Newsletter — July 2018

Over 62,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Map updated – some AltNet details now shown
  • Contract 3 update
  • £1m Growth Deal funding secured
  • Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund (LFFN)
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

 

Map updated – some AltNet details now shown

Our map has been updated. The latest version reflects the following changes:

  • New data from Openreach. The new data reflects a complete overhaul of the records that are held by Openreach. Some premises that were previously unknown have now been marked up according to their current status, whilst others that actually have superfast speeds available but were not marked as such have also been updated. If you still have an amber triangle on your property, please get in touch with us, even if you have done so before
  • Some of the providers (AltNets) have given permission for us to show their areas of coverage. These are denoted by a letter inside the pink circle. Where there is no letter we have not been given permission to identify the provider
  • Contract 2 defined. Purple stars denote where we believe that Contract 2 coverage should reach. However, as the data for Contract 2 was only provided down to postcode level we have had to take a best estimate on this. Contract 2 completes at the end of 2018, and more information can be found on our rolling 12-month plan
  • Contract 3 coverage is clearly defined. As we have property-level information for Contract 3, we have been able to mark the map more accurately right down to property level. See below for more information about Contract 3

The new map can be found at: www.cswbroadband.org.uk/latestmap

Contract 3 update

We are starting to see some of the very early survey information coming through for Contract 3. However, at this stage we still don’t have any detail as to where work will be starting. Contract 3 is very different from what has gone before:

  • We will be getting information down to property-level, and this has been reflected on our maps for some time now, so that you can see if your property is due for upgrade under Contract 3 (as marked with a yellow star)
  • There will be increasing amounts of Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) in Contract 3, this brings its own challenges as FTTP involves far more civil engineering and so blocked ducts issues etc increase exponentially
  • Contract 3 covers a much wider area than previously, as we will be working in areas of Coventry for the first time
  • Contract 3 has a very short programme time. Under the terms of the contract with Openreach all work should be completed before the end of 2019

Taking into account the above factors, we hope to be able to announce areas as work starts (as previously) but will not be giving proposed completion dates, except that all work to be done under the contract should be complete by the end of 2019.

As previously, as the service goes live in each area we will be emailing those people for whom we have details in our database. That is why it is particularly important to make sure that we have your current details, and to encourage others to register. Simply visit www.cswbroadband.org.uk/register

£1m Growth Deal funding secured

We have now signed and sealed the agreement for £1m Growth Deal funding through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This forms the final part of the funding jigsaw for Contract 3.

Local Full Fibre Networks Programme

Due diligence work has been ongoing, and we are now working towards issuing the Invitation to Tender during the autumn.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We have short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded to use in your own newsletters of on websites. These are updated monthly.

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.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to do all work in an exchange area at the same time?

This is not as straightforward as it may appear. We are about to start work on Contract 3, with Contract 2 still running. Throughout the project we have done what is possible as funding becomes available. Inevitably, this means that some areas will be later in the programme than others. This may be because some are harder to reach, or because they do not score highly on our benefits index. The index was developed at the outset of the project and prioritises areas across the whole project area.

The priorities for the project are to:

  • ensure a network deployment that contributes the most to the underlying fibre infrastructure across the sub-region
  • remove the barrier of connectivity for businesses to do business in the sub-region
  • develop a mechanism that ensures that local outcomes reflect the amounts contributed
  • benefit the maximum number of citizens.

The key one of these priorities is to get the fibre as far as possible, therefore not all infrastructure off a single exchange will be upgraded at the same time.

Should we go it alone and look for a community solution?

To see if anything is planned in your area, either through this project or from commercial providers, use our unique property checker, which shows the currently planned status (down to property level) up to the end of 2019.

You simply need to enter your postcode and you will then see a list of premises and their status. The information was largely derived from the Open Market Review and Public Consultation that we carried out in preparation for the Contract 3 procurement.

If the coverage has been promised by the commercial provider, then we are bound by commercial confidentiality and cannot give further details. However, if the upgrades are planned through the CSW Broadband project then you can see the status on our latest map and on the Rolling 12-Month Plan

To see if anything is planned in your area, either through this project or from commercial providers, use our unique property checker, which shows the currently planned status (down to property level) up to the end of 2019.

You simply need to enter your postcode and you will then see a list of premises and their status. The information was largely derived from the Open Market Review and Public Consultation that we carried out in preparation for the Contract 3 procurement.

If the coverage has been promised by the commercial provider, then we are bound by commercial confidentiality and cannot give further details. However, if the upgrades are planned through the CSW Broadband project then you can see the status on our latest map and on the Rolling 12-Month Plan

Before considering a community-funded scheme you should bear in mind that these take time to organise, and require local activists to lead the project. Having said that, it is entirely possible for a community to decide to raise funds and employ their own solution.

You should bear in mind that smaller suppliers do not always have the resilience of the larger companies. If you were to go with your own solution and employed a small company, then you could be facing sustainability issues further down the line.

You should also be aware that once an area has superfast broadband then our project may consider it to have turned grey on the map and may no longer consider it for inclusion under our funding.

On the other hand, if it is not considered to be a grey area we may later come along and upgrade the network, which could cut across the business case for any community-led solution.

One final consideration is whether your chosen solution will offer a wholesale network. This means that any Internet Service Provider can use the network to provide services to its customers.

By offering a range of providers the idea is that there will be competition which will lead to a choice of packages and a range of price-points. You will not have that with a single-supplier network.

You could, of course, choose to pay Openreach, or another major provider, to upgrade the infrastructure in your area, but the costs are likely to be significant. Should you choose to follow this route then you may want to take a look at the Community Fibre Partnerships website.

Of course, any community solution will need to be paid for! A good place to start is the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme. Gigabit vouchers can be used by small and medium-sized businesses and the local communities surrounding them, to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit capable connection.

One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future.

Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project, which also includes businesses, and can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £500 per residential premise.

Vouchers can be aggregated so that if, for example, a village or wanted to upgrade its connectivity then as long as there are businesses involved the vouchers can be pooled together to form one project covering the entire area. This would ensure best value for all concerned and would reduce costs overall.

To set up a local project it would be necessary to go through a supplier (as with single user vouchers). It is expected that the combined value of vouchers claimed by businesses in a scheme will be greater than the combined value of the residential vouchers. For the purpose of the scheme, a business could be someone operating from home or, potentially, working from home.

We have been getting some good reports from people who have moved to mobile broadband. Some are achieving speeds of around 70 Mbps! This technology relies on a good mobile broadband connection so it is important to use the mobile coverage checkers available on mobile broadband supplier websites before committing.

You can access a mobile broadband connection by subscribing to a data plan with your chosen mobile operator; this can usually be done using a mobile device, a dongle, or a 4G router.

When considering this option, it is important to take into consideration your data usage. Searching around for an unlimited data package can pay off, especially if you do a lot of streaming or playing videos on YouTube.

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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