part of the framework contracts.

Where I heard it from was not part of the framework contract anyway, so it is hard to tell what is really going on - but I think there is something in there.

In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
get satellite or BET vouchers a plenty


I've seen nothing about the reasoning why they've decided that the USC can be removed from BT, but now you mention it, I vaguely recall that the funds will be re-allocated into a connection voucher scheme for satellite.

Perhaps the voucher scheme would have to be non-technology-specific, so could allow for BET too. Or maybe even a sub-SF-speed WISP. Anything that gave 2Mbps+ would do.

IIRC, BT's oral response to DEFRA was that they thought they'd meet 98.5% of the USC requirement just by the NGA deployments, which suggests that there isn't a huge chunk left. Perhaps the conclusion is indeed that it can be left to (subsidised) satellite.

Knowing that more money for superfast is on the way (the 95%) and then more for beyond that and go for getting much faster speeds without the satellite step.


I agree that the emphasis, moving forward, keeps most minds on the superfast rollout. Organisations used to dealing with the public masses will now tend to focus in just that direction.

As a individual waiting longer to get any improvement is a real pain, as a nation building to hit superfast targets probably is better value for money. Doing the two at once was always going to be interesting.


And they probably really should have been doing three things at once...

What we are now seeing for the "final 5% market test" pilots doesn't seem to be anything that is hugely technically advanced. If those projects were done a year earlier, we could have seen a wireless/satellite phase 3 happen in parallel with a fixed-line-fibre phase 2.

Although if they did that, we arguably wouldn't have had a USC target at all.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 12-Mar-15 17:24:01
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
A lot of the problems have been brought about by compressed timescales, compared to traditional infrastructure, e.g. the moans over projected BT costs. If the BDUK pilots had been allowed to complete then much better planning would have been possible for the other 39 areas, but that would mean we would only just be starting to plan in most of the UK.

Once public money got involved it was always going to be a messy affair, at least when its pure commercial money everyone knows who to moan at.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User chilting
(newbie) Thu 12-Mar-15 19:21:36
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
It is clearly unreasonable to expect the USC to be met overnight.
My West Chiltington exchange has been upgraded to FTTC but those of us on long lines have been given absolutely no indication when and how BT are going to meet the USC. I myself can get above the USC with 3.5Mbps on fibre but my neigbours on ADSL can only get up to 1Mbps and some outlying properties are still on dial up.
To be fair we do have promises of improvement but no hard facts.
Standard User SLAMDUNC
(newbie) Thu 12-Mar-15 19:50:38
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: chilting] [link to this post]
 
"It is clearly unreasonable to expect the USC to be met overnight"

But that's exactly what BDUK's published plan is here in Essex. The parishes (over 80 of them) which are getting Alternative Technologies to get them up to 2Mbps are all lumped into the final 3 months of the Phase1 of BDUK project.
That's an awful lot of anything to roll out in a brief 3 months, across a largely rural area.

I do wish they'd come clean about it and publish a believable plan for us.
Standard User chilting
(newbie) Thu 12-Mar-15 20:39:35
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: SLAMDUNC] [link to this post]
 
Yes, this is clearly the point.
We get promised things will be done but no detail on how they will be done.
We simply have to guess WHAT will be done and more importantly IF it will be done.
Promises .... promises.....
Standard User Andrue
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 13-Mar-15 11:15:06
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: chilting] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by chilting:
Yes, this is clearly the point.
We get promised things will be done but no detail on how they will be done.
We simply have to guess WHAT will be done and more importantly IF it will be done.
Promises .... promises.....
In just over a month we get to choose what promises we want to believe.wink

I find it ironic that BDUK promises are looking shaky whereas BT+Cornwall Council+EU delivered ahead of what it promised.

---
Andrue Cope
Brackley, UK
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 13-Mar-15 11:30:06
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Re: Does USC exist?


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
Promise by a politician or contracted target not reached?

Two very different things, and given the number of 'misquotes' from politicians and the way some have hung on those from years ago, we end up with people believing its a 90% of every community target, rather than a national 90% target where existing urban area coverage helps.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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