Newsletter — February 2017

Over 57,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Unique interactive property-level broadband checker now available
  • Wave 5 now launched
  • Contract 2, Part 2
  • Colours on top
  • Commercial coverage depiction on the maps
  • ERDF funding bid successful
  • Contract 3 Invitation to Tender issued
  • Interesting statistic
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

This is a real bumper edition of the newsletter, and the theme is one of good progress, and great things to come! In each section we explain the impact on our mapping, as we have changed the way in which the data is handled and this will make changes to what is represented in many areas.

Unique interactive property-level broadband checker now available

CSW Broadband has now made available a unique interactive property-level checker that enables you to find out what coverage is planned for your home or business by the end of 2019.

It’s simple to use and the information returned will show one of the following classifications:


This means that superfast broadband may be available now, or will be by the end of 2019. This may be either through the CSW Broadband rollout or through commercial providers. **

Under Review / Alternate Provider:

This means that a supplier (not BT) has said that they will be providing superfast broadband by the end of 2019. These tend to be smaller providers. **

Basic Broadband:

There is currently no planned superfast coverage here, but the area is in scope for consideration under Contract 3, which is currently out to tender. The additional coverage will not be mapped until the procurement process is completed, probably during the autumn of 2017.

Awaiting funding:

These areas are not in scope for potential coverage under Contract 3 as we are awaiting additional funding. We continue to actively seek additional funding opportunities.

The information has been taken from the following sources:

  • Open Market Review and Public Consultation that was held and the end of 2016. During this process all commercial providers were invited to submit information about their rollout plans to the end of 2019. **
  • Contract 2 coverage for the CSW Broadband project.
  • State Aid approved Contract 3 potential intervention area.

** Because this information is provided in commercial confidence we are not able to state which provider has said that they will go to particular areas.

Wave 5 now launched

We are delighted to announce the launch of Wave 5. As we move through the project we are seeing far fewer Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) upgrades. This Wave picks up mainly Exchange Only lines, with some of these being served by FTTC and many more by Fibre to the Premise (FTTP).

This is great, in that it provides a superfast broadband service to homes that previously had no hope of any uplift, but it does make our job rather challenging, as we won’t know until the service actually goes live which properties will benefit from the improvements.

This also means that whereas you would normally see areas on our map turning blue as each Wave is announced, only a few will show as blue until after the deployment is complete and we receive the report that identifies the successfully upgraded premises. These will then be added to the map’s next update.

Do check the Rolling 12-Month Plan regularly though, because where an FTTC upgrade is planned we will eventually receive a notification of the cabinet locations. Whilst we can’t say exactly which properties will benefit, this may at least give some indication.

Contract 2, Part 2

The data for Contract 2, Part 2 has been received from BT. This is now shown on the map as amber, and areas will change colour as they are announced in future Waves. The total value of Contract 2, Part 2, is £2m.

Colours on top

We have made a change to the way in which areas are depicted on the map. The mapping is done by postcode, but as telecoms infrastructure does not follow postcodes this has created some difficulties. For instance, one cabinet may serve several postcodes and one postcode may be served by several cabinets.

The approach we have taken in the past is to put the green (denoting that a live service is available) on top of all other colours. However, this can never present the whole picture, and it is likely that the green will mask areas where there is still work to be carried out.

For this edition of the map we have taken a different approach, and where there is further work to be carried out in a postcode area the green shading has been moved below the other colours.

This gives a more representative view of what is yet to come but, as always, the caveat is that until the service goes live we will not know exactly what speeds a property may achieve.

Commercial coverage depiction on the maps

Before we go out to tender we are obliged to carry out an Open Market Review, during which all commercial providers are invited to submit (in commercial confidence) their development plans for the next three years.

These areas are then mapped as black (two or more providers); grey (one provider); or cross-hatched (where one of the smaller providers has promised to cover the area, but it remains under review until coverage is confirmed).

Please bear in mind the limitations with postcode mapping as noted above, and that the map is only a representation rather than a definitive guide. Our new interactive property-level checker enables you to find out what coverage is planned for your home or business by the end of 2019.

ERDF funding bid successful

We have received confirmation that our application for ERDF funding has been successful. The money will be used primarily to extend the broadband rollout, but also for specialist ICT business support. The project runs to 2020.

The funding will be matched by our application for Local Growth Deal funding through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and by all Local Authority partners. The Government has stated that they will underwrite EU funding in light of Brexit.

Both the additional broadband rollout and the business support will cover the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership area, and for the first time Coventry City Council are now able to contribute to the project so that Coventry will be included in the CSW Broadband project.

More details will be released on both elements of the project as contracting progresses.

The broadband rollout will form part of the overall package for Contract 3, which is discussed below.

Contract 3 Invitation to Tender issued

Including the EU and other funding mentioned above, Contract 3 will have a total value of up to £20m. The Invitation to Tender was launched on 7th February. As discussed in the December newsletter, the area has been split into 3 lots:

Lot 1: North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford District east of the M40

Lot 2: Coventry (excluding the City Centre) and Solihull to the east of the M42*

Lot 3: Warwick District and Stratford District to the west of the M40

The tenders should be returned by 2nd May, and evaluation will take 4 weeks. We therefore expect to sign contracts towards the end of June, and should be able to map the additional coverage during the autumn.

This is a full European tender, and the documentation can be found in the Contract 3 section of our website.

The key difference between Contract 3 and what has gone before is that whereas superfast speeds used to be defined at 24Mbps, for Contract 3 a line must achieve 30Mbps to qualify as superfast. This is in accordance with the EU State Aid Directive.

* The area of Solihull to the west of the M42 is classified as awaiting additional funding.

Interesting statistic

Some 90% of people now believe broadband is essential, more than the 74% who think the same of a mobile phone, a television (73%) or a car (68%), while only housing, energy, food and running water are considered more important, consumers’ association Which? said recently .

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We regularly produce updates of around 350 words that can be used on your own website or in newsletters. There are a selection of articles available for download and you can select the most appropriate depending on where your particular area is in the rollout pipeline. Copy can be found at:

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.

So will my property be upgraded under Contract 3?

It is too early to be able to give this level of detail. Once the Contract has been let we can start to work with the suppliers to develop a rollout strategy, and then we should be able to map the results. As there are 3 Lot areas it will be 3 x the work, so this is unlikely to be completed until late autumn.

There is no star on my property on the map, what does this mean?

Those properties without a star are anticipated to have superfast broadband by 2019. This information is derived from the Open Market Review that was carried out in 2016, during which commercial providers advised their future coverage plans.

However, this information was given in commercial confidence so if commercial coverage is planned then we cannot give any further information. If your area is due to be covered as part of the CSW Broadband rollout, then the area will be coloured accordingly on the map (please refer to map key).

How do I know which BT cabinet I am connected to?

To check which cabinet you are connected to and what speeds you might achieve visit the BT DSL checker. For the best results you will need to be able to enter a BT landline number for your property. If you do not have this then you can use your address, but it may be less accurate.

Do not use the postcode checker as that covers too wide an area to be of any use. It should be noted that once the service is live you are not restricted to buying a service from BT and that you can go to any Internet Service Provider (ISP). For impartial advice about ISPs visit:

I can’t make sense of the BT DSL checker

It can be confusing sometimes. We have a helpful guide on our website to explain how to get the best results from the checker, and how to interpret what it is telling you. The page is complete with graphics, a step-by-step guide and a mini jargon buster to help you to get the most from this valuable resource.

More frequently asked broadband questions can be found on our website at:

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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