We have recently been informed by Surrey CC that they have now decided where to spend their money on the next round of state aided Superfast Infrastructure deployment – this is called Phase 1… yes I’m not sure why it is called phase 1, as phase 1 completed in December 2014. They have also stopped calling the deployment areas the confusing terms like “Targeted White” and now use the terms “Phase 1, Phase 1 No Build, and Phase 2 and Phase 2 No Build ” . Yes, I don’t know what that means either and I assume the terminology change was to make it clearer for residents.(?) You can read about it on their website and you are directed to not miss the FAQ – which they have listed in block capitals to make it doubly clear. To make it very clear there is a map of insufficient resolution to identify anything meaningful.
I spoke to Superfast Surrey’s Engagement Officer and she tried to explain that the Phase 1 postcodes are going to get more than 24Megs of broadband by the Sept. 2018 – but subject to BT surveying and subsequently coming up with a technical reason to not do it. Although I can’t really see how they wouldn’t know the scope of works required when they made this list.
Phase 1 No Build is Surrey CC speak for “we don’t know if you will get Superfast and we can give you no more information about this category (as BT won’t add detail) and they won’t know until the works are in process”. This is because those postcodes are unlucky in having a “wild” premise or premises that may not be economically or technically viable to provide fibre to. My interpretation of this is that just one house may be so far that it will get less than 24Megs when connected so that means they might not enable the neighbours on the same postcode too. (or rather they can’t commit until they survey on a line by line basis). This sounds a little silly as BT have accurate data on a line by line basis and are only using postcodes in their contract negotiations with Surrey CC. So the ambiguity of the contract requirements between BT and Surrey will mean uncertainty for the next few years for any homes unlucky enough to have a “wild” house in their postcode. If the list was made on a line by line basis then this would be irrelevant.
The same goes for Phase 2 No-build, except the ambiguity will last 9 months longer.
I can’t really translate what all this means in practice. So in summary, the news is that there is no real news, and evidently not enough certainty for those resident groups considering private funded schemes for them to abandon or proceed.