Madingley Superfast Broadband Moves closer to reality

I am pleased to report that there is very good progress being made in upgrading Madingley exchange for superfast broadband.


superfast broadband cable rollout in madingley exchange areaThere are three forms of fibre technology being rolled out, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), and Exchange Only (EO). There will be two cabinets, one in Hardwick and one in Coton. The other villages will be served by FTTP, with a small smattering of Exchange only lines.


The Race to Infinity winning areas are among the first areas in the country to get deployment that includes all three. It means we will potentially have the highest percentage coverage in an exchange area anywhere in the UK.  BT expect that 100% of premises will see an increase in speed, with 99.9% getting speeds of over 15 Mb/s and 0.1% of premises receiving between 2Mb/s and 15Mb/s.


Because the deployment involves more FTTP than envisaged, BT expect to use 106 kms or 99 miles of fibre cable! This, coupled with the difficulties that have been encountered with cable ducts means that the rollout has taken longer than was initially anticipated, and that the rollout will be staggered from April 2012 onwards, possibly through to July 2012.



Superfast broadband cabinet HardwickThe cabinet in Hardwick has been installed at the junction of Cambridge Road and Limes Road and is awaiting commissioning, so it can be brought into service. The good news is that BT is confident that those within 2km range of the cabinet will be able to start ordering the service as from April 2012. The cable installations in Caldecote have been taking place for a number of weeks now, as captured in this picture. White vans have also been seen in Coton/Madingley areas.


The service is not going to be automatically adopted. Anyone who wants superfast broadband service will have to order it either from their current telephone provider or from BT. The system is being built out for open access, so that other telephone suppliers can buy wholesale from BT and supply their own customer base. Check with your supplier to see if they have signed up with BT to get on the superfast broadband network. Nag them if they haven’t.


BT has offered to help us celebrate the first orders, and have asked for suggestions. This may include sponsoring a local event or award, donating two free Infinity lines to deserving causes, and there is the opportunity for the BT Infinity bus to visit the area over the summer!


So, please write in with suggestions – or leave a comment below. You can also join the chat on the Madingley Exchange Facebook page.


6 Responses to “Madingley Superfast Broadband Moves closer to reality”

  1. John Library says:

    If I read this correctly, the people of outside of Coton and Hardwick can sign up for FTTP, but won’t see any improvement unless they are within 2km of the Hardwick exchange? Caldecote for instance is more than 2km from the exchange so no speed improvements, but could opt for FTTP?

    • Coordinator says:

      No, not correct! Customers can sign up for superfast broadband service (SFB). They can only sign up for SFB if the service is available to their property, no matter what type of technology has been used to get it there. The cabinets at Coton and Hardwick supply SFB to those villages only. The other villages get their SFB supply via other means, at same or better speeds.

  2. John Library says:

    The question was really “what’s the technology that is going to improve broadband outside of Coton and Hardwick”?

    This Wikipedia article – – suggests the roadside cabinets would be likely to be getting upgraded in the other villages. Naively, you’d expect the exchange hardware in Hardwick/Coton getting upgraded and FTTC for most of the surrounding area with Fibre-to-the-premises for a handful of businesses and possibly some Fibre-to-the-pole.

    I have much more confidence of BT meeting the promise of more than 99% of people having 15Mb/s with this approach than just two FTTC cabinets and some FTTP suggested in the original post.

    • Coordinator says:

      The technology that will be used to provide broadband to the rest of madingley exchange communties is FTTP. BT had issues with using more cabinets. So the areas without cabinets are getting FTTP. Which is the better mode anyway, as it will deliver higher speeds up to 100mbps. Cabinet technology improvements should see speeds of up to 80Mbps, instead of the 40Mbps that was originally planned.

      It was surprising that only 2 cabinets would be used, and that a larger proportion of the exchange area would get FTTP. Still, that was their choice following surveys/planning etc. More costly for BT, but good for those getting FTTP 🙂

      The original post did mention the 99 miles of cable being used to get FTTP to the areas not reachable with FTTC.

  3. John Library says:

    Thank you!

  4. Paul M says:

    Although there is one main cabinet opposite the school in Hardwick, I noticed that BT dug a trench across the road to another cabinet near the school, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some equipment in there or at least patching.

    I happened to drive down Egremont a while ago and I saw a BT OpenReach person doing what looked like fibre splicing near the sports and social, so perhaps that’s some fttp work?

    I would be very surprised if BT can cover the entire village with a single cabinet, I wonder if they intend to put another somwhere near the far end of Limes/end of Egremont?

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