Central superfast broadband project (FAQs)

Here you can find the frequently asked questions concerning the Superfast broadband rollout in Milton Keynes.

What is the Superfast broadband project?

A partnership between BT and Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Bedford Borough councils, it aims to provide Superfast broadband (24Mbps) to 98% of Milton Keynes premises and minimum speeds of 2Mbps to others by 2018. It is jointly funded by the local councils and the Government’s broadband agency, BDUK and BT.

What do Superfast broadband, Basic broadband and Mbps mean?

Superfast broadband provides premises with access to internet speeds of 24Mbps and above.

Basic broadband provides premises with access to internet speeds of 2Mbps and above.

Mbps (megabit per second) is a unit used to measure data transfer speeds in internet connections. The higher the Mbps, the faster you can browse the internet, download and upload.

What are download and upload speeds?

Download speeds are how quickly information transfers from the Internet to your computer (for example downloading a music file)

Upload speeds are how quickly information transfers from your computer to the Internet (for example uploading a photo)

How is the project being funded?

Funding for the project is as follows

  • Milton Keynes Council are contributing £2.7m
  • BT are contributing towards to overall cost of deployment in non-commercial areas
  • Broadband Delivery UK (the Government agency) are providing further funding.

What is fibre broadband and how fast is it?

The latest in broadband technology, fibre optic broadband provides super-fast speeds and increased reliability.

It is delivered via fibre optic cable, as opposed to copper telephone lines used by traditional ADSL broadband, in one of two ways

  • Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), which uses fibre optic cables throughout the network to the street cabinet and then copper wires from the cabinet to the home. FTTC provides download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, depending on the distance from the cabinet.
  • Fibre to the premises (FTTP), which uses fibre optic cables right up to the premises. FTTP provides download speeds of up to 330Mpbs and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps, which are not affected by distance to the cabinet. This is sometimes referred to as Fibre to the home (FTTH).

How do I find out what my current broadband speed is?

You can contact your internet service provider or visit the broadband speed test (you should not have to download computer programs to run the test). Speeds vary at different times so we recommend testing during peak and off-peak to get an accurate speed.

What benefits will I see as a householder from superfast broadband?

There are lots of benefits, including improved access to online shopping, banking and public services, as well as being able to stay in touch with family and friends.

Children can use the faster Internet speeds to complete homework and independent learning, while adults can work from home, just as effectively as they work from the office.

What broadband speeds can I expect?

Most premises connected to the new fibre broadband cabinets will be able to receive Superfast broadband (24Mbps and above) and we aim to ensure that everyone can access speeds of 2Mbps and above.

Speeds will depend on if your broadband is FTTC or FTTP, and may be affected by the distance from the cabinet. Generally speaking, premises within 1.1km of the cabinet should receive speeds of 24Mbps and above. Premises beyond 1.1km are unlikely to receive less than 15Mpbs.

Will I have to use the superfast broadband service provider or can I stay with my existing broadband service?

The Central Superfast broadband project is implementing a fibre broadband infrastructure across Milton Keynes. This infrastructure will then be used by communication providers (CPs) to offer broadband service packages to customers.

If your current package meets your requirements, you don’t need to do anything. However, if you want a package that offers faster speeds you can change to any package or CP that meets your needs.  

Will everyone have superfast broadband?

Not under the current programme. Some geographically remote locations will not receive Superfast broadband due to cost and/or technology. This is why our commitment to enabling basic broadband (of at least 2Mbps) is so important.

When will I get superfast broadband?

Deployment of superfast infrastructure, through the council’s current BDUK contract with BT, will be completed by the end of April 2019.  By then we expect 98.2% of premises across the Borough to be able to order superfast broadband (>30mbs downloads). 

A new contract was recently agreed with BT that will extend the reach of superfast broadband to around 99.1% of homes by the end of 2019.  However, several private companies have recently announced their intentions to bring further “full fibre” networks to parts of Milton Keynes.  As more information on these private sector deployment plans becomes available the council will aim to maximise the value for money of our BDUK investment and redirect investment where practical.  This may mean that we will be able to eventually extend the reach of superfast broadband beyond the current projected coverage of 99.1%.

Can I speed up the roll-out in my area by gathering registrations of demand?

The fibre broadband rollout is not solely dependent on the number of registrations of interest but it is useful to do both with us and your internet service provider.

Registering your interest may help to plan the best technology solution according to the needs of your local community and it allows us to actively engage with you.

How do I order fibre broadband?

Once you've checked that superfast broadband is available on your line, ordering fibre broadband is the same as ordering normal broadband.

Research the different internet service providers to choose the best package for you. You can find more information from ThinkBroadband. 

There may be less choice for FTTP areas, which are not as common. Please visit FTTP services in Milton Keynes for more information.

What technology will be used?

The first choice is fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) – the most widely used infrastructure in the UK.

The second choice is fibre to the premises (FTTP).

An alternative technology, such as satellite or wireless, may be used where fibre is not possible.

My line is connected directly to the exchange. Will I be able to get fibre broadband?

Exchange Only (EO) lines are connected directly to the local telephone exchange rather than passing through a green cabinet. 

There are cases where EO lines may be fibre-enabled, but where this is not possible, an alternative technology (such as wireless or satellite) may be used to increase speed.  

I’m in an enabled area but can’t get fibre broadband -why not?

This may be because:

  • your roadside cabinet has not been upgraded to fibre broadband
  • you are served by an exchange-only line that connects directly to the telephone exchange and not a roadside cabinet
  • the length of the copper line from your premises to your cabinet is too long

What does installation involve and how long does it take?

You will receive a new router/modem to install yourself or with the help of an engineer. The installation will typically take two weeks, but varies per provider.

In most cases, your telephone and computer equipment will not require replacing.

What about the homes and businesses that will not be able to get fibre broadband?

By the end of 2018, over 98% of homes and businesses in Milton Keynes will have access to fibre broadband and all should receive speeds of 2Mbps and above.

We are committed to bringing fibre to as many homes and businesses as possible and will continue developing projects and working with the Government and communities to achieve this.

How can I find out which exchange I am covered by?

Visit the samknows website here for details of the current providers in your area, as well as exchange and other useful information.

You can also visit the Openreach website directly and the BT line check site, to see what physical structure your address connects to.

Contact information