Newsletter – April 2023

Over 77500 properties now able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Project updates – Contract 3
  • Millions of broadband consumers hit by April price hikes
  • Harbury & Shipston first to benefit from Gigaclear’s FTTP rollout
  • CityFibre complete Binley Woods FTTP broadband build
  • Over a third of UK consumers don’t know if they have full fibre broadband
  • Case studies needed – Tell us your story!
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Your questions answered

CSW Project updates – Contract 3

Another 18 Contract 3 structures have now gone live since our last newsletter was published in January. The communities benefiting from these most recent upgrades include parts of:

Alcester Heath, Austrey, Bearley, Bassetts Pole, Coughton, Dorsington, Knowle, Priors Marston, Radford Semele, Snitterfield, Stratford (Rother Street), Upper Fulbrook and Warwick (Woodloes Lane).

Over 77,500 properties across the region are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work completed by the CSW Broadband Project.

As always, once we have received confirmation that a particular upgrade has been completed, we will try and 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 in order to benefit from it. See our ‘Your questions answered’ section later in this newsletter for more information on this.

Millions of broadband consumers hit by April price hikes

Millions of broadband customers have been hit with price hikes of up to 17.3% this spring, off the back of a sharp increase in the cost of living, MoneySavingExpert recently reported.

ISPs can increase their prices mid-contract by the rate of inflation as ”published” in January each year, plus an extra amount on top (usually around 4 percentage points), as set out in their terms and conditions.

Providers have blamed the increase, which is then introduced to consumer bills between March and April of that same year, on their underlying and operating costs going up substantially as a result of regulatory requirements, higher energy prices and increased network costs.

In February, industry regulator Ofcom announced it would investigate the practice of mid-contract price hikes, amid concerns telecom providers aren’t being clear enough about what customers can expect to pay over the course of their contracts.

The MoneySavingExpert article, which was published earlier this month, provides a useful table showing a list of ISPs, how much prices will rise by and when they will come into effect, as well as advice on switching (if you are out of contract) and haggling for a better deal if you are still in contract.

It is also worth remembering that there are a lot of smaller ISPs out there that only very rarely increase their prices, if at all and quite a few of those have also adopted price freezes.

If you live in an area that has recently been covered by a new alternative FTTP network, then the aggressive market competition that currently exists between providers often ensures that prices should remain low as they all compete for your custom.

Harbury & Shipston first to benefit from Gigaclear’s FTTP rollout

The communities of Shipston-on-Stour and Harbury are set to become the first in Warwickshire to benefit from the ultrafast full fibre broadband networks currently being built by Gigaclear, one of the UK’s largest Altnets.

The network builder has invested heavily in a build programme that will bring fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband to between 5-8,000 residential and business properties across the county.

The company’s main access cabinets in both Shipston and Harbury have now gone live, meaning that residents and businesses in these villages will soon be able to take advantage of a network offering ultrafast broadband with upload and download speeds of up to 900Mbps.

Services will start going live in Shipston-on-Stour and Harbury in April and will continue to do so during the spring and early summer. Services in Southam will also start going live during the summertime.

Priors Marston is also set to benefit from Gigaclear’s full fibre build programme later this year, while a number of other communities across Warwickshire are also being considered for future builds beyond that.

As Gigaclear are building a whole new infrastructure network, residents and businesses will have a range of ISPs to choose from once the networks have gone live. For more information on how to order a service, visit: Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband | Gigaclear


CityFibre complete Binley Woods FTTP broadband build

Network operator CityFibre have also announced that they have completed their deployment of a new 1Gbps Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) broadband network to over 1,000 homes in the Warwickshire village of Binley Woods.

The project, which only started in August 2022, cost around £500,000 to build and is an extension of CityFibre’s existing network in nearby Coventry.

As CityFibre build wholesale networks, it means that there are a range of ISPs for customers to choose from, including Vodafone, TalkTalk, Zen Internet, Giganet and iDNET amongst others.

Over a third of UK consumers don’t know if they have full fibre broadband

A recently published YouGov survey has revealed that over a third of the adults asked were still unsure as to whether their home broadband ISP connections were based off “full fibre” technology or not.

For the avoidance of doubt, a full fibre connection – often referred to as ‘Fibre to the Premise’ or ‘FTTP’ – is where the fibre connection goes directly into your home. With an FTTP connection, the benefits include: significantly faster and more stable speeds, greater reliability, faster latency times, lower maintenance costs and so forth.

However, as ISP Review mentioned in their recent article on this subject, numerous broadband ISPs have spent much of the last decade selling slower “part-fibre” or “hybrid-fibre” (e.g. FTTC,, Hybrid Fibre Coax) solutions as “fibre broadband” products, which is one of the reasons why so many people continue to be confused about the terminology today.

In 2021, the Gigabit Take-Up Advisory Group proposed several changes to the Government and Ofcom, which were aimed at helping to boost the take-up of gigabit-capable broadband services. One of those included clearer labelling of broadband packages to help consumers understand the differences.

Although there hasn’t been a great deal of movement on this over the last couple of years, Ofcom have now launched their consultation on improving broadband information for customers.

If you would like to have your say on how you think this could be improved, the above consultation is open until 3rd May 2023.

Case studies needed – Tell us your story!

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

We would also like to hear from you if your property has not yet benefited from an upgrade. Again, all we need are a few lines telling us of the difficulties you are experiencing and how this is impacting on your household.

Submitting a case study, whether relaying a positive or negative experience, can be really useful in supporting our applications for additional funding, to help us take the fibre network to those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of a faster broadband connection.

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.

Your questions answered

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 switch your broadband provider for a number of reasons including: poor quality of service, moving house or business premises, you need additional features that your current internet service provider (ISP) doesn’t offer or you can get a better and / or cheaper deal with another ISP.

Whatever your reason for wanting to switch, the first thing you need to do is check to see if you can leave your current provider. You will need to check your current contract and make sure that you have completed the minimum term because if you haven’t, you could be hit with a heavy cancellation fee for leaving early.

Even if you have served the minimum term, most ISPs will still require you to give them a month’s notice and there may be a cancellation fee involved.

The next step is to find a broadband package that suits you. There are a number of comparison sites available which you may want to take a look at before making a decision including:

Broadband Choices, Broadband Finder, Broadband Genie, BroadbandProviders,, Choose, Comparethemarket, MoneySuperMarket, Uswitch and Which?

It is also important that you check that the new service you wish to sign up to is available in your area. While some of the sites listed above will only provide information at a postcode level, others allow consumers to search for broadband providers by their exact address.

From April 2023, new rules introduced by Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, mean that you’ll only ever have to contact one provider (the one you plan to switch to).

The process should also be faster, taking as little as a day, and providers will have to compensate you if something goes wrong and you’re left without service for more than one working day.

There are a number of websites, including Which? and Moneysaving Expert which can offer you further information and expert advice if you are thinking of switching broadband providers.

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

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

There are millions of cases each year where broadband or landline customers experience connectivity issues, installation delays or missed engineer appointments from either their current or new broadband provider which is why in April 2019, Ofcom introduced their automatic compensation scheme.

Under the terms of the agreement, if an engineer does not arrive on schedule or cancels with less than 24 hours’ notice, you will receive £26.24 in compensation. If a service stops working and is not fully fixed after two full working days, customers will be entitled to £8.40 for each day that the service is not repaired.

If a new provider (ISP) has indicated the specific start date of a new service, but fails to start the new service by the promised date, you will be entitled to £5.25 for each day the service is delayed, including the missed start date. (These new rates of compensation came into effect as of January 6, 2023.)

You should receive this compensation, which will usually appear as a credit on your bill, within 30 calendar days.

Unfortunately, not all ISPs are signed up to this scheme. However, if you are a BT, EE, Hyperoptic Broadband, NOW Broadband, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Vodafone or Zen Internet customer (information correct as of January 6, 2023) then you should be covered by the scheme – as outlined above.

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

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