When and Where Map

​View some frequently asked questions relating to the When and Where map.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

​The main plans secured by the County Council through the Superfast Northamptonshire project to date are being delivered by BT. BT were asked to model and plan a network which would deliver the most efficient and economically engineered solution to provide the greatest coverage of superfast broadband in the county. Setting geographical priorities has been largely avoided by the County Council as this could have a detrimental impact on costs – our aim is to ensure that public sector funding has the greatest impact for as many local people and businesses as possible and as soon as possible. Basing plans on the most economically engineered solution means that some of the more difficult to serve and remote areas are likely to be programmed later in the timescales for the project. This is because the network will continue to be extended outwards to reach further. Also, any advances in technology over the lifetime of the project could help deliver better solutions to those harder to reach areas.

BT’s fibre roll out is also determined by the location and geography of its existing copper network and cabinet structures already in place. This is because one of the technologies which BT deploys is Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) (see FAQ on the Network Build and Technologies). Those areas which will benefit most from FTTC will be those located closest to their serving cabinet.

Decisions on priorities for extending coverage further into areas in the county which still require a solution will be informed on a number of levels, including value for money and the availability of suitable technical solutions. Business will continue to be a key priority for further coverage and demand hot spots will be promoted to the telecoms market to encourage commercial interest and/or inform tender responses under future public procurements.

Plans as currently envisaged, and as shown on the When and Where map, may be subject to change throughout the lifetime of the project. The need for change is always a risk until physical delivery of the network has been completed. This is because there are always 'unknowns' which may affect the timescales, cost or technical solution and which ultimately could mean elements of the plans have to change. For example they could come forward earlier or be delivered later than envisaged. Some of the reasons for this are set out below:

  • The plans of private sector telecoms providers may change over time. This could be an extension of their investment or a withdrawal of plans in the event that factors affecting commercial viability change. The County Council has no influence over commercial telecoms plans.
  • Subsidised roll out plans being delivered with BT and Gigaclear are first developed based on initial 'desk top' modeling work. This draws on best known information about the area and existing networks but without the benefit of physical on site surveys in the first instance. This is a pre-planning phase. In order to test whether these expected plans are viable and are deliverable within the envisaged timescales, further planning and on-site survey work needs to be undertaken. Examples of issues which have the potential to affect plans include incidences such as the discovery of blocked or collapsed ducts, difficulties securing wayleaves (permission to access private land or property), having to cross major roads, rivers or railways or very high costs to connect a power or backhaul supply which could challenge value for money of a proposed solution. Similar principles may also apply to other providers as their plans come forward.
  • Another potential reason why plans may change is that the network build to serve any particular locality is being managed as part of a much wider programme of civil engineering works for the Superfast Northamptonshire project and this involves rolling out fibre in different parts of the county at one time.  Resources are managed to ensure the programme as a whole remains on track which can sometimes mean that the timescales to serve a particular locality within that programme may have to change.

The When and Where map illustrates how plans for superfast broadband in the county are expected to come forward. It is based on the best information available to the County Council at any point in time and from a number of sources. This information is interpreted in map form at a postcode level but it is not accurate at premise level.

Whilst the County Council has a clear programme of works there is always the risk that 'unknowns' could affect how and when plans come forward. This means expected timescales for a particular locality can change. This is expected given the nature and scale of the civil engineering build programme.

For example, plans could be delayed due to the discovery of insufficient duct space, blocked or collapsed ducts, securing 'wayleaves', approvals to work on the highway, having to cross major barriers like motorways or rivers, planning considerations, the availability of power, backhaul etc. There is always a risk that plans may change at any point during the network build. Timescales reported are only indicative until such time much closer to a completion date that more certainty can be provided.

The County Council does not hold information on when commercial plans are due to go live.

The County Council will continue to keep updating information as it becomes available to us and as the roll out plans evolve. We are also trying to continue to improve how we present the information we do have to the general public. Information is also provided through our Twitter feed and the project newsletters which are available on the Publications page.

​The Intervention Area map or State Aid classification map identifies areas in the county where public funds can be invested to enable 'next generation' superfast and basic broadband technology to be delivered to support faster broadband services. These are shown as 'White' areas on the Intervention Area map which corresponds to the State aid classification. The White areas are locations where there are no foreseeable commercial plans and clearance has been secured to enable public funding (State aid) to be invested.

To set the Intervention Area for a particular public investment, the Council has to follow due process and secure Government clearance for State aid. Commercial plans on the Intervention Area map are shown as Black or Grey and are determined in consultation with the wider telecoms market and stakeholders.

The When and Where map simply shows the best interpretation of existing and planned superfast and fibre coverage based on information available to the County Council, whether these are commercial plans or those being enabled through public investment. It is updated on a regular basis to show the latest progress. It is not accurate at premise level.