Newsletter — June 2015

184 cabinets live to date

Over 36,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Phase 6 of Contract 1 starts to roll out
  • Local briefing events
  • Register to receive updates about works to your cabinet
  • Changes to allow users to change ISPs who fail to perform
  • Connection Vouchers numbers for Warwickshire
  • Warning over identity theft
  • Five essential online security tips
  • Questions and Answers

Phase 6 of Contract 1 starts to roll out

The sixth edition of the rolling 12-month plan is now available on the website. It shows the rollout for Contract 1 only. Contract 2, Part 1 is still being planned and will be added as each Phase commences.

As you will see, we are making great progress. We have updated the plan to show cabinets from earlier phases that have now gone live and are accepting orders. Phase 6 of the CSW broadband rollout includes a further 20 cabinets, making a total of 259 superfast cabinets either already installed or in the process of being installed.

The number of cabinets for this phase looks low when compared to previous phases, but in addition to these cabinets there are a number of lines, such as exchange only lines or other non-standard structures where we have no information as yet. These areas will be brought into the coloured phases as the surveys and planning progress. Some of these areas may go straight from purple to green (i.e. live and providing services), so the best thing is to register for more information through our website.

As we approach the end of the Contract 1 rollout we are getting to more challenging areas, meaning that some cabinets from earlier phases may be showing delays. Regular updates will be published on the website, but you can also register to have information sent directly to you about the cabinet or exchange that you are connected to. Please see below for more information.

Under Contract 1 BDUK has committed to make available over 2Mbps to all properties. This is likely to be through a voucher scheme that will be administered by BT and which will cover the costs of satellite installation. Rental and ongoing costs will fall to the user. We do not have the full details of this as yet, but BDUK have made a commitment that eligibility criteria and delivery details will be available by the end of 2015.

Register to receive updates about works to your cabinet

We would like to keep you informed about the project, and to be able to notify you when things are happening with your own connections. If you are receiving this newsletter then you are already part-way there as we probably have you in our system. If we have additional information we are now able to match your property and landline up to local infrastructure to inform you when upgrades are taking place in your area and when the superfast service goes live.

Please follow the link below and complete both parts of the form so that we can make sure that we have the correct information for you and can match your response to your existing entry on the database. Your details will not be sent on to any third parties. You can register here: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/contact-us/register-for-more-information

Local briefing events

These have been going very well. The events in Rugby, Warwick and Stratford were well attended and the questioning was robust! These events have a two-way benefit. Attendees get to find out more about the CSW Broadband rollout, about broadband in general and about the Broadband Connection Vouchers Scheme. They also get to ask questions about their specific area. For our part, we learn more about the questions and concerns that people have and this helps to build our understanding so that we can get the right information to you. We’ll be using some of the questions that were raised in the Q&A section of this and future newsletters and on the website.

The last event in the current series will be held in Atherstone on Wednesday 8th July at 6:30-9pm. The venue is North Warwickshire Borough Council (CV9 1DE). All are welcome, so if you couldn’t get to one of the earlier events please feel free to come to this one.

Go to our Eventbrite page to book: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/csw-broadband-3997770867

Connection Vouchers take off in Warwickshire

Since the launch of the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme in Warwickshire on 30th March we now have the first set of figures. During April:

  • 74 Applications were received
  • 65 Applications have so far been approved
  • The total value of vouchers approved £19,513

This scheme is clearly proving to be very popular. If you are a business, charity or other eligible organisation (even if you operate from home) then you could claim up to £3,000 towards the cost of your connections. Even if the fibre network hasn’t reached you yet, there may be other technologies that could be used. For more information about the scheme in Coventry or Warwickshire visit: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/broadband-connection-voucher-scheme

Identity theft on the increase

A report on the BBC website states that identity theft is on the increase. This is where criminals harvest your personal information to impersonate you or to create a fake identity. The first you may know about it is when your credit card shows purchases that you know nothing about – or when debt collection agencies start chasing you for bills that you know nothing about. The BBC report gives real-life examples of where this has happened, and some sensible advice to protect yourself. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32890979

Five essential online security tips

Following on from the report above, Which? Have produced an excellent guide to keeping safe online. We all use the Internet, and increasingly we are submitting more personal information to websites, or storing it on our hard drives – not to mention online banking and other transactions. As service providers look to save costs by moving more of their products online, and we look to save time (and travel expenses) by doing more from our own keyboards, it is important to follow a few simple steps to maintain your security. The Which? Report contains 5 simple steps that we should all be using:

http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/computing-helpdesk/five-essential-online-security-tips/?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=Member_Newsletter_300515

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: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/downloads-resources/copy-to-use-on-your-own-website-newsletters-or-flyers

Questions and Answers

These are some of the Q&As raised at the local briefing events – we’ll bring you more next month. Also, look out for the special Q&A newsletter in August.

I haven’t changed my broadband package, but since the local cabinet was upgraded to fibre my connection has deteriorated – why is this?

When the new fibre cabinet is installed, the fibre spine brings superfast broadband to that cabinet. However, the copper lines connected to the existing cabinet are still used for the “last mile” between the old cabinet and the premise. Unfortunately, copper connections are very susceptible to electromagnetic interference, this is known as crosstalk. This particularly occurs when copper lines are in close proximity to each other, for instance in the multicore cables connecting a group of premises to the original copper cabinet.

When a cabinet is upgraded to fibre, the change in modulation introduced by the new technology may create more crosstalk and this can occasionally result in a slow-down in broadband connections.

BT are trialling solutions to this problem for the new technology and this solution may improve existing connections. We hope to see this implemented in our area in the future. If you are interested in the technical side of this, you may be interested in this article: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6811-openreach-vectoring-trial-to-expand-to-100-cabinets.html

Wouldn’t it make more sense to upgrade all cabinets connected to an exchange?

This is not as straightforward as it may appear. Not all cabinets are due for upgrade during Contract 1, or even under Contract 2 Part 1. This may be because some are harder to reach than others, or because they do not score highly on our benefits index. This 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 cabinets off a single exchange will be upgraded at the same time.

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 sue it for taking the children to school, to do their shopping or to take their rubbish to the tip!

How can we get our village to the top of the list for Contract 2, Part 1?

Unfortunately there is no “magic bullet” that will propel you to the top of any list – as the list does not exist! The areas to be investigated under Contract 2, Part 1 are as shown on the map but we do not yet have a programme. We are currently working with BT to bring forward the start of Contract 2 and the rollout will be determined by engineering logic and the best use of resources. We hope to be able to provide more information in the next few months.

In the meantime, the best thing is to register for more information through our website. We will send you our e-newsletter, which comes out once a month and contains project updates, information about local meetings and events, broadband news, FAQs, competitions and more. By providing us with your landline number and address we can also send specific information as we learn more about what is happening in your area. You can register here: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/contact-us/register-for-more-information/

Many more frequently asked broadband questions can be found on our website at: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/faq

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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