Broadband in Buckinghamshire

In 2013 central government asked the public sector to attract suppliers to areas of 'market failure'. An area of market failure is somewhere that currently has no superfast coverage available and there are no plans to deploy superfast broadband to the area within the next three years. As a result, central government made funding available for us to work with suppliers to attract them to these areas in Buckinghamshire.

We formed a partnership with Hertfordshire County Council called Connected Counties. A contract was signed with Openreach to improve service levels across the two areas.

Before work began in 2013 only 68% of premises in the county could access superfast speeds. With the help of suppliers, we set a target of providing 95% of premises with superfast speeds. We achieved this target in August 2018.

 

Ongoing work

We are currently involved in many workstreams to improve superfast connectivity. The following is a brief summary of the projects:

Connected Counties partnership

The Connected Counties partnership with Hertfordshire County Council is formed of two contracts. The first contract began in 2013 and was delivered in 2016. The second contract began in 2016 and is due to be completed in early 2020. The contracts aim to provide 54,000 superfast connections to premises across Buckinghamshire.

Buckinghamshire Rural Business Broadband Project

The Buckinghamshire Rural Business Broadband Project will provide superfast broadband to 800 rural businesses and their surrounding communities. The project is scheduled to begin delivery in early 2020.

Broadband Voucher Schemes

The Broadband Team works with community leads to access funding that is available to improve connectivity across the country. Funding can be made available through Broadband Voucher Schemes.

Frequently asked questions

In 2013, the UK government definition of superfast broadband speed was speeds greater than or equal to 24 megabits per second (mbps). However, recently more groups emphasise that superfast should be classed as greater than or equal to 30mbps. The statistics we’ve presented regarding the progress we have made reflects the original 24mbps definitions. Going forward, the Buckinghamshire Rural Business Broadband Project will reflect the 30mbps definition, to reflect the new attitudes to superfast broadband.

One of the most popular online activities is streaming television and films over the internet. As a brief overview, the recommended speeds to be able to do this are as follows:

BBC iPlayer

Standard definition - 1.5mbps
High definition - 2.8mbps
Ultra-high definition - N/A

Netflix

Standard definition - 3mbps
High definition - 5mbps
Ultra-high definition - 25mbps

Amazon Prime Video

Standard definition - 0.9mbps
High definition - 3.5mbps
Ultra-high definition - 25mbps

YouTube

Standard definition - 2.5mbps
High definition - 4mbps
Ultra-high definition - 15mbps

You can use the Which.co.uk broadband guide for more advice on understanding what speeds you might need.

Residents should also bear in mind that the more users, the slower their speeds are likely to be.

You can either contact your current internet service provider and ask them, or carry out an online test yourself using the BT wholesale speed checker. There are also lots of websites which have a broadband speed checker service. Some suggestions are:

You should speak to your current internet service provider to ask if they can do anything to improve the speed.

Ofcom have introduced a new campaign called ‘Boost Your Broadband’. The campaign provides consumers with the information they need to find out if they are getting the best package for their needs. It aims to encourage consumers to see if they can get more from their broadband by checking what services are available in their area. The campaign can help constituents find out if they could:

  • upgrade to a faster service with their current provider
  • get a better deal for their current package
  • switch to a new deal with a different provider
  • stick with their current deal

Please visit Ofcom's website dedicated to broadband information for more details.

 

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