CSW Broadband public consultation launched


Public consultation launched ahead of procurement for next stage of broadband rollout

The CSW Broadband project is about to go out to tender for the next stage of the project and is asking members of the public to tell them if they live in an area that should be receiving superfast broadband from a commercial provider, but for some reason it is not available to them.

There may be a number of reasons why a property may not get superfast broadband whilst others in the area can, including being connected directly to the exchange or being some distance away from the upgraded green cabinet.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We have a further £7.68m to take the fibre network further, but can only use public funding for places which will not receive Superfast Broadband as a result of earlier rollout i.e. installed by a supplier in the normal course of their business, or through the first CSW Broadband project. Now that we have the funding and are planning the second stage of our rollout, we need to confirm which areas are eligible for our assistance – and this is where we need help from members of the public.

“We have been told by the broadband providers where they will be offering superfast broadband services up to 2017 and these, together with the coverage from the first phase of the CSW Broadband project, have been shaded grey or black on the new maps on our website. However we believe that not every area that is coloured grey or black will actually be able to achieve superfast speeds, and we need to know about them, otherwise we may not be able to run our network into those areas. We do need to hear from everyone, even if they have responded to previous broadband consultations as the mapping is very different from what has gone before.”

State Aid rules from Europe mean that the CSW Broadband project is not able to spend public money to intervene in an area where there is to be commercial provision. Therefore if an area is wrongly identified as receiving commercial superfast broadband when in fact it will not be delivered then that area will be left out of the tender process and may be disadvantaged.

The CSW broadband project will be going out to tender in the autumn to expand the fibre broadband network. The project has £3.68m from Government through BDUK, and £3.68m from Warwickshire County Council to take superfast broadband coverage up to 95% by the end of 2017. A further £6m is available form BDUK for which match funding must be found, and the CSW Broadband team are working with partners and others to secure this.

The current CSW Broadband contract has so far installed 58 new fibre-enabled cabinets so that over 12,500 properties can now connect to the fibre network. Nationally one million properties have now been upgraded through the Government-funded BDUK project.

The public consultation runs until 18th September and details can be found at www.cswbroadband.org.uk/consultation

This entry was posted in Project News. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.