Superfast broadband is no doubt on the minds of a lot of people in the area served by Madingley exchange. This is to be expected, considering all the hard work that went into securing our winning place in the Race to Infinity competition, thus ensuring that our exchange will be upgraded for superfast broadband by 2012.
The upgrade of Madingley exchange for superfast broadband and the rollout of the service to the communities is anticipated to take between 12 and 15 months. BT will provide updates as much as it can, but we must bear in mind that the process involves a lot of investigation and planning, and there are bound to be “stuff” that is unearthed during this initial process, that will affect those timescales. Its just the nature of such development.
The process for superfast broadband rollout
BT has to date connected more than 4 million homes with superfast broadband and it is confident in saying its superfast broadband roll out is one of the fastest anywhere in the world. It is a complex process which is subject to potential delays caused by the complexity and unexpected challenges. Every exchange that is upgraded will have its own specific equipment, as no two exchanges are the same. Its not just the exchanges that are involved in the upgrade process, the power supplies will also need to be upgraded. The current copper infrastructure is carried in underground ducts, some of which have been buried for as long as 80 years. This means that it is likely that there may be unexpected challenges in pulling through the new fibre cables in the same ducts. Location of the green cabinets is also subject to planning permission, which must be obtained from the local authority.
However, BT is confident that it will be able to overcome the challenges that may arise during the upgrade.
Steps in bringing superfast broadband to Madingley
As previously explained in the Upgrade Process, bringing superfast broadband to madingley exchange area comprises 4 main steps namely:
- Pre-Planning: this is where the current network infrastructure goes through full assessment to check that records are updated.
- Exchange Preparation: The extent and location of the new exchange equipment and supporting ancillaries will be determined, manufactured and installed.
- Network Planning: The planning and installation of the cable infrastructure, new ducts and green cabinets is done, in parallel with the exchange preparation.
- Network Installation: this is the stage that residents start to notice the work being done as cables are pulled through ducts and new cabinets installed. The new service will become available in stages, over a period of months as the installation work progresses.
Since Madingley exchange won the Race to Infinity, much pre-planning and exchange preparation work has been going on. January 2011 marked Month 1 of the process and in the meantime, Openreach are surveying the area, looking at where fibre can be deployed and what equipment will be required.
BT Openreach state that it is their intention to deploy as much fibre to every exchange area that is commercially and technically viable, but cannot guarantee anything until detailed survey work has been completed.
Madingley may possibly get newest superfast broadband technology
In order to give as much coverage as is possible, BT has said it is now looking at implementing the FTTC technology with the new FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) technology. We hope that this will help achieve a very high percentage of coverage of superfast broadband to the communities served by madingley exchange.
BT hopes to provide further updates on the deployment process in September 2011, so in the meantime, even though nothing seems to be happening, there is indeed a lot happening behind the scenes.
So, please be patient. Superfast broadband is moving closer to being available to us with each day that passes.