Newsletter — January 2016

237 cabinets live to date

Over 43,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Contract 2, Wave 1 progressing well
  • Take up of superfast broadband is high in our project area
  • New mapping well received
  • Satellite scheme off to a gentle start
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers
  • Contract 2, Wave 1 cabinets announced

Contract 2, Wave 1 progressing well

Surveys have started on the areas that are to be included in Wave 1 of Contract 2 and, all being well, we should start to see the first cabinets going live sometime after Easter. It is impossible to predict at this stage which will be the first communities to benefit under the new rollout, but as with Contract 1, we are doing all that we can to accelerate the process and will continue to keep you posted through this newsletter, on our website and on social media.

The best way to be sure of being notified when your area goes live is to register through our website. Once we have your details we will link your property to the local infrastructure and will send you an email once we know what is happening. To register please visit

Take up of superfast broadband is high in our project area

The take-up of superfast broadband on cabinets that have been installed through the CSW Broadband project is extremely encouraging. Almost half of the Wards in which we have carried out work are showing take-up on our cabinets of over 30%. When you factor in that many cabinets have been live for a relatively short period of time this shows that demand for superfast services is high.

The adoption report that we receive has been defined by BDUK and BT and, unfortunately, provides only high level data. Hence, we are not able to see how effective our demand stimulations campaigns have been in specific areas. Because one Ward may have many cabinets, and one cabinet may serve many Wards we cannot carry out proper evaluation of our activities. This restriction also means that we cannot measure the effectiveness of different scenarios or different communications methods as it would be impossible to isolate the impact in specific areas.

What is without doubt, however, is that where superfast broadband is available it is valued and used.

Thanks must go to our Local Broadband Champions who have done so much to let people know when fibre broadband is available in their areas. In Contract 1 areas we have over 220 Champions who are working with us to circulate information about our project and to feed back to us about specific issues in their areas.

We are now looking for Champions in areas that are to be covered by Contract 2, or where we are awaiting additional funding before planning coverage. The Champions will be the eyes and ears of the local community and perform a crucial role. If you would like to find out more about being a Local Broadband champion please visit:

New mapping well received

Our new map has been very well received. We believe that we are the first project nationally to give this level of detail, including:

  • Searching by postcode with zoom direct to your local area
  • Place names, street names and outlines of individual properties to make it easier to find your location
  • Property-level information to show our understanding of the status of your property (please note that this technology is in its infancy so if you believe that the information shown is wrong please let us know using the forms provided
  • Information about the project at postcode level to show if your area is live, planned for future work or, awaiting additional funding. Please note that at postcode level it is impossible to be accurate as telecoms infrastructure does not follow postcodes, so it’s best to zoom in to the property level for more detail.

We have more upgrades planned for the future, and will include any information in future newsletters.

To check out your area go to:

Satellite scheme off to a gentle start

Just before Christmas the BDUK Basic Broadband Scheme launched. Under this scheme eligible properties that currently achieve less than 2Mbps are able to apply for a subsidy towards the installations costs of Satellite broadband. Whilst most people will still want fibre connections, this does offer an interim solution until other technologies become available (albeit often with restrictions on downloads).

The scheme has got off to a gentle start with 6 eligible applications. A further 10 applications have been received from properties that are located in areas that are coloured grey on our maps. Because these properties are deemed to be part of the commercial rollout it has been necessary to refer these applications directly to BDUK for them to check whether faster broadband is available or planned as we don’t have the information for those areas.

Further details about the scheme can be found at:

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&As raised recently. Our newly revamped website has an updated set of Q&As.

Will I need a telephone line to get broadband?

Access to broadband is most common across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire through ADSL – which requires a telephone line. This is what is being delivered through the CSW Broadband project. Also popular in some urban areas are cable services via Virgin Media, which often includes a telephone line as part of the package.

However, there are other ways to receive broadband that do not need a telephone line:

For a description of each of these technologies please see our Jargon Buster:

Why does my broadband run slower at different times of the day?

There are several reasons why the speed you get from your broadband varies:

Is more than one person using your internet connection at certain times?

  • For example, if you have a home network and your son is downloading a movie, your daughter is playing an online game on her X-Box all whilst you’re browsing the web, you will notice a drop in internet connection speed.

Are you using the connection at a peak time of day (such as evening)?

  • General volume of traffic on the internet as a whole at peak times (national and international usage) will cause slower traffic.
  • As most broadband connections are shared with others, your peak time usage is likely to coincide with their use too.

This is known as the “contention ratio”. A typical consumer contention ratio is 50:1, which means you share the circuit with up to 49 other users. If all these users decide to use the internet at the same peak time, the speed for all will be slower. Generally, if you are a heavy broadband user, choosing a service with a smaller contention ratio would be a better option for you.

  • If your internet service provider (ISP) determines that you are a very heavy user, they may restrict your speed at certain times of day.

This is called “throttling” or “traffic shaping”. It is used by some ISPs to ensure that all their customers have their fair share of broadband access. Although you may have an unlimited download package, this technique would probably be covered by the ISP’s Fair Usage policy. Only a very small number of users would fall into this category – normally less than 0.1% of customers.

I’m in a high demand area. It says BT are working to provide additional capacity. What does that mean?

BT aim to provide extra capacity as soon as possible for those parts of the network where they are experiencing high levels of demand. Catering for additional demand in an area can take time to plan and they also need to increase the infrastructure to accommodate the extra equipment needed. In a number of cases, BT may even need to supply an additional fibre cabinet.

Why can’t residents piggy back onto commercial leased lines?

Leased lines are private fibre connections that are installed by companies who need to have good connectivity. They cost many tens of thousands of pounds to put in and carry a premium monthly rental charge. Therefore any company that is prepared to incur these costs for a premium product would not expect to the find it being shared with the local community.

Imagine that you had bought yourself a top-of-the-range car. You have taxed and insured it and made sure that it is fully roadworthy. You would not expect your neighbours to come round and demand to use it for taking the children to school, to do their shopping or to take their rubbish to the tip!

Many 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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