Newsletter — April 2012

In this month’s update:

What are we planning to deliver and what are the timescales?
Events in your area – come along to find out more
Questions & Answers

What are we planning to deliver and what are the timescales?

We are not specifying any particular technologies for our network– simply that the solution must achieve our targets of 100% coverage at a minimum of 2Mbps and 90% at superfast speeds (over 24Mbps). As a rough guide, 2Mbps will allow you to watch BBC iPlayer without the “wheel” going round or to shop on-line, whereas 24Mbps allows you to use Skype to make video calls and enables other services such as films on demand and the provision of telecare and telehealth.

However, we will not stop there. The 2020 EU targets state that there should be 100% broadband coverage at a minimum of 30Mbps, and 50% coverage at 100Mbps. Therefore we will be requiring that infrastructure delivered through this project should be capable of upgrade to meet the even more demanding 2020 targets.

We now have the Central and Local Government money in place and we are working towards procurement of a private sector partner for the project. We will be allocated a procurement slot by BDUK, and expect that this will be during the early autumn of 2012. This will enable us to have contract in place by the end of this year. There will then be a period for the contractor to carry out technical surveys and to design a wholesale network that will meet our specified targets, and we expect to start rolling out the network during 2013.

Events in your area – come along to find out more

We will be holding events in each of the Boroughs/Districts throughout the project. The first events to help you to find out more about how superfast broadband will be provided in your area, and how you can get involved are detailed below. More are planned in the autumn

Tuesday 1st May 2012 Trinity Church,
Coleshill Road, Atherstone
From 7pm to 8:30pm
Wednesday 16th May 2012 Council Chamber, Elizabeth House, Stratford-Upon-Avon From 7pm to 8:30pm
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 Committee Room 2,
Shire Hall, Warwick
From 7pm to 8:30pm

Questions & Answers

I’ve already filled in a questionnaire or written a letter to my local council, why do I need to complete your survey?

All Authorities across the country will be going to procurement at the same time. Bidders will go where there is highest demand, and therefore the highest return on their investment. Some areas have over 16,000 responses (having started this process before we did). We currently have over 4200 responses, so there is a long way to go if we are to attract a good tender response, and only a short time to do it in!

Can I get funding for my community broadband scheme?

Possibly, although it would need to be part of the wider delivery plan for the sub-region and would have to be a wholesale network – in other words open to any ISP to use to deliver their services. It would also have to be a new-build as retrospective funding is not available for work that you have already done. The network that we are commissioning will benefit community broadband services by both increasing the availability of and lowering the cost of backhaul (the connection from the community to the Internet). For more information please email giving as much information about what you are planning to do, area covered etc. All information provided will be treated in strictest confidence.

I am in an urban area and have poor broadband – what can you do for me?

Although our funding is primarily targeted at rural areas, you should still register your demand by completing our surveys, and encourage your neighbours to do the same. If a commercial provider can see that there is a high demand from a particular area, and that it is relatively easy to reach (as is the case with most urban areas) then they will be more likely to prioritise that locality in their normal roll-out plans. Remember – wherever you are you will need to show evidence of demand in order to get an improved service

Why will it take so long before you start to deliver?

We have a lot of work to do to prepare for procurement to get it right and that takes time. The actual procurement also has to follow a strict legal timetable. Once the private sector partner is appointed they will start the design work for the network and this will be evaluated and then the work can start to roll-out the solution.

What can I do to help my village?

There are a number of things you can do.

  • Firstly, make sure that you have completed both of the surveys at
  • Secondly, register as a champion for your area, or find out how you can help your Local Broadband Champion
  • Thirdly, make sure that your friends and neighbours all complete the surveys (the higher density of responses from an area the higher priority it will be given)
  • Finally, contact your Parish Council to make sure that they are aware of the project and are taking an active part in the process

What can my Parish Council do to help?

Parish Councils can help in a number of ways:

  • Become Champions, or work with your local Champions
  • Publicise the project in your parish magazine/newsletter (we can provide regular copy for this)
  • Hold a parish meeting to explain the project (we can provide materials for this)
  • Deliver information and questionnaires to every household
  • Offer an incentive for people to complete their questionnaires – high levels of return have been noted in areas where a prize draw is offered, say £50 first prize, £30 second prize and £20 third prize to be drawn from all questionnaires completed electronically / on-line by a certain date

How do I know if there is a Champion for my area?

We will shortly be publishing a map on our website showing the locations that already have Champions. Just because there is one person for your area doesn’t mean that they don’t need help – in fact they almost certainly will! Drop us an email to and we can register you as a champion and put you in touch with others who have already registered for your area.

How many registrations are there for my area?

We will be publishing an interactive map on our website. To protect the identity of individuals it will only go down to postcode level, but you will be able to interrogate the data to see how many people have registered.

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