Newsletter — June 2020

Over 72,500 properties now able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • More Contract 3 builds announced
  • CSW Project updates – Contract 3
  • BT re-launch their Broadband Availability Checker
  • BroadbandUK first to launch property-specific broadband providers comparison service
  • Case studies needed – Tell us your story!
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

More Contract 3 builds announced

Over the last few months, CSW Broadband has given the go-ahead for many 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 that we have approved include parts of the Alderman’s Green, Bascote & Bascote Heath, Bodymoor Heath, Binley, Bubbenhall, Clifton on Dunsmore, Copt Green, Dunchurch, Exhall, Fenny Compton, Galley Common, Hartshill, Kemps Green, Ladbroke, Lapworth, Monks Kirby, Oldberrow, Offchurch, Piccadilly, Pinley Green, Tidmington, Walsgrave on Sowe and Watergall areas.

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 Project updates – Contract 3

Despite the difficulties associated with the lock down restrictions, another 28 Contract 3 structures have gone live since our last newsletter was sent out at the end of March. Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:

Alderman’s Green, Avon Dassett, Bascote, Bascote Heath, Balsall Common, Clarkes Green, Clifton upon Dunsmore, Coleshill, Earlswood, Hockley Heath, Norton Lindsey, Outhill, Polesworth, Pinley Green, Ratley, Stockton, Temple Balsall, Tidmington, Whatcote and Woolscott.

Over 72,500 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, BroadbandProviders or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.

If your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Ordering an FTTP service webpage provides you with all the information you need.

BT re-launch their Broadband Availability Checker

BT have made a number of changes to their BT Broadband Availability Checker – the online tool where you can check on your property’s superfast status by entering your landline or your address.

The main change is that before you can check on the status of your property you now have to enter a Captcha code before the results for your enquiry can be displayed. A Captcha is basically a computer program that is designed to protect websites against Bots by automatically telling humans and computers apart. This is done by manually entering the Captcha code.

If you have a BT landline, simply enter your landline number (without any gaps), enter the Captcha code provided and click ‘Submit’ to get the results.

If you are using the Address Checker, click on the Address Checker link, then click ‘Proceed’. Rather than entering your whole address, simply enter your postcode in the Postcode field and the Captcha code, click ‘Submit’ then select your property from the drop-down list and click ‘Submit’ again.

Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results and has been updated to reflect these recent changes.

For those of you who may distribute a printed version of this article / newsletter, the new BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage address is: https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/

BroadbandUK first to launch property-specific broadband providers comparison service

BroadbandUK has become the first broadband comparison company in the UK to have successfully launched an address-level accurate broadband price comparison service with its new BroadbandProviders.co.uk website.

Consumers can now search for broadband providers and packages by exact address. Previously, they were only able to search by postcode which led to frustration when results displayed were not available and sometimes vice versa i.e. available deals were not displayed.

Furthermore, advertised speeds have been traditionally based on download speeds available to at least 50% of customers at peak time and described as ‘average’ rather than the actual speed available to a customer.

BroadbandUK has collaborated with the UK’s telecoms industry regulator Ofcom, the largest infrastructure provider Openreach and major CPs (communication providers) to integrate multiple datasets into their service.

The system utilises Openreach’s rich data which specifies details of the infrastructure available such as ADSL, FTTC, FTTP; new technologies like G.fast and SOGEA; distance from the exchange; and many other attributes of their network.

The information provides valuable detail enabling BroadbandUK’s algorithm to intelligently filter out to only show the available speed offerings applicable to each property.

The new concept for the first time eliminates the errors that historically have been prevalent in the industry. Misinformation can currently happen at the postcode level, where for example cable is only available on one side of the road and not the other.

BroadbandUK has also integrated its fastest-growing UK based Broadband Speed Test site with its sister-site BroadbandProviders.co.uk which should create a powerful platform to promote broadband products and services to the nation.

Case studies needed – Tell us your story!

If faster broadband has made a real difference to your life or business, why not tell us about it by submitting a case study.

We regularly appeal for case studies but sadly very few people respond. Submitting a case study is really helpful for us when we are applying for additional funding to help us take the fibre network even further – to help those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of faster broadband.

All we need is a few lines telling us of the difficulties you experienced before you had superfast broadband and how life has improved since your property was upgraded.

Submitting a case study is also a great way of gaining some free publicity to promote your company if you are a business owner. So, if you would like to help us help others, why not submit a case study today!

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.

Once the upgrade is complete, will I automatically get a faster service?

No. To take advantage of the faster speeds, you must order an improved broadband package through your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is what we suggest you do.

First of all, enter your landline or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker.

If superfast is available, either ‘VDSL Range A & B’ (for an FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet upgrade) or ‘WBC FTTP’ (for a Fibre to the Premise upgrade) will be listed under ‘Featured Products’ with the speeds you are likely to achieve.

Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of these results.

We then suggest that you use an impartial comparison site (such as those listed below) to find and order an improved (faster) package, which meets your usage needs and requirements:

If you have benefited from an FTTP upgrade, the ordering process is slightly different. Our Ordering an FTTP service webpage provides you with all the information you need, including a list of ISPs who state that they offer residential and / or business packages in all or parts of the CSW region and information on the installation process.

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 1000Mbps.

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 tend 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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