Project Update June 2016 — Wave 3 Announced!

293 cabinets live to date

Over 50,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Wave 3 announced
  • Over 50,000 premises now able to connect to the fibre network
  • Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) now coming on-stream
  • Cabinets at capacity
  • Are you a wireless or satellite provider covering Coventry, Warwickshire or Solihull?
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Wave 3 announced

Wave 3 of the CSW Broadband rollout has now been announced, and the map on the website has been updated accordingly.

Thousands more households and businesses in some of the most rural parts of Warwickshire will be able to access faster fibre broadband for the first time in the coming weeks, and areas of Willoughby, Flecknoe, Meon Vale, Rowington and Stretton-Under-Fosse will be among the latest communities to benefit.

Additional parts of Southam, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Wellesbourne will also be upgraded from this summer.

Some of our more remote areas now being connected to the fibre network and we are bringing superfast services to areas that would never have been connected without the intervention of the CSW Broadband project.

This is a huge engineering programme, which is progressing extremely well. We’re using a mixture of technologies in this part of the CSW Broadband roll-out and most properties covered will see a significant increase in their broadband download and upload speeds.

Due to the complexities of the network, especially in the more rural parts of the county where many properties are not connected to the main communications network in the normal way, some households will not know if they are going to be included in this part of the roll-out until after their area has gone ‘live’, therefore it really is important that people register to receive updates. We do need your details so that we can let you know when you can benefit from the faster broadband services. It’s easy to register for updates at

Upgrading to fibre broadband does not happen automatically. It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the network is being installed by Openreach it is ‘open’, so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a choice of fibre broadband service providers, with more than 140 now operating in the UK.

Over 50,000 premises now able to connect to the fibre network

CSW Broadband has hit a major landmark, with over 50,000 premises now able to connect to the new fibre network! This is quite an achievement, given that it is just over two years since the first cabinet went live!

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) now coming on-stream

We are now starting to see our first Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) solutions being rolled out. The standard solution is Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). The existing copper telephone network is, in most cases, delivered by taking copper out to a roadside cabinet (PCP) and then splitting the wiring to take it to individual properties. This has worked fine for voice transmission for many years. However, now that we all want to connect to the Internet at ever-faster speeds, a new solution had to be found because Internet speeds decrease rapidly over lengths of copper.

FTTC involves putting a new cabinet (DSLAM) as close as possible to the existing copper cabinet. The DSLAM also needs power as we are, effectively, taking the exchange out to the local community. The DSLAM is fed with fibre and then only the final part of the delivery is over the copper telephone network, meaning that the achievable speeds are much higher.

In some areas, there is no copper cabinet so other solutions have to be found. Sometimes there is a local exchange, so we can still employ a cabinet solution but have to install both a PCP and a DSLAM.

In a few areas there is no aggregation point and the existing copper wiring runs off in all directions, or there are other reasons why a cabinet solution will not do the job. In these cases we are starting to see Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) being deployed. This means that instead of the final delivery being over the copper network, the fibre is taken to a central point and then run directly to each property when the service is ordered.

The advantage of this service for the user is that speeds of up to 300 Mbps can be achieved. The disadvantages are that there are fewer ISPs offering this service at present, so the costs of the service tend to be higher. If you are in an FTTP area you may have to shop around.

From the CSW Broadband point of view, we don’t know until the FTTP service goes live exactly which properties will be able to benefit, so we can’t let people know that it is coming. Also, the installations costs are considerably higher than for a cabinet-fed solution.

FTTP is not appropriate in every location. We need to be mindful of the costs of installation and under the contract there is a cost cap per premise, so FTTP can only be used where this cost cap will not be breached. Also, whilst we could connect a few communities using FTTP, we can connect a lot more and get the overall fibre network much further by using cabinet technologies. Since the over-riding principle of the project is to take the fibre as far as possible, FTTP will only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Finally, FTTP should not be confused with Fibre on Demand (FoD), which BT announced some time ago in parts of Leamington, Southam and Kenilworth. This service is outside the remit of our project, so if you live in one of these areas you and want to find out about this, you should go to BT or your ISP to find out more.

Unless you live in an area that is to be covered by Fibre to the Premise, or Fibre on Demand, then the only other way to get fibre right to your door is to buy a commercial Private Leased Line, however the installation costs can run into tens of thousands of £s, and the ongoing rental costs are considerably higher than for other services.

Cabinets at capacity

Take-up of superfast broadband services in the CSW Broadband project area is currently the 7th highest in the country. During the first quarter of the year we also showed the highest increase in take-up of the BDUK projects. However, rapid take-up does present one problem, namely cabinets filling up and a delay before additional capacity can be made available.

The role of the CSW Broadband project is to install the fibre network, and once the service goes live it is handed over to BT Openreach who maintain and operate the network, and they also sell access to it to all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) through BT Wholesale. BT Openreach do actively monitor cabinets, and when they see that one is reaching capacity then it will be scheduled in for upgrade.

BT aim to provide extra capacity as soon as possible for those parts of the network where they are experiencing high levels of demand, however catering for additional demand in an area can take time to plan and BT 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.

Once a cabinet is full, the ISPs are told that this is the case. Currently only one ISP (Plusnet) allows customers to join a waiting list at this point. The other ISPs, including the large ones, do not allow customers to join a list. Openreach are actively encouraging ISPs to adopt a customer waiting list and it is anticipated that more ISPs will adopt this approach within the coming months, thereby enabling replenishment activity to prioritise cabinets with greater numbers of waiting customers.

However, at this stage, all Openreach has visibility of is that the existing capacity is fully utilised. It does not know how many potential customers are waiting, if any.

Therefore, if you know that your cabinet is at capacity please let us know. BDUK have advised that Openreach are willing to receive this information from local projects, and use it to prioritise replenishment works. Please email us with your property details and landline number, and the cabinet to which you are attached.

We will continue to monitor this situation.

Are you a wireless or satellite provider covering Coventry, Warwickshire or Solihull, or do you know of one?

Are you a wireless or satellite provider covering Coventry, Warwickshire or Solihull, or do you know of one?

BDUK have agreed to extend the Better Broadband Scheme to include other technologies. The Government gave a commitment that speeds of a minimum speed of 2Mbps would be available to all properties by 2016. In order to achieve this a voucher scheme was introduced that offers up to £350 off the cost of installation for a satellite service, with the rental and ongoing costs falling to the user.

This scheme is now being extended to wireless and other technologies, so if you are a provider of these services and would like to be included in the scheme Please send us your details by using the supplier registration form on our website:

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 website has an updated set of Q&As.

So once my new cabinet is in place does that mean I can get superfast broadband?

Not immediately. Standing the cabinet is only a very small part of the process to bring superfast broadband to our communities. Once the cabinet has been stood it needs a power supply, and this entails a different contractor who will probably work to different timescales. It will also require a connection to the existing cabinet. By far the biggest job – or at least the one with the highest number of variables and potential pitfalls is the fibre connection back to the exchange. There are often problems with blocked or broken ducting, tree roots and other issues to overcome before the fibre can actually be connected through. Once the fibre is in place it has to be connected to the main spines and tested before the new service is ready to accept orders.

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:

What sort of broadband speeds can I realistically expect if I’m able to get fibre under the project?

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connection speeds will vary depending on a number of factors but could reach up to 80Mbps. Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) connections – where these are available – are all capable of 330Mbps but your service provider may offer a range of packages to suit different needs. Factors impacting the final speed attained at a particular premise connected by FTTC include the distance from the street cabinet, the geography, and the wiring within your home or business.

You said I would get 2Mbps but whenever I check my speed it is lower than this – why?

This could be because you are in an area where we haven’t carried out any work yet. Also, speeds within premises are affected by a variety of factors including internal wiring, the age of your computer, the type of router you use and the number of applications you are running. We do have advice on our website about things that you can do to improve your broadband speeds

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.

Under Contract 1 BDUK has committed to make available over 2Mbps to all properties by 2016. This is through a subsidy scheme that will cover the costs of satellite installation. Rental and ongoing costs will fall to the user. For more information on this scheme visit:

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:

This entry was posted in Project News, Newsletter Archive. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.