Frequently Asked Questions

Broadband in General (12)

What is the difference between superfast and ultrafast broadband?

For Contracts 1 and 2 of the CSW Broadband Project, the UK government defined superfast broadband as 24Mbps or above. For contracts signed since January 2017 (including the CSW Project’s Contract 3) superfast was defined, as per EU requirements, as 30Mbps or above.

Ultrafast is defined as speeds of over 100Mbps. This is usually delivered using Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology (where speeds of up to 1000Mbps can be delivered) but is not yet available in all areas.

Even if you have an ultrafast connection, you will still have a wide choice of packages available so can choice options to suit your pocket.

 

What is FTTP on demand?

We have recently had a number of enquiries where the BT Broadband Availability Checker suggests that a product called Fibre on Demand (FoD or FTTPoD) is available, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.

This is NOT the same as native Fibre to the Premise (FTTP), which is being installed to many areas through this project.

It is easy to get native Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) services confused with FTTPoD because the two solutions function in identical ways, although their cost, contract and deployment methods have tended to be significantly different.

In a native FTTP setup, which is what CSW is installing, the fibre optic cable will have been installed outside your property (e.g. down your street), which makes it fairly quick and inexpensive to get connected.

By comparison FTTPoD is designed to be requested (‘on demand‘) in Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) capable areas where the fibre optic cables have yet to reach specific properties. In some cases, this will attract significant distance-based construction charges (civil works) worth thousands of pounds.

Because of the high costs involved (and often the requirement for a much longer than standard contract), very few providers actually offer FTTPoD. Some that we are aware of include Cerberus Networks and FluidOne. It’s worth doing your homework as there may be others.

This is likely to remain a niche product for those who are prepared to pay the additional installation charges and a higher ongoing monthly cost.

Will I need a telephone line to get broadband?

Access to broadband is most common across Solihull and Warwickshire through ADSL or VDSL technology – both of which require a telephone line. However, we are starting to see an increasing rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), which uses fibre connections right to the door and therefore does not require a telephone line. However, FTTP is not available in all areas.

Ways to receive broadband that do not need a telephone line include:

  • 3G & 4G mobile phones
  • Satellite
  • FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) – (where available)
  • Wi-fi connectivity in town and city centres

For a description of each of these technologies please see our Jargon Buster

Why does my broadband run slower at different times of the day?

There are several reasons why your broadband speeds can vary. For example:

If a number of people in your household are using your internet connection at the same time, you may notice a drop in internet connection speed.

The general volume of traffic on the internet as a whole at a peak time of the day (such as in the evening) will also cause slower traffic. As most broadband connections are shared with others, your peak time usage is likely to coincide with their use too.

This is known as the “contention ratio”. A typical consumer contention ratio is 50:1, which means you share the circuit with up to 49 other users. If all these users decide to use the internet at the same peak time, the speed for all will be slower.

If your internet service provider (ISP) determines that you are a very heavy user, they may restrict your speed at certain times of day. This is called “throttling” or “traffic shaping”. It is used by some ISPs to ensure that all their customers have their fair share of broadband access.

Although you may have an unlimited download package, this technique would probably be covered by the ISP’s Fair Usage policy. However, only a very small number of users would fall into this heavy user category – normally less than 0.1% of customers.

If you are a heavy broadband user, choosing a service with a smaller contention ratio would be a better option for you.

 

I am on a new housing development, why don’t I have superfast broadband?

It is an unfortunate fact that many developers build new homes but give no consideration to broadband connectivity and do not provide the necessary infrastructure. Rather surprisingly, whilst there is a legal requirement to offer a copper telephone line to new properties, there is no such requirement to offer fibre connectivity.

For anyone thinking of moving house, the advice is to check if broadband is available before buying.  

To see if anything is planned in your area through the CSW Broadband Project or through commercial providers, you can use our Check Your Property tool, which shows the currently planned status for each property in the CSW region.

You may also have heard that Virgin Media is extending its fibre network. To find out whether Virgin Media services are available in your area, you can use the Virgin Media postcode checker.

It is also entirely possible for a community to decide to raise funds and employ their own solution through, for example, a Community Fibre Partnership.

Before considering a community-funded scheme you should bear in mind that these take time to organise, and require local activists to lead the project.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business  to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

If a village or community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the individual vouchers can be pooled together to pay towards the overall cost of the build for that community. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would help to reduce costs overall.

Is the modelling for the CSW Broadband Project and the commercial rollout available publicly?

No. The modelling includes information that is owned by Openreach and the other providers is commercially sensitive so that whilst the roll-out areas are visible the underlying data is not.

How do I switch to a different broadband provider?

You may wish to transfer your broadband provider for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Poor quality of service
  • You need additional features that your current internet service provider (ISP) does not offer
  • You think the deal you are subscribed to is not providing good value for money
  • You are moving house/business premises

First of all, check if the contract period you signed for with your existing supplier has expired.

Contracts are generally for either 12 or 18 months. Most contracts require you to give a month’s notice, even after the initial 12 or 18 months. If it hasn’t expired, you may be liable for a cancellation fee or even the balance of the fee until the contract runs out.

It’s your choice if you decide you want to buy yourself out of a contract that hasn’t yet expired. Providers will often allow you to upgrade to a different service with them – it’s their way of retaining customers!

Moneysaving Expert has lots of advice about switching providers and the Which? broadband speed checker and the Broadband Speed Test are easy to use to check what speeds you can achieve and can also provide some good, impartial advice on switching providers as well.

It is important that you check that the new service you wish to sign up to is available in your area. You can use comparison websites to check this, such as those listed below.

Please remember that some comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options.

Do I need any other equipment?

Your internet service provider will normally provide you with a broadband modem to connect to the internet through their service. Often, the modem provided has an inbuilt router, which allows you to share your internet access between several devices, although modems may also be bought separately.

Routers usually have wi-fi wireless capability – this allows you to create a simple wi-fi network in your home or business. This enables you to share internet access across a number of devices including PCs, Macs, smartphones and gaming consoles.

What are all-in-one cabinets?

An all-in-one cabinet is a combined copper and fibre cabinet. The advantage is that rather than installing two separate cabinets only one is required. The downside is that these cabinets cannot support as many connections as the more usual two-cabinet solution so they are not suitable for use in all locations.

Can CSW Broadband influence how much suppliers charge for their services?

We have no influence over the prices charged by commercial providers. Our role is to extend the wholesale fibre network as far as possible, and we are doing this through the contracts that we hold with Openreach.

As access to the network is available to all suppliers on an equal basis it is a purely commercial decision on the part of an ISP as to which packages they offer and at which price range.

The best thing is to shop around for a deal that is right for you. Please remember that some price comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options.

Therefore, you may want to try several such sites before making a decision. The MoneySavingExpert.com and Which? websites can provide useful and impartial advice on this.

My phone line has been connected to a cabinet that is not upgraded. How can I get it moved to a fibre-enabled cabinet?

It is an operational matter for Openreach as to which cabinet they connect your landline to. There is a legal obligation to provide a copper telephone connection, but not for a fibre broadband connection.

In some areas, Openreach are carrying out CuRE (Copper Re-Arrangement) work, which does involve moving lines from one cabinet to another. In other areas we are seeing FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) installations, in which case the cabinet is irrelevant.

You can check which structure you are actually connected to and what speed is available to you now by using the BT Broadband Availability Checker.

For the best results you will need to be able to enter a BT landline number for your property. If you do not have this then you can use your address, but it may be less accurate. Do not use the postcode checker as that covers too wide an area to be of any use.

To see if anything is planned in your area for the future, either through this project or from commercial providers, use our Check Your Property tool, which shows the currently planned status (down to property level).

If the coverage has been promised by the commercial provider, then we are bound by commercial confidentiality and cannot give further details.

However, if the upgrades are planned through the CSW Broadband Project then they will be listed on our Rolling 12-Month Plan.

Why can’t Exchange Only (EO) lines get superfast speeds?

Most properties are fed by copper wiring that runs from the exchange to a green cabinet, where it then splits out and smaller copper cables lead to every property that is fed from that cabinet. However, because broadband signals degrade over relatively short distances of copper, this is not a very efficient way of getting broadband to consumers and businesses.

Our project is bringing faster broadband by installing a new cabinet near to the original one. This is fed by fibre from the exchange, which brings faster broadband right into the communities, and considerably reduces the length of copper that is required, meaning that higher speeds can be achieved.

The problem with Exchange Only (EO) properties is that they are connected directly to the exchange – there is no green cabinet between the property and the exchange to upgrade with fibre cabling. This is unfortunately why superfast speeds cannot be achieved by these properties.

We have already upgraded some EO lines. However, this is more complicated (and more expensive) as there are greater engineering challenges. For instance, because EO lines don’t have the copper lines routed through a copper cabinet (PCP) there is no aggregation point to which we can connect the fibre cabinet (DSLAM).

Therefore we have to install two cabinets and this creates additional challenges in terms of location in addition to the ones that we face for all DSLAMs with regard to the availability of power, avoiding existing services, road safety issues etc.

Contract 2 included a considerably higher percentage of exchange only lines, and a lot more of the challenging locations that could not be brought into Contract 1.

It should be noted that because of the nature of the installation, it is not until the exchange only lines have actually been connected up to the new cabinets that we will know which properties will be able to benefit from the superfast broadband service.

This creates challenges for us in terms of letting people know that the service is available!

General Rollout (9)

How will people find out when their area is due to get fibre broadband?

To see if anything is planned in your area through the CSW Broadband Project or through commercial providers, you can use our Check Your Property tool, which shows the currently planned status for each property in the CSW region.

If the coverage has been promised by the commercial provider, then we are bound by commercial confidentiality and cannot give further details.

However, if the upgrades are planned through the CSW Broadband Project then you can see the status on our Rolling 12-Month Plan.

The best thing is to register for more information through our website. We will send you our e-newsletter, which comes out every two to three months and contains project updates, broadband news, consumer advice, information about local meetings and events, and much, much more.

By providing us with your landline number and address we can also send specific information as we learn more about what is happening in your area.

How do I know which Openreach cabinet I am connected to?

To check which cabinet you are connected to and what speeds you might be able to achieve, visit the BT Broadband Availability Checker. For the best results you will need to be able to enter a Openreach landline number for your property.

If you do not have this then you can use your address, but it may be less accurate. Do not use the postcode checker as that covers too wide an area to be of any use.

Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.

Why is my upgrade delayed?

This is a technically challenging project and we always knew that some areas would be more difficult to reach than others.

As we get into the more challenging areas, we are encountering more need for civil engineering works. These may require road closures, which can take 3 months to come into effect.

Occasionally, when one problem has been fixed another may manifest itself further down the line. Although visual surveys are carried out, it is not possible to know what is happening under the ground until the actual work commences.

We will not be able to bring regular updates or a lot of details about what is happening – just doing that would tie up a lot of valuable resource for the CSW Broadband team and for the contractor.

However, we will give an indication of the status on any delayed structures as the work progresses.

How have you decided your roll-out plan?

The strategic ambitions of the CSW Broadband project are to:

  • Ensure a network deployment that contributes the most to the underlying fibre infrastructure across the sub-region;
  • Benefit the maximum number of citizens;
  • Remove the barrier of connectivity for businesses to do business in the sub-region;

The roll-out strategy is based on engineering logic taking into account many factors including local demographics and geography, planning requirements, the existing engineering infrastructure and the availability of suitable technologies to provide a service.

Due to the size of the project, it must be conducted in stages, meaning some areas will be upgraded before others.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to do all work in an exchange area at the same time?

This is not as straightforward as it may appear. Throughout the project we have done what is possible as funding becomes available. Inevitably, this means that some areas will be later in the programme than others.

This may be because some are harder to reach, or because they do not score highly on our benefits index. This was developed at the outset of the project and prioritises areas across the whole project area.

The priorities for the project are to:

  • ensure a network deployment that contributes the most to the underlying fibre infrastructure across the sub-region
  • remove the barrier of connectivity for businesses to do business in the sub-region
  • develop a mechanism that ensures that local outcomes reflect the amounts contributed
  • benefit the maximum number of citizens.

Of these, the key priority is to get the fibre as far as possible, therefore not all infrastructure off a single exchange will be upgraded at the same time.

To see if anything is planned in your area you can use our Check Your Property tool, which shows the currently planned status for each property in the CSW region.

You can also register for more information through our website. By providing us with your landline number and address we can also send specific information as we learn more about what is happening in your area.

What if my property is on the border and is served from an exchange in a different Local Authority?

We anticipate that this will apply only to a very small number of premises. Geographic coverage is negotiated between neighbouring authorities to ensure each premise is covered, but funded only once.

My area was to be covered under the commercial rollout but now BT say they won’t be doing it. What can you do to help?

As a commercial provider had already indicated their intention to upgrade your area as part of their own commercial deployment plan, we are not legally allowed to intervene in such areas under State Aid rules.

We were not, therefore, able to invest any of our funding in your area at the time when we planned where we were going to upgrade in Contract 3.

However, any information relating to an area that is no longer due to be upgraded commercially is useful as it allows potential reclassification for inclusion in the CSW Broadband Project if further funding becomes available in the future.

It is, however, entirely possible for a community to decide to raise funds and employ their own solution through, for example, a Community Fibre Partnership.

Before considering a community-funded scheme you should bear in mind that these take time to organise, and require local activists to lead the project.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business  to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

If a village or community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the individual vouchers can be pooled together to pay towards the overall cost of the build for that community. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would help to reduce costs overall.

Are there any alternative broadband solutions available?

If there is nothing specifically planned for your area, either through the CSW Broadband Project or through commercial providers, your community may want to consider employing their own solution through, for example, a Community Fibre Partnership.

Before considering a community-funded scheme you should bear in mind that these take time to organise, and require local activists to lead the project.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

If a village or community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the individual vouchers can be pooled together to pay towards the overall cost of the build for that community. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would help to reduce costs overall.

Another option could be to look into mobile broadband. This technology relies on a good mobile broadband connection so it is important to use the mobile coverage checkers available on mobile broadband supplier websites before committing.

You can access a mobile broadband connection by subscribing to a data plan with your chosen mobile operator; this can usually be done using a mobile device, a dongle, or a 4G router.

There are now a number of devices on the market, such as the Gigacube (Vodafone network), 5G HTC Hub (EE network) and the Pro Netgear M1 Pocket Hotspot (O2 network) which can improve your mobile broadband connections and speeds (depending on the coverage in your area) which may also be worth looking into.

When considering a mobile broadband option, it is important to take into consideration your data usage. Searching around for an unlimited data package can pay off, especially if you are a heavy online user.

Can I get a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) service?

We were fortunate that 96% of premises are within 1km of their local street cabinet so by focussing on delivering Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) solutions in Contracts 1 and 2, we were able to meet our strategic objective of ensuring the greatest level of superfast broadband coverage for the available funding in the most effective and efficient way possible.

However, for properties that are a greater distance from the cabinet they are served by, an FTTC solution is not viable. In such scenarios a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) solution may well be deployed where the fibre is taken to a central point and then run directly to each property when the service is ordered.

From a CSW Broadband Project point of view, the cost of installing a FTTP solution is considerably higher than for the cabinet-fed solutions that we deployed for the majority of Contracts 1 and 2.

However, due to the reasons outlined above and in order to start addressing the government’s desire for full fibre digital connectivity across the whole of the UK by 2033, the vast majority of our Contract 3 deployment is via an FTTP solution.

We do, however, have to be mindful of the costs of installation and under the terms of the contract there are cost caps in place which can’t be breached. This means that we are therefore unable to provide an FTTP solution to all of the properties that are still waiting to be upgraded.

We are also not in a position financially to go back to the areas where we have already brought superfast broadband coverage via an FTTC solution to upgrade them again to an FTTP solution.

Vast amounts of funding would be required in order to do this and the government haven’t as yet released details of exactly how they intend to achieve their full fibre ambitions by 2033.

It is, however, entirely possible for a community to decide to raise funds and employ their own solution through, for example, a Community Fibre Partnership.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

Another possible solution is that Openreach provide a product called Fibre on Demand (FoD) in some areas of our region. However, it should be noted that this service is outside the remit of our project and unlike our project, you would have to pay for the installation costs which may run into thousands of pounds. To find out more about this, you should contact Openreach or your ISP.

Finally, if you don’t live in an area that is to be covered by the Fibre to the Premise solution through CSW, or Openreach’s Fibre on Demand, and your property isn’t eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme then another option could be to buy a commercial Private Leased Line.

However, the installation costs for this can run into tens of thousands of £s, and the ongoing rental costs are also considerably higher than for other services.

Once Your Cabinet has Gone Live (5)

How will I know when I can order an improved broadband service?

The best way to see if your connection has been upgraded is to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker. It will tell you whether you are able to order an improved broadband service.

To use the checker, either enter a Openreach landline telephone number (including area code) or your address and the Captcha code provided, then click ‘Submit’.

Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the results.

Don’t forget that you will need to order an upgraded broadband package through your chosen ISP in order to take advantage of the improved infrastructure. Access is on a wholesale basis, which means that any ISP can use the infrastructure we have installed to provide their services.

You will need to check out the available broadband packages carefully to get the one that is right for you. For impartial advice on this, go to the Money Saving Expert website.

We have leaflets that can be distributed to every property that is connected to the upgraded infrastructure. To find out more please visit our Become a Community Champion web page.

I have been told that my cabinet has reached capacity, what does this mean?

Openreach actively monitor each cabinet and will automatically order the new cards, so that in many cases the upgrade will happen before the cabinet reaches capacity. On occasion, however, take-up is not only higher than expected but also happens very quickly, so that the cabinet reaches capacity and there is a short delay before more orders can be taken.

Openreach aim to provide extra capacity as soon as possible for those parts of the network where they are experiencing high levels of demand, however catering for additional demand in an area can take time to plan and Openreach also need to increase the infrastructure to accommodate the extra equipment needed.

In a number of cases, Openreach may even need to supply an additional fibre cabinet, and there may also be requirements for civil engineering and other works in exactly the same way as with any new cabinet.

 

What sort of broadband speeds can I realistically expect if I’m able to get fibre under the project?

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connection speeds will vary depending on a number of factors including the distance your property is located from the street cabinet it is connected to, the local geography, the state of the local copper network and the wiring within your home or business but could reach up to 80Mbps.

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) connections – where these are available – are in theory capable of 1Gbps (1000 Mbps), but your service provider may offer a range of different speed-related packages to suit different needs.

My cabinet has gone live but I can only get faster broadband rather than superfast broadband – why?

With an FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) solution, the key factor affecting whether you can achieve superfast broadband speeds* is your property’s distance from the location of the cabinet.

The final part of the delivery via an FTTC solution uses the existing copper cabling, and broadband speeds degrade quickly over copper. Therefore, the closer to the cabinet you are the faster speeds you will achieve.

For information on ways in which you can try and improve your broadband speeds, visit our self-help guides web page.

The condition of the local copper networks can also have an impact on the speeds achieved via an FTTC solution. As many of these were installed many years ago and were not intended for data transmission this is hardly surprising.

Unfortunately, this is outside the remit of our project. Our role is to install the fibre infrastructure, then the network is handed over to Openreach who run it and sell services on to the ISPs.

The only option that you have to get your copper network upgraded is to refer back to your ISP, who will then contact Openreach. If your ISP is unable (or unwilling) to help, then we suggest that you contact Ofcom who are the regulators for the industry.

 

* For Contracts 1 and 2 of the project, the UK government defined superfast broadband as 24Mbps or above. For contracts signed since January 2017 (including the CSW Project’s Contract 3) superfast was defined, as per EU requirements, as 30Mbps or above.

I have been let down by the engineer who was supposed to be installing my broadband. What can I do?

Unfortunately, this is outside the remit of the CSW Broadband Project as our role is only to install the fibre network. This is an issue that you will have to take up with your ISP as it is down to them to arrange for the installation.

Ofcom estimate that there are 7.2 million cases each year where broadband or landline customers suffer delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments but as of 1st April 2019, customers who experience these issues will now be compensated without even having to ask.

Under the terms of the agreement, if an engineer does not arrive on schedule or cancels within 24 hours, the compensation will be £25. If a service stops working and is not fully fixed after two working days, customers will be entitled to £8 a day in compensation.

There will also be £5 per day offered for new services not starting on time.

Please visit the Ofcom website for further details on the automatic compensation scheme.

Extending the Current Rollout (3)

What are you doing about getting additional funding?

We are doing all that we can to bring in additional funding to take the network further. However, as this is not guaranteed and we don’t know what any future funding streams may cover, you may want to think about other ways to upgrade the broadband in your area.

For example, you could choose to pay Openreach or another major provider to upgrade the infrastructure in your area. If you decide to follow this route then you may want to take a look at the Community Fibre Partnerships website.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! However, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which can help with this.

Vouchers can be aggregated so that if, for example, a community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the vouchers can be pooled together to form one project covering the entire area. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would reduce costs overall.

Should we go it alone and look for a community solution?

To see if anything is planned in your area through the CSW Broadband Project or through commercial providers, you can use our Check Your Property tool, which shows the currently planned status for each property in the CSW region.

If there is nothing specifically planned for your area, either through the CSW Broadband Project or through commercial providers, your community may want to consider employing their own solution through, for example, a Community Fibre Partnership.

Before considering a community-funded scheme you should bear in mind that these take time to organise, and require local activists to lead the project.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

If a village or community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the individual vouchers can be pooled together to pay towards the overall cost of the build for that community. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would help to reduce costs overall.

What plans do you have for properties that aren’t included in your current fibre network upgrade programme?

To see if anything is planned in your area through the CSW Broadband Project or through commercial providers, you can use our Check Your Property tool, which shows the currently planned status for each property in the CSW region.

We are doing all that we can to bring in additional funding to take the network further. However, as this is not guaranteed and we don’t know what any future funding streams may cover, you may want to think about other ways to upgrade the broadband in your area.

For example, you could choose to pay Openreach or another major provider to upgrade the infrastructure in your area. If you decide to follow this route then you may want to take a look at the Community Fibre Partnerships website.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! However, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which can help with this.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

If a village or community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the individual vouchers can be pooled together to pay towards the overall cost of the build for that community. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would help to reduce costs overall.

 

Questions About the Contracts (3)

Will the network be open to competition?

Yes. The network is being built by Openreach, BT’s local network business, and will be open to all internet service providers (ISPs) on an equal basis. Currently around 80 ISPs are trialling or offering superfast broadband services over Openreach’s network.

This will enable people to choose the provider and broadband package that best suits their household’s needs and requirements.

Why was Openreach selected as the delivery partner for Contracts 1, 2 and 3?

Openreach won three fair and open procurement exercises.  They were willing to invest their own resources, have established retail partners and have the capacity and experience to deliver the solution our area required.

Can our village contribute financially to the contract to be sure of being included in the next rollout?

It is not legally possible for a community to contribute towards the CSW Broadband contract.

It is, however, entirely possible for a community to decide to raise funds and employ their own solution through, for example, a Community Fibre Partnership.

Before considering a community-funded scheme you should bear in mind that these take time to organise, and require local activists to lead the project.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

Under the scheme, homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

If a village or community wanted to upgrade its connectivity then the individual vouchers can be pooled together to pay towards the overall cost of the build for that community. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would help to reduce costs overall.