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Images: Putting next-gen Broadband Britain on the map

Is there a fibre scheme near you?
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By Natasha Lomas on
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1 of 5 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Is there a fibre scheme near you?

NGA in the UK: Broadband Britain isn't doing too badly after all when it comes to moving towards next-generation broadband, according to a report from Ofcom advisory group the Communications Consumer Panel (CCP).

The CCP has gathered information on more than 30 next-gen broadband initiatives being planned or built across the UK - locations shown here - from Dundee's Fibrecity to a European Union-funded regeneration programme aiming to improve broadband infrastructure on the Isles of Scilly.

While many of the schemes identified are currently still in the very early planning stages, the CCP says the number of local next-gen broadband projects underway "will certainly surprise many".

"The various schemes are of very different sizes and at very different stages of development but collectively they represent a range of funding and business models and of technical delivery options that should contribute significantly to the national debate on the timing and form of NGA [next-generation access] rollout in the UK," the report notes.

The CCP says its list is not definitive so post a Reader Comment below if you know of an upcoming next-generation network that is not represented here.

Image credit: CBS Interactive

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2 of 5 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

England: Unsurprisingly, the majority of Blighty's next-gen plans are being cooked up in England - their locations are shown here.

Part of BT's £1.5bn planned investment in fibre will see the creation of a fibre to the cabinet deployment in London's Muswell Hill where customers will be able to get speeds of up to 40Mbps.

The capital will also benefit from 2012 Olympic investment, as fibre is laid down to ensure the Olympic Park Network can handle a whopping 6Gbps.

Outside London, BT is also planning to lay fibre - rather than copper - to premises in a regeneration development project in Ebbsfleet, Kent. The project will ultimately see around 10,000 homes, six million square feet of commercial space and three million square feet of retail, leisure and community facilities furnished with up to 100Mbps broadband.

Bournemouth too is to get a fibre boost with the rollout of H2O's Fibrecity - a commercial 100Mbps network that could hook up tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the town by the end of 2010.

Meanwhile a three-year project is due to start imminently in South Yorkshire that will bring 25Mbps+ broadband via fibre to the cabinet to some 550,000 homes and 40,000 businesses in the region - with the first services due to launch in the second half of this year.

And in the Midlands a project called LightSpeed Derby is seeking to have a locally managed core fibre network linking up the premises of all public sector agencies, all major businesses, business parks, and all major new developments by 2012. By 2016, its aim is to have next-generation broadband access available to 100 per cent of households.

Image credit: CBS Interactive

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3 of 5 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Northern Ireland: Next-gen shenanigans are making very modest progress in the region.

The CCP report notes that the Titanic Quarter development in Belfast's Abercorn Basin will see fibre being installed in all the homes and businesses in the £5bn new build regeneration project.

The 185-acre site on the banks of the river Lagan will comprise more than 7,500 apartments, 900,000 square metres of business, education, office and research and development floor space together with hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars and other leisure uses.

Image credit: CBS Interactive

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4 of 5 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Scotland: Dundee has been selected as the UK's second Fibrecity (after Bournemouth), which means it's getting its sewers stuffed with fibre by H2O Networks.

Work on wiring the city is due to start this year and residents opting into the network will have access to speeds of 100Mbps+.

The CCP report also details a handful of other next-generation network plans in Scotland - from a development of 100 new homes in the Cambuslang area, with the first connections due in February 2009, to former mining town Cardenden where an independent housing organisation is planning to install an open access fibre network at the same time as putting in a heat and power system in the town.

The report notes: "If the ground is being opened for one, the incremental cost of installing the other is quite small. The goal is to have fibre in the ground during 2009."

Next-gen proposals are also being looked at as a means to serve the Angus Glens region that has limited access to telecoms.

Image credit: CBS Interactive

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5 of 5 Natasha Lomas/ZDNet

Wales: The Welsh valleys are benefiting from BT's fibre to the cabinet pilots with its customers in Whitchurch, South Glamorgan set to get speeds of up to 40Mbps starting from this summer.

Meanwhile, up in North Wales, a Welsh Assembly backed fibre project is working to hook up business parks with speeds of up to 1Gbps along a 200-mile stretch from Holyhead to Wrexham.

Know of a next-gen access project not on the map? Let us know by posting a Reader Comment below...

Image credit: CBS Interactive

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