Newsletter — March 2020

Over 72,000 properties now able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Project updates – Contract 3
  • CSW Project updates – LFFN programme
  • Coronavirus – Will Broadband networks cope with increased levels of home working?
  • Coronavirus – How can we stay in virtual touch with our older relatives?
  • Ordering an FTTP service – valuable information for customers
  • Email address charges branded ‘daylight robbery’
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

CSW Project updates – Contract 3

Another 12 Contract 3 cabinets / structures have gone live since the last newsletter was sent out at the end of January. Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:

Barford (Wasperton Lane area), Caldecote, Hampton in Arden, Kingsbury, Spernal, Stretton on Dunsmore and Wormleighton.

Over 72,000 properties across the region are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.

As always, once we have received confirmation that a particular cabinet or structure upgrade has been completed, we will inform as many of the affected residents as possible.

Remember, once your property has been upgraded, you won’t get a faster service automatically. You need to order the improved service with your chosen ISP (Internet Service Provider) to benefit from the upgrade.

To check on your property’s superfast status, enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.

You might like to use a broadband comparison site such as MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadband Choices, Broadband Genie, Choose or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.

If your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Ordering an FTTP service webpage provides you with all the information you need.

Finally, it should be noted that we are fully expecting the deployment of the fibre network in our area – as with the rest of the UK – to slow down significantly in the coming weeks and possibly months as government restrictions come into play to try and halt the spread of the coronavirus / Covid 19 pandemic across the UK.

Our build partners, Openreach, may have to prioritise their network support to critical services such as the NHS, emergency services, the armed forces, key utilities and banking services, as well as enabling much of the wider UK to work from home wherever possible.

We will obviously keep you updated on any major developments as and when they happen via email.

CSW Project updates – LFFN Programme

After a number of delays, we have finally signed our Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme contract with Openreach.

The LFFN programme is designed to stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks in both rural and urban locations across the whole of the UK.

CSW will be using the £5.7 million we were awarded, in line with Government requirements to bring full fibre gigabit connectivity to 320 public sector buildings across the region – 250 in Warwickshire and 70 in Solihull.

It is hoped that with the new full fibre network in place that suppliers will then use it as a springboard to bring full fibre to residents and businesses in the wider community as well.

We’ve already held a kick-off meeting with Openreach to get the ball rolling on this and the plan is to start site surveys soon with the first full-fibre connections being completed later this year.

However, once again, the proposed timetable may be subject to delay depending on how badly the UK is hit by the coronavirus and the government restrictions in place to tackle it.

Coronavirus – Will UK Broadband networks cope with increased levels of home working?

Over the last couple of weeks a number of websites and newspapers have run stories claiming that the UK’s broadband networks ‘will be unable to cope’ if millions of us start working from home during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

However, as ISP Review’s Covid-19 – Home Working Probably Won’t Break UK Broadband article suggests, such reports can be misleading.

Amongst other things, it notes how the vast majority of work that ordinary people tend to do – e.g. sending/receiving emails, database updates, replying to online messages, writing reports – is fairly lightweight in terms of its data impact upon a broadband network.

A bigger challenge could occur when the demands of greater remote working clash with those of a typical family environment (heavy video streaming and downloads etc.) particularly as coronavirus has now resulted in the closure of schools.

This may cause a slowdown in service speeds at some providers on some connections but they should still be able to cope.

ISP Review contacted a number of UK broadband ISPs for their views and the general consensus seems to be that none are particularly worried and all say they can increase capacity to cope with rising demand and that consumers shouldn’t expect their broadband service to break down.

Coronavirus – How can we stay in virtual touch with older relatives?

As the government continues to encourage “social distancing” in the fight against coronavirus, older people (and now much of the rest of the population) are facing the prospect of being told to stay at home for weeks, possibly months.

One way that they can stay in touch with their loved ones is by getting a specialised device to make video calls, as outlined in a BBC website article on how to stay in virtual touch with older relatives, published last week.

The article gives information and advice on the advantages and disadvantages on a number of different solutions to help you stay in touch during these difficult times.

For those of you reading a Word version of the newsletter, you can find out more information at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51933618

Ordering an FTTP service – valuable information for customers

If your property has benefited from a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) upgrade, the process for installing ‘full fibre’ services inside your home involves a number of steps and may vary slightly depending on which internet service provider (ISP) you decide to go with.

Whichever ISP you choose to provide your service however, the installation process will typically be similar to that shown in Openreach’s ‘Installing Full Fibre to your premises’ video.

The number of ISPs offering FTTP services is still quite limited at this moment in time. However, ISP Review announced last month that Sky Broadband UK will soon be launching FTTP services via Openreach’s national FTTP network.

This will provide consumers with more choice and hopefully more competitively priced packages as well.

In fact, hot on the heels of this announcement, ISP Review ran another story suggesting that Openreach are planning on offering big discounts on their own FTTP broadband packages later this year.

Our Ordering an FTTP service webpage provides further information about the installation process as well as details of all the FTTP service providers who have stated that they currently offer residential and business packages in our area.

Email address charges branded ‘daylight robbery’

Ofcom is writing to broadband companies to ask why some customers are having to pay to keep their old email addresses.

The communications regulator found that of the big four providers who supply 90% of the UK’s net-using homes with broadband, TalkTalk charges £5 a month and BT charges £7.50 a month if customers switch providers but want to keep using their email addresses as before.

Virgin deletes the email addresses it gives to customers 90 days after they leave, while Sky lets customers keep theirs for free.

As well as customers having to pay to keep their old email addresses, another possible concern for Ofcom is the risk that customers are being put off switching providers to get better broadband deals because of the hassle of losing their existing email addresses.

Ofcom can’t see any reason why customers should have to pay to keep their email address and are looking further into this to consider whether they need to step in and take action.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

How do I switch to a different broadband provider?

You may wish to transfer broadband 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.

It is also important that you check that the new service you wish to sign up to is available in your area. A couple of useful and impartial sources of advice are the Which? broadband speed checker and Moneysaving Expert which has lots of advice about switching provider.

You can also use a variety of comparison websites and we’ve listed a few below. Please remember that some comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options.

You may therefore want to try several such sites before making your final decision.

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 (Internet Service Provider) as to which packages they offer and at which price range.

The best thing is to shop around to find a deal that is right for you (see previous FAQ above for links to comparison sites/websites offering impartial advice).

Of course you could always try haggling with your ISP to try to get a better deal. Back in our September newsletter, we noted how ISP Review had recently published an article on the best UK Broadband Providers to haggle with and also provided some Tips for Cutting Your Broadband Bill Without Switching ISP.

MoneySavingExpert.com have also recently published an article on broadband haggling which provides top tips for slashing your internet and line rental bills.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — January 2020

Nearly 72,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • More Contract 3 builds announced
  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Useful advice if you are thinking of changing your ISP in 2020
  • 37 ways to improve your internet speeds
  • Openreach to extend Full Fibre network into 200 rural locations
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

More Contract 3 builds announced

Over the last couple of months, CSW Broadband has given the go-ahead for dozens and dozens of new structures to be built. This means that more and more residents and businesses, across the length and breadth of the Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region, will soon be able to take advantage of a fibre broadband connection.

Some of the communities that will benefit from the latest batch of upgrades include parts of:

Arley, Avon Dassett, Bidford on Avon, Birchmoor, Burton Hastings, Copston Magna, Corley, Frankton, Kenilworth, Keresley End, Meriden, Middleton, Napton, Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Polesworth, Priors Marston, Ratley, Stockton, Stretton on Dunsmore, Warton and Wootton Wawen.

The full list of what CSW has approved to be built so far in Contract 3, along with the communities that will benefit from these builds can be found at in the Contract 3 table on our Rolling 12-month Plan webpage.

CSW Broadband Project updates – Contract 3

Another 30 Contract 3 cabinets / structures have gone live since the last newsletter was sent out at the end of November. Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:

Alcester, Bascote, Bearley, Berkswell, Birchmoor, Cawston, Churchover, Kenilworth, Kingsbury, Kytes Green, Ladbroke, Leamington, Meriden, Napton on the Hill, Nuneaton, Polesworth, Sawbridge, the Banbury Road & Gallows Hill area of Warwick and Woolscott.

As a result, nearly 72,000 properties across the region are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.

As always, once we have received confirmation that a particular cabinet or structure upgrade has been completed, we will inform as many of the affected residents as possible.

Remember, once your property has been upgraded, you won’t get a faster service automatically. You need to order the improved service with your chosen ISP (Internet Service Provider) to benefit from the upgrade.

To check on your property’s superfast status, enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.

You might like to use a broadband comparison site such as MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadband Choices, Broadband Genie, Choose or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.

Finally, if your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Fibre to the Premise webpage provides you with information on ordering an FTTP service and the subsequent installation process.

Useful advice for if you are thinking of changing your ISP in 2020

Consumers in the UK face a bewildering choice of providers and networks when trying to find a new home broadband ISP and this is only likely to get worse as a growing number of new ISPs enter this highly competitive market.

If you are looking for a new ISP but find the myriad of options available to you a little bit confusing, the ISPreview’s, The UK Best Home Broadband ISP Options for 2020 may be able to help.

In the article, their editor’s annual pick aims to highlight some of the top ISP options in terms of quality and affordability that are available to you.

Consumer champions Which? have also recently published their report into the best and worst UK broadband providers for 2020.

They note that while the best broadband companies offer a great service at a great price, provide a fast connection that you can rely on, and are on hand to help in the rare instance that something goes wrong, many broadband providers still don’t deliver on those fronts.

While you have to pay to download the whole report, it is worth noting that this survey is based on the real-life experiences of thousands of customers across the UK and may prove to be money well spent if you are thinking of changing broadband provider and would like further information on choosing your next ISP.

For more information on this, visit: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/broadband-deals/article/best-broadband-providers

37 ways to improve your internet speeds

For some residents, even achieving a fairly modest broadband speed can be quite a challenge, particularly if they are living in areas that haven’t yet been upgraded or where they can achieve faster but not yet superfast broadband speeds.

If you are fed up of YouTube or Netflix buffering all the time then Broadband Savvy’s ‘How To Improve Internet Speed’ guide might be able to help. This useful resource contains 37 different methods that you can try to improve your internet speed – all of which have been tried, tested and proven to work by the authors.

The guide provides valuable information on how to test your internet speed, how to access your router settings, how to improve you WiFi speed and top tips and helpful hints on how you can make general improvements to the speeds you are currently able to achieve.

Each of the methods you can try are broken down into an easy to follow step-by-step actions and any technical jargon is explained so that it is easy to understand. So, if you are fed up with slow broadband speeds, some of these methods might be worth a try.

Openreach to extend Full Fibre network into 200 rural locations

On 27th January 2020, Openreach announced that they were going to widen their Full Fibre network build programme to include 250,000 homes and businesses in more than 200 rural locations across the UK – including some in the CSW region.

This builds upon Openreach’s existing programme to provide four million homes and businesses with access to Full Fibre technology by the end of March 2021 but will see them extending the network into market towns and villages in the more rural areas of the country.

The six communities that will benefit from this programme within the CSW region are: Bidford on Avon, Coleshill, Henley in Arden, Hockley Heath, Lapworth and Wootton Wawen.

The fibre infrastructure that CSW Broadband has already had the foresight to deploy in these areas has acted as a springboard for this work. By using this existing resource as the foundation for their Full Fibre network extension, Openreach will be able to provide these communities with an ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband service that will be fit for purpose for decades to come.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

What sort of broadband speeds can I realistically expect if I’m upgraded as part of the CSW Broadband Project?

This depends on the type of upgrade that your property has benefited from.

If your property has received a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) upgrade then you could achieve a final connection speed of up to 80Mbps (megabits per second). However, this may vary depending on a number of factors including: the distance from your property to the cabinet it is connected to, the local geography, the local copper network in your area and the condition of the wiring within your own property.

The UK Government defines ‘superfast’ broadband as download speeds of over 24Mbps, while Ofcom and the EU defines it as download speeds of 30Mbps and above.

However, if your property has benefited from a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) upgrade, then you could achieve speeds of up to 330Mbps or even up to 1Gigabyte (1000 Megabytes) with some of the upgrades that have recently been deployed.

To find out what speeds you can currently achieve, either enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the results.

What is FTTP on Demand?

We have had many enquiries recently where the BT Broadband Availability Checker suggests that a product called ‘Fibre on Demand’ is available to residents, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.

This is NOT the same as the native Fibre to the Premise, (listed as WBC FTTP on the BT Broadband Availability Checker) that is being installed to many areas through the CSW Broadband Project. Although these two solutions function in identical ways, their cost, contract and deployment methods have tended to be very different.

With the ‘WBC FTTP’ that we are installing, the fibre optic cable will have been installed outside your property (e.g. down your street), which makes it fairly cheap to get connected.

By comparison, Fibre on Demand is designed to be requested ‘on demand‘, in Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) capable areas. Residents requesting this service will then pay for the installation of fibre from the cabinet to their property, which can prove to be extremely expensive.

Because of the high costs involved (and often the requirement for a much longer than standard contract), very few providers actually offer Fibre on Demand. Cerberus Networks and FluidOne are two that we are aware of but there may be others as well.

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

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — November 2019

Over 71,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Completed fibre upgrades in your area – info for parish & town websites
  • ISP complaints & advice
  • CSW website – content review
  • Case Studies needed – Tell us your story
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

CSW Broadband Project updates – Contract 3

Another 39 Contract 3 cabinets / structures have gone live since the last newsletter was sent out at the end of September. Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:

Alvecote, Ash Green, Astley, Aston Cantlow, Balsall Common, Bearley, Birchmoor, Brailes, Bretford, Curdworth, Easenhall, Fillongley, Hampton in Arden, Harborough Magna, Kitebrook, Knowle, Leamington Spa, Little Compton, No Man’s Heath, Polesworth, Radway, & Shipston on Stour and the Chase Meadow area of Warwick.

As a result, over 71,000 properties across the region are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.

Once we have received confirmation that a particular cabinet or structure upgrade is complete, we will inform as many of the affected residents as possible.

Remember, once your property has been upgraded, you won’t get a faster service automatically. You need to order the improved service with your chosen ISP (Internet Service Provider) to benefit from the upgrade.

To check on your property’s superfast status, enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.

You might like to use a broadband comparison site such as MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadband Choices, Broadband Genie, Choose or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.

Finally, if your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Fibre to the Premise webpage provides you with information on ordering an FTTP service and the subsequent installation process.

CSW Broadband Project updates – LFFN Programme

The Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme is designed to stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks in both rural and urban locations across the whole of the UK.

The CSW Broadband Project successfully bid for a £5.7 million slice of the money available for this programme and in line with Government requirements, we will use this money to focus on bringing Ultrafast (1Gbps) connectivity to around 320 public buildings across the region.

It is hoped that the successful bidder may also decide to use the new fibre network as a springboard to cover a wider area (e.g. residential properties within that area).

After a lengthy tendering, evaluation and assurance process, BDUK – the government body who oversee our project activities, have finally given CSW the go-ahead to award the contract and we will have more news on this in January’s newsletter.

Completed fibre upgrades in your area – info for parish & town council websites

We have now completed our campaign to provide nearly 200 local parish / town councils with bespoke content to publish via their websites and / or newsletters with regard to fibre upgrades that the CSW Project has already completed in their area.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, the purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness amongst local residents, particularly those who may not know that they can now take advantage of a fibre broadband service.

Each parish / town council area where we have completed work has now been provided with information on:

  • The name of the upgraded cabinet/structure and the communities (road names and/or postcodes) benefiting from that upgrade
  • Details of how residents can find out if their specific property has benefited from one of those upgrades
  • Details of how those residents can find/order a fibre broadband package to suit their individual needs

We have urged all the contacted councils to publish this content online for the benefit of local residents, so please visit your local parish or town council website for more information.

ISP Complaints & Advice

Ofcom have recently published their Telecoms and pay TV complaints Report for Q2 (April to June) of 2019. With regards to consumer complaints about fixed line broadband, the report shows that Vodafone generated the most broadband complaints per 100,000 customers while Sky generated the fewest.

Ofcom does not itself deal with individual complaints but they do monitor them and can take action if enough people raise a problem.

If you have an issue regarding the service that you are receiving from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) the ISP review website’s ISP Complaints and Advice section contains detailed information and advice on problems that consumers often experience with their broadband ISPs and how to get them resolved.

CSW website – content review

We are currently in the process of overhauling, editing and updating our website. So far we have concentrated on looking at the existing content – stripping out information that was ‘surplus to requirements’ whilst ensuring that the vital content that residents use and need is retained.

This is obviously very much a work in progress and there is still a lot of work to do before this content review is completed. For example, we still need to update the FAQs, the data in the Check Your Property Tool and also the Latest Map in the near future.

As always, we try to provide residents with what we think will be useful information or information that they have asked for when they contact us.

However, if there is something broadband related that you would also like to see more information on, please email us at broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk with the details and we will seriously consider adding content on that subject to our website in the near future.

Case studies needed – Tell us your story!

If superfast broadband has made a real difference to your life or business, why not tell us about it by submitting a case study.

We regularly appeal for case studies but sadly very few people respond. Submitting a case study is really helpful for us when we are applying for additional funding to help us take the fibre network even further – to help those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of superfast broadband.

All we need is a few lines telling us of the difficulties you experienced before you had superfast broadband and how life has improved since your property was upgraded.

Submitting a case study is also a great way of gaining some free publicity to promote your company if you are a business owner. So, if you would like to help us help others, why not submit a case study today!

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

How will I know when my connection has gone live?

Once a particular cabinet / structure upgrade has been completed, we always try to inform as many residents as possible that they can now benefit from an improved service.

With the restricted marketing budget that we had during Contracts 1 & 2, we emailed all affected residents whose details we had on our database as well as local broadband champions, parish councils and district councillors, informing them of the completed upgrade and encouraging them to spread word of the upgrade to other local residents on our behalf.

We announced upgrades via our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and as noted earlier, we have also provided nearly 200 parish / town councils with bespoke information giving details of the upgrades and the local communities benefiting from those upgrades for them to publish on their websites and/or newsletters.

We will continue with all of the above activities during Contract 3 – the current phase of the CSW Project and if our budget allows, we will also try to mail leaflets directly to all affected residents so that they can take advantage of the benefits of a fibre upgrade to their property, if they wish to do so.

If you would like to check yourself if your connection is live, simply enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker.

If fibre is available, either ‘VDSL Range A & B’ (if you have received a Fibre to the Cabinet upgrade) or ‘WBC FTTP’ (if you have received a Fibre to the Premise upgrade) will be listed in the ‘Featured Products’ column of the results table along with the speeds you are likely to achieve.

Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker web page will help you make sense of the Availability Checker results should you require any further help.

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

We have no influence over the prices charged by commercial internet service providers (ISPs). 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 wholesale network is available to all suppliers on an equal basis, it is a purely commercial decision on the part of each individual ISP as to which packages they offer and at which price range.

There are a number of comparison sites where you can compare the different packages available from different ISPs such as: MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadbandchoices and Broadband Genie, uSwitch or Cable.co.uk to help you find a deal that suits your needs and price range.

It is also worth noting that with Black Friday just around the corner, different ISPs will be offering potential customers some great deals in terms of broadband packages and prices over the next couple of weeks, so keep a look out for these as well.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — September 2019

Over 71,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Introducing Connecting Solihull & Warwickshire
  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Fibre upgrades in your area – info for parish council websites
  • 17 online scams you should be aware of
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Introducing Connecting Solihull & Warwickshire

Following a series of negotiations, Coventry City Council has decided to *withdraw from any further activity with the CSW Broadband Contract 3 programme being carried out in conjunction with BDUK.

A mutually agreed statement on behalf of Coventry City Council and the CSW Project states:

“Coventry City Council has decided to withdraw from any further activity with the CSW Contract 3 programme in conjunction with BDUK. CSW will now remodel the programme to take fibre broadband to even more communities within the Solihull and Warwick region. Any queries relating to the digital infrastructure work taking place in Coventry should be directed to digitalinfrastructure@coventry.gov.uk

The CSW Project has now therefore rebranded as ‘Connecting Solihull & Warwickshire’ and we have also adapted our logo (above) to reflect this recent change of circumstances and future works.

*NOTE: Some works within the Coventry City Council (CCC) boundary were already in build or had been completed before CCC decided to exit the CSW Project. CCC have paid CSW/BDUK in full for the cost of these builds.

Any inquiries relating to digital infrastructure work in Solihull and Warwickshire should continue to be directed to broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

CSW Broadband Project updates – Contract 2

Over the summer, Openreach reached and surpassed their contractual target for the number of properties they were due to upgrade for Contract 2 of the CSW Broadband Project.

Despite achieving this, there were a small number of structures which were not built as part of Contract 2 as had been originally planned due to spiralling costs.

As with all similar BDUK projects up and down the country, cost caps are built into each contract to ensure that the build costs for each structure do not get out of control – particularly as we get into the more rural areas where costs can become prohibitive.

After suppliers, in CSW’s case Openreach, had identified a number of builds around the country where the cost cap would be seriously exceeded, BDUK (who oversee our project) agreed that up to 6% of the most expensive builds in each project could be put forward to be de-scoped.

CSW reluctantly agreed to this proposal but only on the proviso that Openreach included all the affected properties from the 4% of terminated Contract 2 builds within our area in their planning for Contract 3 of the CSW Project – where more generous cost caps are in place and more money is available.

Openreach are now re-modelling part of the Contract 3 build plan to accommodate these properties and we will include further updates in future newsletters as soon as we have more news on this.

CSW Broadband Project updates – Contract 3

To help counteract the issues outlined above, Openreach have now introduced a far more transparent modelling, surveying and planning process for the CSW Contract 3 build programme, which is now well under way.

Once the build plans have been prepared, they are then passed on to the CSW team to be scrutinised and verified.

It is only when CSW are happy with the proposed build plan and any associated costs for a particular structure that it gets the go ahead to progress to the build phase and is then added to the list of verified builds in the Contract 3 table on our Rolling 12-month Plan webpage.

Numerous structures have already been added to the Contract 3 table and this will be continually and regularly updated as more and more structures pass through the new verification process.

Some local communities are already benefiting from the completion of Contract 3 builds including parts of:

Aldermans Green, Allesley, Balsall Common, Bedworth, Bidford on Avon, Bretford, Brinklow, Corley, Coventry, Curdworth, Dunchurch, Foul End, Kenilworth, Kingsbury, Langley, Middleton, Nuneaton, Oldberrow, Old Milverton, Studley, Ullenhall, Warton, Warwick, Wolston & Wolvey.

This means that to date, over 71,000 properties across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project in Contracts 1, 2 and 3.

Fibre upgrades in your area – info for parish council websites

Once a cabinet or FTTP structure goes live, we aim to inform as many people who have benefited from that upgrade within the local community as we can.

As well as our usual marketing activities, we found that a really effective way of ‘spreading the word’ was to provide local parish councils with bespoke content for their websites and/or newsletters.

This proved to be very successful when we did this earlier in the year and so during October and November 2019, we will be again be emailing around 180 parish and town councils with updates on CSW Broadband upgrades in their areas, including information on:

  • The names of the cabinets / structures that have been upgraded and details of the areas served by those upgrades
  • Details of how residents can find out if their specific property has benefited from those upgrades
  • Details of how those residents can find/order a broadband package to suit their individual needs

The aim of this campaign is to increase awareness, particularly with residents who are not on our database and so may not yet know that fibre broadband services are now available in their area.

It would therefore be really useful if parish councils could help us by uploading this information to their websites or use it in their newsletters once they have received it.

17 common online scams you should be aware of

Internet scamming is a global phenomenon that is on the rise. In 2018 alone, people around the world lost nearly £650 million to online scams. Although cybercrime doesn’t threaten our lives or physical well-being it can do irrevocable harm to our financial stability and peace of mind.

Your email and your phone are the two most common places for scammers to try and get you and although no one thinks they can become a victim of an online scam until it happens to them, even the most cautious of us can slip up.

BroadbandSearch have put together a really useful guide entitled, 17 Common Online Scams (Be Aware) and although from an American website, it contains valuable advice and information on a variety of online scams, how to stay safe online and what to do if you do fall victim to a scam wherever you live in the world.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

What is the process for ordering and installing an FTTP service?

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) is now increasingly being rolled out to homes and businesses across the CSW region. However, compared to an FTTC upgrade the installation process in particular is quite different.

If FTTP is available at your property, ‘WBC FTTP’ will be listed under ‘Featured Products’ on the BT Broadband Availability Checker results page after you have entered your landline number or address into the checker, along with the speeds you are likely to achieve.

If you need further help making sense of the results returned by the checker, visit our ‘How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker’ webpage.

‘WBC FTTP’ should not to be confused with the far more expensive FTTP on Demand – a separate commercial product offered by BT which is NOT being installed through the CSW Broadband Project.

As FTTP is still a relatively ‘new’ technology (only 8% of the UK can get a full fibre connection) not all ISPs are yet offering FTTP packages. A full list of all the ISPs who have stated that they offer residential and business packages across the CSW region can be found on our Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) webpage.

Different ISPs may have slightly different installation processes so it is difficult to generalise here, but typically it will involve either a one or two stage fibre install.

A two stage fibre install may involve the running of fibre from either a manhole or pole to the property, terminating in a grey box on the exterior of your property called a Customer Splice Point (CSP). The second then involves connecting the CSP to equipment installed inside your property. A single stage installation is only likely to involve the latter stage of the two-stage process.

The ISP providing your FTTP package will obviously be able to tell you more about the installation process and what is involved when you place your order for their product.

If you have recently ordered an FTTP service from an ISP and would like to send us details of your experiences of their installation process, please email us at: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

How do I switch to a different broadband provider?

You may wish to transfer broadband 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.

It is also important that you check that the new service you wish to sign up to is available in your area. A couple of useful and impartial sources of advice are the Which? broadband speed checker and Moneysaving Expert which has lots of advice about switching provider.

You can also use various comparison websites and we’ve listed a few below. Please remember that some comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options. You may therefore want to try several such sites before making a decision.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — June 2019

Over 69,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Your chance to win £100 in Amazon vouchers
  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme launched
  • Ofcom – End of contract alerts for UK broadband customers
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Your chance to win two prizes of £100 in Amazon vouchers

We’re giving you the chance to win two sets of Amazon Gift Vouchers both worth £100 each!

All we want you to do is submit a case study telling us how being able to connect to superfast broadband, thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project, has benefited your household or your business. It will only take you around 5 minutes of your time to complete.

Submitting a case study is really helpful for us when we are applying for additional funding to take the fibre network even further – allowing us to help those living in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of superfast broadband.

For your chance of winning one of the two prizes up for grabs – simply download the relevant case study template, fill it in and returned to us at broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk by 5pm on Friday 5th July 2019.

All entries received by that deadline will then be entered into a draw, which will take place during the week beginning 8th July and the lucky winners will be contacted by either email or phone.

CSW Broadband Project updates

We have seen a great deal of activity in recent weeks with over 60 new cabinets / structures going live since the last newsletter was sent out at the end of April.

Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:

Ashorne, Bidford on Avon, Buckley Green, Blunts Green, Burton Hastings, Chadshunt, Chessetts Wood, Fulready, Hampton in Arden, Hampton Lucy Hockley Heath, Kenilworth, Kineton, Kitebrook, Ladbroke, Lapworth, Leamington Spa, Langley, Loxley, Meriden, Middleton, Morton Bagot, Offchurch, Pillerton Hersey, Preston Bagot, Ryton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Salford Priors, Solihull, Stretton on Dunsmore, Ufton, Wellesbourne, Weston on Avon, Willey, Wishaw, Withybrook & Wood End.

As a result, over 69,000 properties across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.

As before, once we have received confirmation that a particular cabinet or structure upgrade is complete, we will email all affected residents whose details we have listed on our database.

Remember that once your property has been upgraded, you won’t get a superfast service automatically. You need to order the improved service with your chosen ISP (Internet Service Provider) to benefit from the upgrade.

To check on your property’s superfast status, enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.

You might like to use a broadband comparison site such as MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadband Choices, Broadband Genie or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.

Finally, if your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Fibre to the Premise webpage provides you with invaluable information on ordering an FTTP service and the subsequent installation process.

Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme launched

The Government has officially launched their new £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, part of their “outside in” strategy, which will help fund full fibre broadband connections to some of the hardest to reach areas across the UK.

Currently, only around 7% of homes and businesses across the UK can access a Gigabit (1Gbps) speed capable “full fibre” (FTTP) broadband network.

However, the Government wants to ensure that the country’s broadband infrastructure is fit for the future and has an ambitious target to “delivering a nationwide full-fibre to the premises network” by 2033 as outlined in last year’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR).

Much of this will be delivered through competitive commercial investment across the UK but the FTIR also identified that around 10% of the country would need additional funding to ensure that the hardest to reach areas are not left behind and are connected at the same pace as the rest of the country.

The Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme is the first step in this process.

There are two approaches to delivering the RGC programme:

1) Fostering Local Rural “Hub Sites. A hub site is really just a public sector building, which is deemed to be eligible for intervention and aligns with qualifying criteria set by the BDUK programme. Initially this will start by connecting primary schools to “gigabit-capable” connections.

Other public buildings will then be added throughout the course of the programme (e.g. health sites and community halls). The idea being that you not only help to connect those hub sites, but also bring the fibre deeper into a remote community and thus provide a network that other commercial ISPs can build upon in order to reach surrounding homes and businesses.

2) Vouchers. The new RGC vouchers will offer up to £3,500 for small businesses and up to £1,500 for residents. The increased value of the vouchers – compared to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) -reflects the higher cost of deployment in these harder to reach areas.

As with GBVS, it will still be possible to aggregate the vouchers in order to help tackle larger deployments.

The CSW Broadband Project will now be looking into both of these solutions as a means to take the fibre network into harder to reach areas within the CSW sub-region and we will update you on developments regarding this in due course.

Ofcom – End of contract alerts for UK broadband customers

Broadband, pay-TV, mobile phone and landline customers must be told when their contracts are about to end and also be informed of their providers’ best available deals under new rules announced by Ofcom last month.

At present it is a fairly common practice for major telecoms providers to try and attract new customers by offering big price discounts on their first minimum contract term (lasting up to 12-24 months).

However, not all ISPs are clear enough about how much customers will pay after this initial term has ended. Consumers who remain with their provider and don’t haggle for a better price after the minimum contract term has ended often end up paying more than new customers.

Through the new system, Ofcom aims to help tackle this so-called “loyalty penalty” and help users avoid overpaying for such services.

Relevant companies have nine months to update their systems and must start sending out the notifications to existing subscribers from 15 February 2020.

Service providers will need to text, email or send a letter to their customers between 10 to 40 days before the end of their contract stating:

  • the date their contract can be terminated without a penalty
  • the price they have been paying
  • any changes to the price or service that automatically come into effect after the date
  • how much notice they need to give to cancel the deal
  • the best alternative subscriptions on offer, including the prices charged to new customers

For those who are interested, the ISP Review’s ‘Ofcom Force End of Contract Notices for UK Broadband and Mobile’ article has further information regarding this.

 Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

What sort of broadband speeds can I realistically expect if I’m upgraded as part of the CSW Broadband Project?

If your property has benefited from a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) upgrade, then you could achieve a final connection speed of up to 80Mbps (megabits per second).

However, this may vary depending on a number of factors including: the distance from your property to the street cabinet it is connected to, the local geography, the local copper network and the condition of the wiring within your property.

The UK Government defines ‘superfast’ broadband as download speeds of over 24Mbps, while the EU defines it as 30Mbps.

If your property has benefited from a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) upgrade, then you could achieve speeds of up to 330Mbps or even up to 1Gigabyte (1000 Megabytes) with some of the upgrades that have recently been deployed.

To find out what speeds you can currently achieve, either enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker.

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

What is FTTP on Demand?

We have had many enquiries recently where the BT Broadband Availability Checker suggests that a product called ‘Fibre on Demand’ is available to residents, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.

This is NOT the same as the native Fibre to the Premise, (listed as WBC FTTP on the BT Broadband Availability Checker) that is being installed to many areas through the CSW Broadband Project.

Although these two solutions function in identical ways, their cost, contract and deployment methods have tended to be very different.

With the WBC FTTP that we are installing, the fibre optic cable will have been installed outside your property (e.g. down your street), which makes it fairly cheap to get connected.

By comparison, Fibre on Demand is designed to be requested ‘on demand‘, in Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) capable areas. Residents requesting this service will then pay for the installation of fibre from the cabinet to their property, which can prove to be extremely expensive.

Because of the high costs involved (and often the requirement for a much longer than standard contract), very few providers actually offer Fibre on Demand. Cerberus Networks and FluidOne are two that we are aware of but there may be others as well.

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

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — April 2019

Over 68,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Automatic compensation for broadband users goes live
  • Best UK broadband providers to haggle with for a lower price
  • Better Broadband Voucher Scheme relaunched
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

CSW Broadband Project updates

Thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project, over 68,000 households and businesses are now able to get high-speed broadband across the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region.

Communities benefiting from recent superfast upgrades include parts of Abbots Salford, Berkswell, Bidford on Avon, Chessett’s Wood, the Claverdon area, Compton Verney, Coughton, Dodwell, Danzey Green, Earlswood, the Fillongley area, Hatton, Hockley Heath, Meriden, No Man’s Heath, Rugby (Berrybanks area), Stretton on Dunsmore, Tiddington, Ullenhall, Upton area, Willoughby and parts of the Wixford area.

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, some delays to the advertised programme are inevitable when, for example, previously unforeseen engineering issues arise.

Where possible, the Contract 2 – Delayed Upgrades table on our Rolling 12-month Plan is regularly updated to try and give affected residents an overview of the reasons for the most serious delays along with the dates that Openreach expect the work to be completed by.

While work continues on delivering the final Contract 2 structures, work has also started with regard to Contract 3, the next phase of our project. Over 220 Contract 3 structures have been surveyed and reviewed and are now in the delivery phase.

Contract 3 is very different from Contracts 1 and 2 in that:

  • We have been getting information down to property-level (rather than postcode level) and this has been displayed on our Latest Map for some time now. Therefore, if your property is marked with a yellow star on the map or has the status of ‘Contract 3’ on our Check Your Property tool, then it is due for upgrade under Contract 3.
  • There are increasing amounts of Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) in Contract 3. This brings its own challenges as FTTP involves far more civil engineering issues.
  • Contract 3 has a very short programme time. Under the terms of the contract, Openreach are aiming to complete all Contract 3 builds by the summer of 2020.

We are currently in the process of checking a whole load of Contract 3 data that we have recently received from Openreach. Once this has been completed, we will publish a list of Contract 3 structures that are in build on our Rolling 12-month plan.

However, due to the short programme time, we will not be giving proposed completion dates, except that all work is due to be completed by the summer of 2020.

As before, once we have received confirmation that a particular structure upgrade is complete, we will email all affected residents whose details we have listed on our database.

Please let us know if your contact details (e.g. email address) change at any point so that we can update our records and keep you up to date with what is happening in your area.

Residents not already signed up to receive our newsletter can register for this and other relevant project updates at www.cswbroadband.org.uk/register

Automatic compensation for broadband users goes live

Five UK broadband and landline providers – BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen – who together serve around 90% of landline and broadband customers in the UK, will now automatically compensate customers when services do not work.

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 April 1st 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.

Two other providers, Hyperoptic and Vodafone will begin automatic compensation later this year, while EE plans to start paying compensation automatically in 2020.

Plusnet have also committed to the scheme but has not provided a timescale for when it will begin providing automatic compensation.

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

Best UK broadband providers to haggle with for a lower price

A recent survey has revealed that most UK consumers who haggled for a lower price with one of the largest fixed line broadband ISPs or mobile network operators were successful in saving money.

As ISP Review note in their recent article on the best UK Broadband Providers to haggle with, it’s no secret that you could save a lot of money through a bit of haggling but only around 10% of consumers actually do this with the majority of broadband ISP customers tending to remain with their ISP for at least 3 years.

However, remaining loyal to your ISP provider can actually end up costing you money.

ISP Review advise that even if you are generally happy with the service you are receiving from your ISP it is worth trying to haggle with them around the end of your contract or following a price hike and their Tips for Cutting Your Broadband Bill Without Switching ISP provides some helpful advice for doing this.

Better Broadband Voucher Scheme relaunched

The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme is a UK-wide government subsidy scheme which provides an affordable, basic broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mbps – and who will not benefit from the superfast broadband roll out within the next 12 months.

Since its launch in December 2015, the scheme (previously known as the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme) has boosted the broadband speeds of more than 20,000 homes and businesses in some of the hardest to reach areas of the UK, including around 400 properties within the CSW Broadband region.

Households and businesses that are eligible to take advantage of the scheme have the installation and hardware costs of their connection subsidised to ensure their first year costs are no more than £400.

To find out more about the scheme and whether your premises could be eligible please go to: https://basicbroadband.culture.gov.uk/

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

Once the upgrade is complete, will I automatically get a superfast service?

No. To take advantage of superfast speeds, you must order a superfast broadband package through your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is what we suggest you do.

First of all, enter your landline or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker.

If superfast is available, either ‘VDSL Range A & B’ (for an FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet upgrade) or ‘WBC FTTP’ (for a Fibre to the Premise upgrade) will be listed under ‘Featured Products’ with the speeds you are likely to achieve.

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

We then suggest that you use an impartial comparison site (such as those listed below) to find and order a superfast package, which meets your usage needs and requirements:

If you have benefited from an FTTP upgrade, the ordering process is slightly different. Our Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) webpage provides you with all the information you need to order an FTTP service.

My upgrade was scheduled for completion by now, when will it be done?

We have always stated that the timings given on the Rolling 12-Month Plan are indicative only. As we move through the rollout, we are getting to more challenging areas and are finding more unforeseen problems.

Where there is a delay, the reason for this will be listed on the Rolling 12-Month Plan.

A number of the planned cabinet / structure upgrades show that the delay is due to civil engineering work being required. This is often due to blocked or collapsed ducts, which may require road closures, and these 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.

Contract 2 is due to complete by the summer of 2019, whilst Contract 3 work is due to be completed in the summer of 2020.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — February 2019

Over 67,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Campaign to increase take-up of broadband in already upgraded areas
  • More ISPs now providing FTTP services in the CSW Region
  • Top tips to protect your children/grandchildren on the internet
  • Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community Event
  • Case Studies needed – Tell us your story
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

CSW Broadband Project updates

Over 67,000 households and businesses are now able to get high-speed broadband across the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.

Communities that have recently benefited from superfast upgrades include parts of Arley, Ashorne, Barton, Bidford on Avon, Brinklow, Broadwell, Burmington, Burton Hastings, Chadwick End, Church Lawford, Clifford Chambers, Fillongley, Goldicote, Hampton in Arden, Henley in Arden, Kings Newnham, Kingsbury, Long Marston, Little Compton, Maxstoke, Monks Kirby, Stratford upon Avon, Wolverton and Wolston.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, although CSW is pleased with this progress, we realise that there is still a great deal of work to do in the remainder of Contracts 2 and Contract 3 as we take the fibre network even further.

Unfortunately, some delays to the advertised programme are inevitable when, for example, previously unforeseen engineering issues arise. Where possible, the Contract 2 – Delayed Upgrades table on our Rolling 12-month Plan is regularly updated to try and give affected residents an overview of the reasons for the delay along with the dates that Openreach expect the work to be completed by.

With regard to the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Programme, CSW Broadband has now issued the Invitation to Tender and providers now have a period of around six weeks in which to submit their bids for this programme of work.

In line with Government requirements, the project will focus on bringing Ultrafast (1Gbps) connectivity to around 450 public buildings across the region but it is hoped that the successful bidder may also decide to use the new fibre as a springboard to cover a wider area (e.g. residential properties within that area).

However, for State Aid reasons that cannot be part of the tender evaluation.

 

Campaign to increase take-up of broadband in already upgraded areas

We have now emailed over 170 parish / town councils with bespoke content for their websites giving details of the communities (within their respective geographical boundaries) that have already benefited from a CSW upgrade.

This website content also provides information about the benefits of broadband as well as details on how residents can find and order a broadband package to suit their needs if they haven’t done so already.

A number of councils have replied to say that they will be uploading this valuable information to their respective websites and it is hoped that by helping us to ‘spread the word’ it will help to increase the take-up of superfast broadband across the CSW region, particularly to those residents who may not know that their connections have been upgraded. Check your local parish/town council website for further details.

We have also carried out the first of two proposed mailshots to around 8000 already upgraded properties within the CSW region where the take-up of broadband services has been slower or lower than expected.

As with the work we have been doing with the parish and town councils, the purpose of this mailshot campaign (funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Take-Up Fund) is to try to increase the take-up of superfast broadband services in CSW upgraded areas.

The more residents take up these services, the more money (Gainshare) we get coming back into the project for potential re-investment to help us to extend the network to even more communities within our area.

More ISPs now providing FTTP services in the CSW Region

Although only a few Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were initially offering Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) packages when FTTP solutions first started being rolled-out a few years ago, the picture has now changed considerably with more and more ISPs offering FTTP packages across the CSW sub-region.

This is great news for both local residents and businesses who have benefited from an FTTP upgrade as they now have more choice than ever before in finding an ISP and a package to suit their individual needs.

Our Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) webpage, which provides valuable information and advice on ordering an FTTP service, now has an updated list of all the ISPs who have stated that they now provide FTTP broadband packages to residents and businesses across the CSW Region.

Top tips to protect your children/grandchildren on the internet

As parents, we tend to worry about every little detail of our child’s life and in today’s society, we have one more worry; concerns about the dangers that technology poses to our children, even from an early age.

There are many things to consider when it comes to keeping your child safe online. The Ultimate Parental Guide to Protecting Your Child on the Internet is a really useful online resource which provides information and advice on a wide-range of issues including: Keeping Younger Children Safe, Setting Limits, Parental Controls, Educating Your Teens, Sexting, Cyberbullying and much, much more.

CSW Broadband’s Self-Help Guides webpage contains links to a wide-range of other self-help guides regarding broadband issues and staying safe online, which you might also find useful.

Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community

‘Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community’ is an information and networking event for anyone living or working in the rural areas of the Rugby borough.

Warwickshire County Council is running the event in collaboration with the Warwickshire Rural Community Council. Local residents will have the opportunity to talk to local groups and organisations and to pick up lots of useful information on subjects as diverse as tackling rural crime and cyber crime, rural transport services, how to reduce your energy and utility bills, adult and community learning opportunities and support services for carers.

CSW Broadband will also be attending should local residents / businesses have any broadband related issues that they would like to discuss.

The event is due to take place between 09:30 and 12:30 GMT on Friday 1st March 2019 at the Wolston Leisure & Community Centre, Manor View, Coventry, CV8 3GT.

For more information about services which will be attending and what you can learn more about, visit Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community or email Jennifer McCabe at jennifermccabe@warwickshire.gov.uk

Case studies needed – Tell us your story!

If superfast broadband has made a real difference to your life or business, why not tell us about it by submitting a case study.

We regularly appeal for case studies but sadly very few people respond. Submitting a case study is really helpful for us when we are applying for additional funding to help us take the fibre network even further – to help those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of superfast broadband.

All we need is a few lines telling us of the difficulties you experienced before you had superfast broadband and how life has improved since your property was upgraded.

Submitting a case study is also a great way of gaining some free publicity to promote your company if you are a business owner. So, if you would like to help us help others, why not submit a case study today!

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

How do I switch to a different broadband provider?

You may wish to transfer broadband 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.

It is also important that you check that the new service you wish to sign up to is available in your area. A couple of useful and impartial sources of advice are the Which? broadband speed checker and Moneysaving Expert which has lots of advice about switching provider.

You can also use various comparison websites and we’ve listed a few below. Please remember that some comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options. You may therefore want to try several such sites before making a decision.

 

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 to find a deal that is right for you (see previous FAQ above for links to comparison sites/websites offering impartial advice).

Ofcom also launched their Boost Your Broadband campaign recently, which also provides some very useful advice on how you get better broadband deals.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — December 2018

Over 65,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Over 65,000 premises now able to connect to the fibre network
  • Superfast Take-up funding secured
  • Superfast broadband in your area – info for parish councils
  • Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme & Gigabit Voucher updates
  • Free support and advice on IT and broadband for businesses
  • How to save money shopping on Amazon
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Over 65,000 premises now able to connect to the fibre network

Over 65,000 households and businesses are now able to get high-speed broadband across the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project over the last four and a half years.

This is a real step-change and shows that this public investment is making massive improvements to our local infrastructure in areas that would not have been reached through commercial providers’ broadband roll-out plans.

While CSW is pleased with this progress, we realise that there is still a great deal of work to do in the remainder of Contract 2 and Contract 3 as we take the fibre network even further.

Now that we are reaching out into more challenging areas and using technologies that are more complex, some delays to the advertised programme outlined on our Rolling 12-month Plan webpage are, unfortunately, inevitable.

Wherever possible, the Contract 2 – Delayed Upgrades table on our Rolling 12-month Plan aims to give residents an overview of the reasons for any delays along with the dates that Openreach expect the work to be completed by. We will obviously update this information should any further delays occur to try and keep you in the loop.

 

Superfast Take-up funding secured

The CSW Broadband Project recently submitted a bid to DCMS – The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport – for a slice of their Superfast Take-up Fund. The purpose of this funding is to help projects like ours ‘spread the word’ about the availability of superfast broadband so that residents are able to take full advantage of these services for both business and home use.

We have now received confirmation that we have been successful in our bid. We will be using this funding to target areas that already have superfast broadband but where take-up of these services has been lower and slower than expected.

Although our project is already performing well above the national average, we believe that these targeted activities will help to drive take-up of superfast broadband services even more, bringing more gainshare back into the project for re-investment, enabling us to extend the network in our area even further.

Superfast broadband in your area – info for parish councils

Once a cabinet goes live, we aim to inform as many people as we can within that community who will be able to benefit from that upgrade. However, despite an extensive database of over 11000 contacts across the CSW region, we need further help to ‘spread the word’ about where superfast broadband is available.

A relatively cheap and effective way of doing this is to collaborate with local parish councils by providing customised content, which they can upload to their website. Through January and early February, we will therefore be emailing each parish council where the CSW Broadband Project has extended the fibre network, outlining the benefits of broadband as well as providing information on:

  • The name of the cabinet / structure that has been upgraded and the area served by the upgrade
  • How residents can find out if they have benefited from one of the upgrades in their area
  • What residents and businesses need to do to order a superfast broadband service

 

Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme & Gigabit Voucher updates

The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme that was set up by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that were unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2Mbps and who weren’t going to benefit from the superfast broadband rollout, is due to end on 31st December 2018.

As it currently stands, applicants can apply for vouchers up until 31st December but no applications will be accepted after this time. However, discussions about the future of the scheme are currently ongoing and we will update residents of any decision that is reached regarding this in our next newsletter.

In November, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport also made changes to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, meaning that the maximum amount that can be claimed for a business voucher was reduced from £3,000 to £2,500 to make sure that the scheme reaches even more people with full fibre connectivity.

Residents are still able to benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth up to £500 if used as part of a group project. To find out more about the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk

 

Free support and advice on IT and broadband for businesses

Businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire are being urged not to let slow broadband or outdated IT stand in the way of growth and to tap into free advice and support.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce says that sluggish broadband speeds and a lack of knowledge of which technology can help a business to grow is holding back hundreds of companies from expanding.

The Chamber is offering free, impartial advice and support to businesses across the region to help them make better-informed decisions about finding the right systems and about the funding available, depending on eligibility, to increase broadband speeds.

Neil Batchelor, a Chamber ICT advisor said: “Better IT and faster broadband can boost a business’s bottom line – it’s just important to understand what steps to take to ensure you are investing in the right technology, not just for growth now but for the future.”

This activity forms part of the Project: ‘Extending superfast network and building SME ICT capability across Coventry and Warwickshire’. If you want to upgrade your broadband or IT systems but are not sure what to do next, contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or email ict-advisors@cw-chamber.co.uk

How to save money shopping on Amazon

Amazon is the biggest name in online shopping and most of us have shopped with them at some point because it is often so cheap and convenient. However, Money Saving Expert’s recently published Amazon Deals Finder guide gives 23 tips to help slash prices and save even more money when you shop with them.

The link above will also take you to the Amazon Discount Finder Tool, which finds secret 75%+ off bargains on electronics, clothes, beauty products and more. It also provides details on how you can track price reductions and beat delivery charges – ideal if you are looking for some last minute Christmas bargains.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We have short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded to use in your own newsletters of on websites. These are updated monthly.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Q&A’s raised recently. Our website has a full set of Q&As, which are regularly updated.

What is FTTP on Demand?

We have had many enquiries recently where the BT Broadband Availability Checker suggests that a product called ‘Fibre on Demand’ is available to residents, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.

This is NOT the same as the native Fibre to the Premise, (listed as WBC FTTP on the BT Broadband Availability Checker) that is being installed to many areas through the CSW Broadband Project. Although these two solutions function in identical ways, their cost, contract and deployment methods have tended to be very different.

With the WBC FTTP that we are installing, the fibre optic cable will have been installed outside your property (e.g. down your street), which makes it fairly cheap to get connected.

By comparison, Fibre on Demand is designed to be requested ‘on demand‘, in Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) capable areas. Residents requesting this service will then pay for the installation of fibre from the cabinet to their property, which can prove to be extremely expensive.

Because of the high costs involved (and often the requirement for a much longer than standard contract), very few providers actually offer Fibre on Demand. Cerberus Networks and FluidOne are two that we are aware of but there may be others as well.

Fibre on Demand is therefore 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 automatically get a superfast service once the new fibre cabinet is connected to the exchange (or is FTTP enabled)?

No. To take advantage of superfast speeds, you will need to order a superfast broadband package through your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is what we suggest you do.

First of all, enter your landline or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker.

If superfast is available, either ‘VDSL Range A & B’ or ‘WBC FTTP’ will be listed under ‘Featured Products’ with the speeds you are likely to achieve. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of these results.

We then suggest that you use an impartial comparison site such as Money Saving Expert or uSwitch to find and order a superfast package, which meets your usage requirements.

If you are able to order an FTTP service as a result of the upgrade work that has been carried out in your area, our Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) webpage will provide you with more information on this process.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — October 2018

Over 64,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Gigabit Vouchers Event
  • When is a scam not a scam?
  • Let’s make
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Gigabit Vouchers Event

Around 60 people attended the Gigabit Voucher event in Stratford. There were 20 suppliers and partner organisations present, so that visitors had the opportunity to speak to a good range of providers about their requirements.

This was an important event, since the Gigabit Voucher Scheme is administered centrally by DCMS and all interface with suppliers is usually carried out on online. Not a lot of help when you have a very poor Internet connection!

A further event is planned for 27th November in Nuneaton. It will run from 11-3 at the Town Hall on Coton Road. If you are a supplier and would like to take a stand, or just want to find out more, please contact either Matthew Bird or Chris Lawes at: econdev@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk

To find out more about the Gigabit Voucher Scheme visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk

When is a scam not a scam?

Do you know how to tell if something is a genuine offer or piece of useful information, or if it is a mischievous or even malicious attempt to deceive you? Of course not! Most scammers rely on the fact that we are honest, and we trust that everyone else behaves in the same manner.

Sadly, as regular news reports will attest, scammers come in many shapes and sizes, and will employ some clever tactics to fool us into trusting what we are presented with. So, what should you do if you are not sure about something?

A great resource is https://www.hoax-slayer.net This website covers both online and offline scams and sections information into different categories, such as Health and Wellbeing, Hoaxes, Scams, Malware, Bogus Warnings, Fake News, Misleading, True, Politics and many more.

It makes a fascinating read!

Let’s Make

Warwickshire County Council is showing its commitment to the digital agenda by providing access to new technologies and helping people to improve their digital skills through the launch of two Let’s Make spaces in Nuneaton and Rugby libraries.

The spaces, which officially launched in May, offer local communities free access to technology and facilities for exploring ideas and making things. They give people of all ages the opportunity to create together but also to socialise and learn.

The spaces offer all kinds of creative kit from digital embroidery to 3D printing, robotics to virtual reality.

While everyone can use the Let’s Make facilities and improve their digital skills, there is a focus around families, particularly young people to get them engaged and enthused with technology.

Nationally we have a digital skills shortage and libraries are well-placed to help because of their wide reach, and their ability to attract audiences who might be put off by more formal learning opportunities.

The Let’s Make spaces will continuously develop as technology advances and will promote creativity and entrepreneurship within local communities, helping to improving employment prospects.

While there are two main geographical bases for the spaces, which are proving to be incredibly popular, Let’s Make will also be going on tour to other libraries around the county.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We have short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded to use in your own newsletters of on websites. These are updated monthly.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Q&A’s raised recently. Our website has a full set of Q&As, which are regularly updated.

How will I know when my cabinet has gone live?

The best way to see if your connection is live yet is to use the Openreach DSL checker. It will tell you when your cabinet is ready to accept orders.

To use the checker, either enter a Openreach landline telephone number (including area code) or your address (you need to click the link below the number box). Please do not use the postcode checker as it is not accurate enough to be of any help!

Our How to Use the BT Line Checker webpage will help you make sense of the results.

Don’t forget that you will need to upgrade to a superfast broadband package through your chosen ISP. The access is on a wholesale basis, which means that any ISP can use the infrastructure to provide their services.

Don’t forget that you will need to check out broadband packages carefully to get the one that is right for you. For impartial advice go to the Money Saving Expert website.

What sort of broadband speeds can I realistically expect if I’m upgraded as part of the project?

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connection speeds will vary depending on a number of factors but could reach up to 80Mbps. Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) connections – where these are available – are in theory capable of 1Gb (1000 Mb), but your service provider may offer a range of packages to suit different needs.

Factors impacting the final speed attained at a particular premise connected by FTTC include the distance from the street cabinet, the geography, the local copper network and the wiring within your home or business.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed

Newsletter — September 2018

Over 63,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • New map – updated Open Market Review
  • If your area has now been “released” by a company
  • Gigabit Vouchers Event
  • Case Study – Nuco International
  • Setting up an “Accountable Body”
  • Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund (LFFN)
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

New map – updated Open Market Review

Before going out to tender for Contract 3, we were required to carry out an Open Market Review, which meant that we asked all of the commercial broadband providers where they had plans to provide services before the end of 2019. This is because, as a publicly funded project, we obviously cannot spend money where there is already planned superfast broadband provision.

As a result of the information that we received, when our procurement was carried out it only included those areas where there was no planned provision before the end of 2019. Because some of the providers are smaller companies (known as AltNets) their coverage has been marked with a pink circle and denoted as “Under Review”. We carried out the first review last year, which resulted in no significant change.

However, the 2018 review has just been completed, and this has resulted in some very significant changes in the proposed coverage across the area. For instance:

  • ITS – This business had originally planned to cover a very large area of south Warwickshire with wireless broadband. However, the business has undergone a restructure and has new management in place. The focus of the business is now on fibre rollouts, and ITS now considers wireless as an infill measure rather than the only available solution. This means that the business case that they used to develop their original response to the Open Market Review has changed considerably and, as a result, the latest return from this company has released much of the area that they had originally planned to cover.

If your area has now been “released” by a company

This means that there is no longer any planned coverage in the area. CSW broadband has already contracted all of the funding that is currently available, but now that the area has been released it may be considered for inclusion in any future modelling if we are successful in attracting additional funding.

This does not mean that you have to wait for an indefinite period of time, however. The Government has launched the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, which is ideal for most areas where there is no planned coverage. Gigabit vouchers can be used by small and medium-sized businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a full-fibre gigabit-capable connection.

Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project, which also includes businesses, and can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £500.

One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your home or business into the future. Once the infrastructure is installed, you don’t have to pay for a full Gigabit service, as there are packages available to suit all requirements.

The scheme is supplier-led, so in the first instance you need to choose which supplier you wish to use. Most suppliers will help you to get community projects off the ground, so that the whole of your village or the wider area can benefit.

For full details about whether you are eligible for a voucher and to connect you to a full fibre broadband supplier, go to: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk

Please note: CSW Broadband has no involvement in the administration of this scheme, and we are unable to respond to queries about it.

Gigabit Vouchers Event

Because choosing a Gigabit Voucher supplier can seem to be quite a daunting task, we are arranging an event with Stratford District Council to enable residents and businesses to meet a selection of suppliers and to discuss your specific requirements with them.

The event will be held on THURSDAY, 20th SEPTEMBER from 11am – 3pm at Stratford District Council’s offices, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford CV37 6HX.

This is a drop-in event, and you are advised to arrive early so that you can maximise the opportunity to talk to as many suppliers as possible. The event is open to all, residents from across the CSW Broadband project area, parish councils, community groups and businesses.

Ten suppliers have so far committed to attend the event, in addition to the Warwickshire Association of Local Councils (WALC), Rural Community Council and, of course, members of the CSW Broadband team.

We hope to see you there!

Setting up an “Accountable Body”

If you do decide to set up a project to use the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, then you will need an “Accountable Body”. This might be a Community Interest Company, or similar. You don’t have to go it alone. In the first instance, contact Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action who are able to give advice and guidance on the best route to take, and how to set up your Accountable Body. They are a mine of information for all sorts of community and voluntary enterprises, and also have information about funding streams for voluntary groups!

Case Study – Nuco International

Nuco International, based at the Meriden Business Park on the edge of Coventry, are experiencing the benefits of gigabit capable speeds following the completion of their upgraded broadband connection, supported by the pilot of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme in Coventry & Warwickshire.

Up until December 2017, the company had enjoyed download speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 40 Mbps with a full fibre cabinet sited on their business park with a copper connection from the cabinet to the business. This was more than enough for their IT needs until they decided to migrate to cloud-based Microsoft Office 365. It quickly became apparent that the increase in data traffic to and from the cloud had an impact on the speed of connectivity.

Nuco International’s IT & Project Manager, Mark Langan, contacted their local supplier, Glide (formerly WarwickNet) to enquire about an affordable solution that would be scalable and allow for further transitions to the cloud. Installation was complete by February 2018 and the £3,000 cost of the installation was paid through the gigabit voucher scheme (excluding the VAT).

He said: “We were already keen on upgrading our infrastructure to a full fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) connection but the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme made it a much more cost-effective solution. We’re now getting three times the speed for no extra cost.

The process of upgrading to full fibre to our office was relatively hassle free. The support team were on hand and sorted out everything within a day.”

Nuco International now enjoys ultrafast download speeds of 250 Mbps and upload speeds of 50 Mbps. Mark added: “It’s allowed us to think about what else we can put in the cloud. The next thing we’re looking at is transferring our hosting servers so it’s great to have the option and the infrastructure in place. We’ve got an office in Hong Kong and, with operations continuing to grow, transitioning to the cloud will allow us to increase our scalability.”

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme now operates nationally and the Government has allocated £67 million for more businesses to benefit from vouchers worth up to £3,000. Businesses in Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire can access more details about the scheme by visiting https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk

Local Full Fibre Networks Programme

Due diligence work has been ongoing, and we are now working towards issuing the Invitation to Tender during the autumn. In line with Government requirements, the project will focus on bringing Ultrafast (1Gbps) connectivity to public buildings. The successful bidder may decide to use the new fibre as a springboard to cover a wider area, but for State Aid reasons that cannot be part of the tender evaluation.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We have short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded to use in your own newsletters of on websites. These are updated monthly.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Q&A’s raised recently. Our website has a full set of Q&As, which are regularly updated.

My area is no longer shown as having any planned coverage. What can I do?

Since we have received new information from the commercial suppliers, some areas which were due to be covered are now no longer expected to achieve superfast speeds without further intervention. If CSW Broadband is successful in achieving additional funding, then these areas can be considered for being including in the modelling. However, there is no guarantee that any further funding will be forthcoming, or which areas it could cover.

The best solution, therefore, is to investigate the Gigabit Voucher Scheme (see above).

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive | Comments closed