Even with the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme, the funding is insufficient to achieve 100% coverage because some places are more challenging. This may be because of geography, perhaps they are more remote from existing infrastructure, because of the local topography, or because of other issues.
Communities are currently served by a green cabinet which acts as a distribution point for the copper, which runs from the exchange and is then split to serve internet to each property. Our programme involves an additional cabinet being installed in order to provide a fibre connection from the exchange, which then links into the existing cabinet, meaning only the final connection is made by copper in the case of FTTC. As broadband signals degrade over lengths of copper there is a limit to which superfast speeds can be achieved which is around 1km. Choosing the location for the cabinet is crucial due to the affect copper has on delivering speed to the premises, as well as other factors, such as powering the cabinet and the condition of the existing copper network. For areas which are unfeasible to be provided fibre via a cabinet, alternative methods are explored, such as fibre to the premises (FTTP). FTTP is a connection which provides fibre directly to the premises and as such doesn’t encounter the pitfalls associated with the existing copper network. It’s also capable of delivering much faster download speeds of up to 330Mbps.
Some of the existing green cabinets are over 1km from the local communities, for instance where a cabinet serves a number of villages, and so we simply will not be able to achieve superfast speeds using the technology that is funded under the current programme.
The network is being rolled out using fibre because that is the most future-proof technology that will enable faster speeds to be achieved. Wireless or other technologies are not currently able to do this. For example, a 4G solution also requires a fibre backbone. Deploying fibre as far as possible speeds the commercial deployment of 4G.