Newsletter — January 2020

Nearly 72,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • More Contract 3 builds announced
  • CSW Broadband Project updates
  • Useful advice if you are thinking of changing your ISP in 2020
  • 37 ways to improve your internet speeds
  • Openreach to extend Full Fibre network into 200 rural locations
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

More Contract 3 builds announced

Over the last couple of months, CSW Broadband has given the go-ahead for dozens and dozens of new structures to be built. This means that more and more residents and businesses, across the length and breadth of the Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region, will soon be able to take advantage of a fibre broadband connection.

Some of the communities that will benefit from the latest batch of upgrades include parts of:

Arley, Avon Dassett, Bidford on Avon, Birchmoor, Burton Hastings, Copston Magna, Corley, Frankton, Kenilworth, Keresley End, Meriden, Middleton, Napton, Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Polesworth, Priors Marston, Ratley, Stockton, Stretton on Dunsmore, Warton and Wootton Wawen.

The full list of what CSW has approved to be built so far in Contract 3, along with the communities that will benefit from these builds can be found at in the Contract 3 table on our Rolling 12-month Plan webpage.

CSW Broadband Project updates – Contract 3

Another 30 Contract 3 cabinets / structures have gone live since the last newsletter was sent out at the end of November. Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:

Alcester, Bascote, Bearley, Berkswell, Birchmoor, Cawston, Churchover, Kenilworth, Kingsbury, Kytes Green, Ladbroke, Leamington, Meriden, Napton on the Hill, Nuneaton, Polesworth, Sawbridge, the Banbury Road & Gallows Hill area of Warwick and Woolscott.

As a result, nearly 72,000 properties across the region are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.

As always, once we have received confirmation that a particular cabinet or structure upgrade has been completed, we will inform as many of the affected residents as possible.

Remember, once your property has been upgraded, you won’t get a faster service automatically. You need to order the improved service with your chosen ISP (Internet Service Provider) to benefit from the upgrade.

To check on your property’s superfast status, enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.

You might like to use a broadband comparison site such as MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadband Choices, Broadband Genie, Choose or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.

Finally, if your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Fibre to the Premise webpage provides you with information on ordering an FTTP service and the subsequent installation process.

Useful advice for if you are thinking of changing your ISP in 2020

Consumers in the UK face a bewildering choice of providers and networks when trying to find a new home broadband ISP and this is only likely to get worse as a growing number of new ISPs enter this highly competitive market.

If you are looking for a new ISP but find the myriad of options available to you a little bit confusing, the ISPreview’s, The UK Best Home Broadband ISP Options for 2020 may be able to help.

In the article, their editor’s annual pick aims to highlight some of the top ISP options in terms of quality and affordability that are available to you.

Consumer champions Which? have also recently published their report into the best and worst UK broadband providers for 2020.

They note that while the best broadband companies offer a great service at a great price, provide a fast connection that you can rely on, and are on hand to help in the rare instance that something goes wrong, many broadband providers still don’t deliver on those fronts.

While you have to pay to download the whole report, it is worth noting that this survey is based on the real-life experiences of thousands of customers across the UK and may prove to be money well spent if you are thinking of changing broadband provider and would like further information on choosing your next ISP.

For more information on this, visit: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/broadband-deals/article/best-broadband-providers

37 ways to improve your internet speeds

For some residents, even achieving a fairly modest broadband speed can be quite a challenge, particularly if they are living in areas that haven’t yet been upgraded or where they can achieve faster but not yet superfast broadband speeds.

If you are fed up of YouTube or Netflix buffering all the time then Broadband Savvy’s ‘How To Improve Internet Speed’ guide might be able to help. This useful resource contains 37 different methods that you can try to improve your internet speed – all of which have been tried, tested and proven to work by the authors.

The guide provides valuable information on how to test your internet speed, how to access your router settings, how to improve you WiFi speed and top tips and helpful hints on how you can make general improvements to the speeds you are currently able to achieve.

Each of the methods you can try are broken down into an easy to follow step-by-step actions and any technical jargon is explained so that it is easy to understand. So, if you are fed up with slow broadband speeds, some of these methods might be worth a try.

Openreach to extend Full Fibre network into 200 rural locations

On 27th January 2020, Openreach announced that they were going to widen their Full Fibre network build programme to include 250,000 homes and businesses in more than 200 rural locations across the UK – including some in the CSW region.

This builds upon Openreach’s existing programme to provide four million homes and businesses with access to Full Fibre technology by the end of March 2021 but will see them extending the network into market towns and villages in the more rural areas of the country.

The six communities that will benefit from this programme within the CSW region are: Bidford on Avon, Coleshill, Henley in Arden, Hockley Heath, Lapworth and Wootton Wawen.

The fibre infrastructure that CSW Broadband has already had the foresight to deploy in these areas has acted as a springboard for this work. By using this existing resource as the foundation for their Full Fibre network extension, Openreach will be able to provide these communities with an ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband service that will be fit for purpose for decades to come.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.

What sort of broadband speeds can I realistically expect if I’m upgraded as part of the CSW Broadband Project?

This depends on the type of upgrade that your property has benefited from.

If your property has received a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) upgrade then you could achieve a final connection speed of up to 80Mbps (megabits per second). However, this may vary depending on a number of factors including: the distance from your property to the cabinet it is connected to, the local geography, the local copper network in your area and the condition of the wiring within your own property.

The UK Government defines ‘superfast’ broadband as download speeds of over 24Mbps, while Ofcom and the EU defines it as download speeds of 30Mbps and above.

However, if your property has benefited from a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) upgrade, then you could achieve speeds of up to 330Mbps or even up to 1Gigabyte (1000 Megabytes) with some of the upgrades that have recently been deployed.

To find out what speeds you can currently achieve, either enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the results.

What is FTTP on Demand?

We have had many enquiries recently where the BT Broadband Availability Checker suggests that a product called ‘Fibre on Demand’ is available to residents, offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.

This is NOT the same as the native Fibre to the Premise, (listed as WBC FTTP on the BT Broadband Availability Checker) that is being installed to many areas through the CSW Broadband Project. Although these two solutions function in identical ways, their cost, contract and deployment methods have tended to be very different.

With the ‘WBC FTTP’ that we are installing, the fibre optic cable will have been installed outside your property (e.g. down your street), which makes it fairly cheap to get connected.

By comparison, Fibre on Demand is designed to be requested ‘on demand‘, in Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) capable areas. Residents requesting this service will then pay for the installation of fibre from the cabinet to their property, which can prove to be extremely expensive.

Because of the high costs involved (and often the requirement for a much longer than standard contract), very few providers actually offer Fibre on Demand. Cerberus Networks and FluidOne are two that we are aware of but there may be others as well.

Fibre on Demand is therefore likely to remain a niche product for those who are prepared to pay the additional installation charges and a higher ongoing monthly cost.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

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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