Newsletter — December 2014

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Broadband launches 100th Cabinet
  • Second contract – what is happening? What will we get?
  • Government support to help small businesses connect with online opportunities
  • Questions and Answers

CSW Broadband launches 100th Cabinet

Christmas has come early to three North Warwickshire villages, thanks to our continuing roll-out programme. Hurley, Kingsbury and Wood End are the latest communities to be enabled for high-speed fibre broadband, and this latest development takes the total number of homes and businesses now able to connect to faster fibre broadband as a result of the CSW Broadband roll-out to more than 20,000. A total of nine new metal cabinets have been installed to bring around 3,500 premises in the three communities within reach of the new fibre network.

The news has been welcomed as a boost for the local communities, especially coming in the run-up to Christmas.

Martin Clarke, deputy head teacher at Kingsbury School, said: “Educationally, ICT and access to the digital world is extremely powerful and faster broadband will continue to enhance the provision to the benefit of all our students.”

Karen Hanson, head teacher at Kingsbury Primary School, said: “Having access to decent broadband will make such a difference to us. We have lots of equipment in school and look forward to our pupils being able to do things at the same time, rather than having to wait for connections. As technology becomes more integrated into the school curriculum good connectivity is vital for pupils and teachers alike.”

Councillor Alan Cockburn, deputy leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is a major milestone. It is just nine months since the first cabinet went live and now over 20,000 properties can access high-speed fibre broadband. The roll-out is really gathering pace now and communities are really benefitting from having much better access to information and services”

Ian Binks, BT partnership director, West Midlands, said: “CSW Broadband is a huge engineering undertaking, but the roll-out is progressing extremely well and our teams are working hard to connect more communities as quickly as possible.

“Reaching this double milestone is a great achievement, and an especially welcome one, coming in the run-up to Christmas when people are increasingly relying on the internet for shopping, playing games online and other leisure activities.

“At the same time, faster fibre broadband enables small businesses to stay in contact with their customers and suppliers more easily and quickly.”

This is a major milestone for the project and there are lots more cabinets to come. The next iteration of the 12-month rolling plan will be issued in January, with lots more cabinets to be announced then.

Second contract – what is happening? What will we get?

We covered this in some detail in the last newsletter, but with the tender return due in on 16th December the CSW Broadband team are all on tenterhooks to see what will come back. We start the evaluation this week and continue (with a break for Xmas!) through into January. We hope to be able to sign contracts at the end of January and to publish a map showing the new coverage in the spring of 2015.

Government support to help small businesses connect with online opportunities

The Government has today launched a new campaign to help small businesses connect with online opportunities. We would like to call on your support in helping us raise awareness of this new campaign, by encouraging your networks and contacts to visit www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/domoreonline, to find out more about how small businesses can take advantage of the online opportunities available to them. With total website sales in the UK worth £164 billion, small businesses and sole traders could be missing out without a digital presence.

Questions and Answers

Hoax calls re viruses

We have received reports of a scam that is being perpetrated by callers claiming to be from BT Openreach. The scammers are calling individuals claiming that Openreach has found viruses on the user’s system and that they need to access the computer remotely to remove it. THIS IS NOT A GENUINE CALL! If you receive such a call hang up immediately and under no circumstances should you follow any instructions to download “updates” or give the caller remote access to your machine.

BT Openreach do not make such calls and have no way of knowing the condition of your computer. This is the first time we have come across callers claiming to be from BT, although for many years scammers have (equally fraudulently) been claiming to be from Microsoft. If the callers do get access to your machine they are likely to install software that will steal your passwords for banking, online shopping etc.

I am connected to a fibre cabinet – why can’t I achieve superfast speeds?

If you are some distance from the upgraded cabinet then you may not achieve superfast speeds. However, BT has a product called Unlimited Faster Broadband which can offer speeds of 2-15Mbps. To find out more and to apply for this service go to http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/47740/~/what-is-unlimited-faster-broadband%3F

We would be interested to hear from you if you have already got this service, or if you experience any difficulty in obtaining it

Many more frequently asked broadband questions can be found on our website at: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/faq

Send this email on to all your contacts! We need to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Please send this email to your contacts and encourage them to send it further. It’s probably best to remove the contact details above our logo at the top of the email otherwise it could get to be a very long string before the email itself appears!

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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