Farron hits out at 'woefully inadequate' Broadband map - but CCC says it is not meant to be precise

Farron hits out at 'woefully inadequate' Broadband map - but CCC says it is not meant to be precise

Farron hits out at 'woefully inadequate' Broadband map - but CCC says it is not meant to be precise

First published in News
Last updated

WESTMORLAND MP Tim Farron remains at loggerheads with the county council over what he calls a lack of clarity about the roll out of a £23.8 million superfast broadband initiative across Cumbria.

Following government funding, Cumbria County Council aims to provide broadband coverage to 93 per cent of homes across the county by 2015.

But Mr Farron has raised concerns about the remaining seven per cent - which he suspects are likely to be in rural areas in his Westmorland and Lonsdale constiuency.

He fears they could be left in the slow lane in a year's time when they could be working on alternatives.

The MP has been campaigning for specifics about which areas might end up with just 2MBps.

Now the MP has tabled a series of questions in Parliament.

It follows what he says is nearly 18 months of him calling for more detail about which places will get broadband first.

The county council has released its ‘final coverage guide’ through http://www.connectingcumbria.org.uk/final-coverage-guide, but Mr Farron called it ‘woefully inadequate’.

In a statement, he said he believes it still lacks the ‘required detail’ for people to understand what kind of broadband service they will receive’.

Crucially, it also doesn’t reveal where any ‘not spots’ will be, he said.

 "After a year of waiting this detail is still not enough, communities need to see detailed plans," said Mr Farron.

"This map is totally unacceptable and residents deserve much better. I am still waiting for answers from Cumbria County Council for a year now. If they cannot answer a few questions, it makes you wonder if they can deliver a project of this magnitude.”

A spokesman for the county council said: "Providing a delivery map on a project which is still ongoing, with engineers still out there finding solutions on the ground, is always going to be a challenge and the map of planned coverage needs to be viewed with the caveat that it is subject to change as the survey work goes on. Coverage may also change as new technology is introduced.

“It is not designed to be a precise coverage map for individual properties to use to see whether they will have access to fibre broadband - the best way to do this is to check our map of exchange roll-outs and then contact internet service providers directly.

“However, we also appreciate that it is helpful for wider communities to understand where there are expected to be gaps in provision of fibre broadband so that they can explore potential alternatives.

"This approach is recommended nationally by the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) who have agreed the content of BT’s coverage map along with similar maps for other areas. The Public Accounts Committee called for the publication of local coverage maps, but have not been specifically involved in agreeing their content – this has been done through DCMS and BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK).”

 

Comments (12)

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1:08pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Kendmoor says...

to be fair, that is a pretty shoddy map. Tim lives in Milnthorpe I believe? Just looking at his area there you can't tell which exchange is likely to get the upgrades and which not...Milnthorpe? Arnside? Burton? Crooklands? mish mash...and the download link takes you to a slightly smaller picture.....great job!
Just a list of exchanges would have been enough along with the key.
to be fair, that is a pretty shoddy map. Tim lives in Milnthorpe I believe? Just looking at his area there you can't tell which exchange is likely to get the upgrades and which not...Milnthorpe? Arnside? Burton? Crooklands? mish mash...and the download link takes you to a slightly smaller picture.....great job! Just a list of exchanges would have been enough along with the key. Kendmoor
  • Score: 4

1:16pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Geoff103 says...

I'm on the Milnthorpe exchange.

The authoritative website, `SamKnows' indicates an RFS date of 1/3/14. BT Openreach data says March 14. The Cumbrian CC site says June.

I take RFS to mean released for service.

Here we are 1/3 of the way through March and the cabinet that serves my line has not yet been upgraded.

So, still waiting.
I'm on the Milnthorpe exchange. The authoritative website, `SamKnows' indicates an RFS date of 1/3/14. BT Openreach data says March 14. The Cumbrian CC site says June. I take RFS to mean released for service. Here we are 1/3 of the way through March and the cabinet that serves my line has not yet been upgraded. So, still waiting. Geoff103
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Bill Lloyd says...

Following the publicity and trumpeting of the 'Superfast Broadband for Cumbria' project, I tried very hard to find out if Grayrigg would benefit from the plans. After finding no concrete information on the website, I contacted Connecting Cumbria, who replied that they were 'unable to state' whether Grayrigg would be included. After hours of work I was no wiser. What we need is a well-informed human being at the end of a telephone, not an endless maze of websites and emails which are only really useful if you already have a good connection...
Following the publicity and trumpeting of the 'Superfast Broadband for Cumbria' project, I tried very hard to find out if Grayrigg would benefit from the plans. After finding no concrete information on the website, I contacted Connecting Cumbria, who replied that they were 'unable to state' whether Grayrigg would be included. After hours of work I was no wiser. What we need is a well-informed human being at the end of a telephone, not an endless maze of websites and emails which are only really useful if you already have a good connection... Bill Lloyd
  • Score: 4

4:05pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Geoff103 says...

Don't hold your breath, Bill.

BTOpenreach says 'under evaluation' and no timescale but with so few subscribers - not more than 250 including commercial premises - seems an unlikely prospect for fibre.
Don't hold your breath, Bill. BTOpenreach says 'under evaluation' and no timescale but with so few subscribers - not more than 250 including commercial premises - seems an unlikely prospect for fibre. Geoff103
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Joe Marksman says...

This is the best they can do? IF the project is to finish by 2015 than we're now over halfway through, and they still don't know what we are getting for the £23.8M?

And, as for, 'the best way to do this is to check our map and contact your internet service provider' Really?

I though that's what Cumbria County Council were doing - I thought they were supposed to be 'managing' our collective internet service provider (BT) on our behalf - isn't that part of the £23.8M deal?

I know for a fact that my ISP (Andrews and Arnold), who are very good at managing BT, are not allowed to know what the roll out plan is - they are told "that's level of detail is commercial in confidence".

We're no further forward.

Flabbergasted.
This is the best they can do? IF the project is to finish by 2015 than we're now over halfway through, and they still don't know what we are getting for the £23.8M? And, as for, 'the best way to do this is to check our map and contact your internet service provider' Really? I though that's what Cumbria County Council were doing - I thought they were supposed to be 'managing' our collective internet service provider (BT) on our behalf - isn't that part of the £23.8M deal? I know for a fact that my ISP (Andrews and Arnold), who are very good at managing BT, are not allowed to know what the roll out plan is - they are told "that's level of detail is commercial in confidence". We're no further forward. Flabbergasted. Joe Marksman
  • Score: 1

4:13pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Joe Marksman says...

IF the project is to finish by 2015 than we're now over halfway through, and they still don't know what we are getting for the £23.8M?

As for, 'the best way to do this is to check our map and contact your internet service provider' Really, that’s the best way is it?

I contacted my ISP (Andrews and Arnold) who are very good at managing BT but, they are not allowed to know what the roll out plan is - they are told "that's level of detail is commercial in confidence".

I though that's what Cumbria County Council were doing - I thought they were supposed to be 'managing' our collective internet service provider (BT) on our behalf - isn't that part of the £23.8M deal?

Flabbergasted
IF the project is to finish by 2015 than we're now over halfway through, and they still don't know what we are getting for the £23.8M? As for, 'the best way to do this is to check our map and contact your internet service provider' Really, that’s the best way is it? I contacted my ISP (Andrews and Arnold) who are very good at managing BT but, they are not allowed to know what the roll out plan is - they are told "that's level of detail is commercial in confidence". I though that's what Cumbria County Council were doing - I thought they were supposed to be 'managing' our collective internet service provider (BT) on our behalf - isn't that part of the £23.8M deal? Flabbergasted Joe Marksman
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Gingery says...

I have the superfast broadband, and it's been a nightmare. I'm supposed to get a really good speed but drop outs at the box(wired or wifi connection) plus loss of speed via wifi(you loose quite a bit if you use wifi) have made me wish I'd stayed on the previous service. I've run out of energy to chase BT having spent hours on the phone trying to sort this out, and BT themselves going through every option and finally giving up themselves. I need good reliable internet for work and education (without it I can do neither), not much to expect living in a town, and my experience is that it's not as wonderous as it's made out.
I have the superfast broadband, and it's been a nightmare. I'm supposed to get a really good speed but drop outs at the box(wired or wifi connection) plus loss of speed via wifi(you loose quite a bit if you use wifi) have made me wish I'd stayed on the previous service. I've run out of energy to chase BT having spent hours on the phone trying to sort this out, and BT themselves going through every option and finally giving up themselves. I need good reliable internet for work and education (without it I can do neither), not much to expect living in a town, and my experience is that it's not as wonderous as it's made out. Gingery
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Gingery says...

By the way I'm in a 'commercial' area so have been one of the first to receive what is supposed to be the fastest service in Cumbria. Some days I sit there waiting ten minutes for my connection to resume. Often it drops out when filling in an important form or trying to process a payment. Not good enough.

I dread to think of the standard the other and more rural locations are going to receive and am convinced this is a half-hearted attempt to keep the population quiet whilst doing the absolute minimum.
By the way I'm in a 'commercial' area so have been one of the first to receive what is supposed to be the fastest service in Cumbria. Some days I sit there waiting ten minutes for my connection to resume. Often it drops out when filling in an important form or trying to process a payment. Not good enough. I dread to think of the standard the other and more rural locations are going to receive and am convinced this is a half-hearted attempt to keep the population quiet whilst doing the absolute minimum. Gingery
  • Score: 1

7:27am Wed 12 Mar 14

artisanfood says...

In Grasmere, we are still waiting for a proper response from Connecting Cumbria to our information requests that cover one exchange, one cabinet and 61 postcodes.

Our area has not spots, it has slow spots and it has a considerable proportion of lines connected directly to the exchange. Some of the 480+ subscribers will not be covered by the CCC project, some will have a minor uplift to their current speeds, some will get the faster solution.

What we want to do is try to plan for what is proposed and if possible secure funding for those that are passed by. In order to do this, and to be able to comply with funding rules, Connecting Cumbria needs to deliver €œfit for purpose€ information rather than meaningless €œcoloured areas€ when it comes to responding to our communities requests. After all they are spending over Fifty Million pounds of taxpayers money.

Our blog makes interesting reading if you want to find out just how much procrastination has been going on by CCC and the Connecting Cumbria Project since they made their promise to deliver such information nine months ago and to date have failed to deliver. It doesn't bode well when it comes to the real delivery of faster broadband.

http://grasmerebroad
band.wordpress.com/t
he-blog/

Martin, Grasmere
In Grasmere, we are still waiting for a proper response from Connecting Cumbria to our information requests that cover one exchange, one cabinet and 61 postcodes. Our area has not spots, it has slow spots and it has a considerable proportion of lines connected directly to the exchange. Some of the 480+ subscribers will not be covered by the CCC project, some will have a minor uplift to their current speeds, some will get the faster solution. What we want to do is try to plan for what is proposed and if possible secure funding for those that are passed by. In order to do this, and to be able to comply with funding rules, Connecting Cumbria needs to deliver €œfit for purpose€ information rather than meaningless €œcoloured areas€ when it comes to responding to our communities requests. After all they are spending over Fifty Million pounds of taxpayers money. Our blog makes interesting reading if you want to find out just how much procrastination has been going on by CCC and the Connecting Cumbria Project since they made their promise to deliver such information nine months ago and to date have failed to deliver. It doesn't bode well when it comes to the real delivery of faster broadband. http://grasmerebroad band.wordpress.com/t he-blog/ Martin, Grasmere artisanfood
  • Score: 0

8:27am Wed 12 Mar 14

artisanfood says...

artisanfood wrote:
In Grasmere, we are still waiting for a proper response from Connecting Cumbria to our information requests that cover one exchange, one cabinet and 61 postcodes.

Our area has not spots, it has slow spots and it has a considerable proportion of lines connected directly to the exchange. Some of the 480+ subscribers will not be covered by the CCC project, some will have a minor uplift to their current speeds, some will get the faster solution.

What we want to do is try to plan for what is proposed and if possible secure funding for those that are passed by. In order to do this, and to be able to comply with funding rules, Connecting Cumbria needs to deliver €œfit for purpose€ information rather than meaningless €œcoloured areas€ when it comes to responding to our communities requests. After all they are spending over Fifty Million pounds of taxpayers money.

Our blog makes interesting reading if you want to find out just how much procrastination has been going on by CCC and the Connecting Cumbria Project since they made their promise to deliver such information nine months ago and to date have failed to deliver. It doesn't bode well when it comes to the real delivery of faster broadband.

http://grasmerebroad

band.wordpress.com/t

he-blog/

Martin, Grasmere
Correction to the above. Should read over £20 Million pounds. :)
[quote][p][bold]artisanfood[/bold] wrote: In Grasmere, we are still waiting for a proper response from Connecting Cumbria to our information requests that cover one exchange, one cabinet and 61 postcodes. Our area has not spots, it has slow spots and it has a considerable proportion of lines connected directly to the exchange. Some of the 480+ subscribers will not be covered by the CCC project, some will have a minor uplift to their current speeds, some will get the faster solution. What we want to do is try to plan for what is proposed and if possible secure funding for those that are passed by. In order to do this, and to be able to comply with funding rules, Connecting Cumbria needs to deliver €œfit for purpose€ information rather than meaningless €œcoloured areas€ when it comes to responding to our communities requests. After all they are spending over Fifty Million pounds of taxpayers money. Our blog makes interesting reading if you want to find out just how much procrastination has been going on by CCC and the Connecting Cumbria Project since they made their promise to deliver such information nine months ago and to date have failed to deliver. It doesn't bode well when it comes to the real delivery of faster broadband. http://grasmerebroad band.wordpress.com/t he-blog/ Martin, Grasmere[/p][/quote]Correction to the above. Should read over £20 Million pounds. :) artisanfood
  • Score: 0

11:47pm Thu 13 Mar 14

shirtbox says...

B T have chosen an already outdated system and will have to start changing in less than 3 years. satellite cable less is the future not ancient telephone wires or cables.
B T have chosen an already outdated system and will have to start changing in less than 3 years. satellite cable less is the future not ancient telephone wires or cables. shirtbox
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Fri 14 Mar 14

BADGER555 says...

The map is so crude that it is an insult to release it to the public.

The band 2-24 Mbs ranges from the virtually and increasingly useless to quite (for the time being) good.

What do the grey areas get? (or what do the orange areas for that matter)
The map is so crude that it is an insult to release it to the public. The band 2-24 Mbs ranges from the virtually and increasingly useless to quite (for the time being) good. What do the grey areas get? (or what do the orange areas for that matter) BADGER555
  • Score: 1

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