Newsletter — August 2013

Topics in this edition:

  • Our website is being upgraded
  • Copy for your website or newsletter
  • What next?
  • Launch event to be held in Solihull
  • Questions and Answers

Our website is being upgraded

Our website is currently undergoing an upgrade. Whilst specific links from this newsletter should be unaffected, other areas may be temporarily unavailable. Please bear with us whilst this work takes place.

Copy for your website or newsletter

The following article is available to download as a Word document from our website at:

As you will already have read, the CSW broadband project entered into a £14.57m contract with BT in June this year. The money will be spent on bringing improved broadband to those areas that will not be uplifted through the commercial plans of BT and other providers. The targets for the project are 100% coverage at the Universal Service Commitment (a minimum of 2Mbps, which could in practice be up to 23 Mbps), and 90% coverage at Superfast speeds, which is over 24Mbps. Some areas will get considerably more than 24Mbps, and the actual speed achieved depends on a number of factors such as geography, topography, current infrastructure etc

This project is a stepping stone, as the EU has even more demanding targets for 2020: 100% at 30Mbps and 50% connected to and using 100Mbps, and it will be noted that the lower EU threshold is higher than the upper UK 2015 target! Therefore it is essential that any money spent under the current project will contribute to meeting the 2020 targets, and the only way to do that is to get fibre as far as possible. We will achieve fibre to 93% of our area under the current project and are awaiting additional funding to take it further

From the start of the project we have taken a pro-active approach to keeping people informed and to engaging with both residents and businesses, and our communications strategy has been held up as national best practice by BDUK, the government body charged with delivering the rural broadband programme.

As soon as the contract was signed we published maps giving indicative locations for the rollout of superfast broadband under the current funding, although it is not possible at this stage to be specific as there is a considerable amount of work taking place to determine what will be possible on the ground. This work involves looking at the existing network, which has grown up in a piecemeal fashion over a number of years. In some cases, therefore, it is likely that the fibre will follow a different route from the existing copper network. This will not affect telephone/voice services.

Some properties within our area are fed from exchanges or cabinets in other counties/project areas, and these are also being investigated to ensure that the best solution is provided that will help to ensure that we can achieve the 2020 targets.

Once the re-alignment planning work is complete we will be publishing a 12-month rolling programme of works, which will be updated on a quarterly basis, and which will show which exchanges, cabinets and other infrastructure are to be upgraded next. All information is available through the project website and the website itself is currently undergoing considerable work to make it even easier to find the huge amount of information that is there.

What next?

As soon as we know which areas are likely to be in the 91% that will get superfast broadband we will work with the remaining 9% to find funding to get fibre infrastructure in place. This may take the form of a bid to the Rural Community Broadband fund or other funding applications as appropriate. We will not simply sit back as we do know how important it is that everybody has the opportunity to achieve higher broadband speeds. After all, it is usually those areas that have no (or a very poor) bus service, no village shop, post office or pub that also have poor broadband. This affects people in so many ways that those living in urban areas simply cannot appreciate.

Once we know exactly in which areas superfast broadband will be rolled out first we will:

  • Provide copy for newsletters and parish magazines that are within the rollout areas
  • Look to attend community forums and other meetings in the relevant areas, or hold our own meetings if that is more appropriate depending on the geography and the timing
  • Provide literature for our Champions to distribute
  • Work with local groups to let people know when the local cabinets are ready to provide superfast broadband

Launch event to be held in Solihull

Are you a resident or business within the Solihull area?

Solihull Council, along with CSW Broadband Project Partners are holding a Solihull Launch Event, providing an overview of the programme, with the opportunity to ask questions of the Project Team.

The event is taking place on Tuesday 17th September  from 8.30am to 11.00am at The Arup Campus, Blythe Gate, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, B90 8AE.

For more information, or to reserve a place at the event, please call the Business Investment Team at Solihull Council on 0121 704 6151 or email

Questions and Answers

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found at:

Send this newsletter on to all your contacts! We need to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Please send this newsletter to your contacts and encourage them to send it further.

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

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