Newsletter — November 2017

Over 59,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Have you checked lately?
  • Is your property an unknown?
  • Chamber ICT Business Support
  • Improve your WiFi router performance
  • Parish-level mapping for parish council websites
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Have you checked lately?

Have you checked lately to see if superfast broadband is available to you yet? When new infrastructure goes live we try to inform people that they can now order a service form a choice of providers.

However, we can’t always do this. Maybe we don’t have your full details so haven’t been able to connect your record to a particular structure, or it could be that you were previously on a long line, an exchange only line, or are in an area where we have carried out an FTTP (fibre to the premise) intervention.

In these cases, we try to determine who will benefit from the new service, but because of the way in which telecoms infrastructure works this is not an exact science. So, it’s worth checking just to see if your status has changed.

The best way to see if you have a live service yet is to use the BT DSL checker. It will tell you when your line is ready to accept orders. To use the checker, either enter a BT landline telephone number (including area code) or your address (you need to click the link below the number box).

Please do not use the postcode checker as it is not accurate enough to be of any help! If you need it, our handy ‘How to use the BT Line Checker’ guide will help you to make sense of the DSL Checker results.

Don’t forget that you will need to upgrade to a superfast broadband package through your chosen ISP. The access is on a wholesale basis, which means that many ISPs can use the infrastructure to provide their services.

If you are not yet able to receive a superfast service, and are not sure if we have your full contact details (for a lot of records we have only an email address), please re-register through our online system.

Is your property an unknown?

Some properties on our map have an orange triangle on them, indicating that they are unknown, but what does that actually mean? In some cases, the information held by the infrastructure providers is incomplete or not up to date, and premises may be shown as unknown.

These are often (but not exclusively) properties that were under construction at the time that the underlying map was created by Ordnance Survey. We are working to address these anomalies. If your property has an orange triangle on it please contact us at broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

Chamber ICT Business Support

Coventry​ ​and​ ​Warwickshire​ ​Chamber​ ​of​ ​Commerce​ ​has​ ​launched​ ​its​ ​new​ ​ICT​ ​Business Support​ ​service, ​ ​funded​ ​through​ ​European​ ​Regional​ ​Development​ ​Funding​ ​and​ ​working​ ​in partnership​ ​with​ ​CSW Broadband.​ ​

The​ ​Chamber​ ​will​ ​be​ ​providing​ ​a​ ​package​ ​of ICT​ ​support​ ​for​ ​SMEs​ (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) ​across​ ​Coventry​ ​and​ ​Warwickshire​ ​that​ ​includes​ ​specialist​ ​1:1​ ​advice, a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​masterclasses​ ​and​ ​workshops,​ ​and​ ​funding​ ​towards​ ​implementing​ ​Superfast Broadband.​

​SMEs​ ​across​ ​Coventry​ ​and​ ​Warwickshire​ ​can​ ​access​ ​a​ ​complete​ ​end-to-end service,​ ​aimed​ ​at​ ​businesses​ ​that​ ​are​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​effect​ ​transformational​ ​change​ ​through​ ​the use​ ​of​ ​technology​ ​and​ ​faster​ ​connectivity.

The​ ​specialist​ ​team​ ​will​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​support​ ​on​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​ICT​ ​issues,​ ​including accessing​ ​“the​ ​cloud”,​ ​optimising​ ​your​ ​digital​ ​media​ ​and​ ​keeping​ ​yourself​ ​safe​ ​online. You​ ​may​ ​be​ ​struggling​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​which​ ​technologies​ ​are​ ​available,​ ​or​ ​just​ ​getting​ ​to grips​ ​with​ ​​ ​the​ ​jargon​ ​within​ ​the​ ​industry.​

The Chamber’s​ ​specialist​ ​advisors​ ​can​ ​explain​ ​the​ ​benefits​ ​of new​ ​technologies​ ​and​ ​ support​ ​businesses​ ​to​ ​take​ ​up superfast​ ​broadband​ ​by​ ​reducing​ ​the​ ​cost-barrier. The aim is to​ ​enable transformational​ ​change​ ​by​ ​assisting​ ​businesses​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​right​ ​choices​ ​for​ ​their business.

To​ ​help​ ​with​ ​this,​ ​a​ ​Connection​ ​Voucher​ ​is​ ​available​ ​that​ ​will​ ​offer​ ​match-funded​ ​grants​ ​to help​ ​the​ ​SME​ ​to​ ​actually​ ​implement​ ​the​ ​change​ ​and​ ​to​ ​take​ ​advantage​ ​of​ ​the​ ​new technologies.​ ​

The​ ​voucher​ ​is to​ ​be​ ​used​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​a​ ​complete​ ​end-to-end​ ​solution, including: a​ ​Superfast​ ​connection​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Internet; Networking​ ​within​ ​the​ ​business,​ ​either​ ​wireless​ ​or​ ​cabled,​ ​as​ ​appropriate; Equipment​ ​and​ ​software​ ​to​ ​implement​ ​transformational​ ​business.

Masterclasses​ ​–​ ​coming​ ​soon​ ​in​ ​2018. The Chamber​ ​will​ ​deliver​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​workshops​ ​and​ ​masterclasses​ ​on​ ​topics​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Social​ ​Media, Online​ ​Marketing,​ ​Staying​ ​Safe​ ​Online​ ​and​ ​the​ ​impact​ ​​Superfast​ ​Broadband​ ​connectivity can​ ​have​ ​on​ ​your​ ​businesses​ ​productivity​ ​and​ ​efficiency. To​ ​find​ ​out​ ​more​ ​please​ ​call​ ​Coventry​ ​and​ ​Warwickshire​ ​Chamber​ ​on​ ​02476​ ​654​ ​321​ ​to speak​ ​with​ ​an​ ​advisor​ ​today.

Improve your WiFi router performance

So many of us rely on wireless routers these days but are you getting the best performance from your equipment? Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to in-property broadband speeds. Try these handy hints:

  • Find the best place to put your router. You may not want to have it on show, but your router does need a clear path around your home. Try putting it onto a high shelf to make sure that nothing gets in the way. Also check that the antennae (if there are any) are fully extended, with one vertical one horizontal if there are two of them
  • Get rid of interference. All electrical equipment emits interference, with some items being more problematic than others. Cordless phones, baby monitors and microwaves are among the worst culprits. Position your router away from these items, and consider purchasing, or asking your ISP for, a dual-band router that will use a wider range of frequencies
  • Consider using a booster. If you can’t move your router then a booster may be the answer. These inexpensive gadgets can be placed around the house to improve your WiFi signal. Check that the router and the booster are compatible before buying!
  • For those who are more technically proficient, there are firmware upgrades that you can carry out to improve your router’s performance. Google for information relating to your specific router.
  • Upgrade your router. Technology moves on, and you may find that this is the only way to improve performance. If your ISP will issue a new router then go for it. If you have to buy a new router then you could be looking at an expensive upgrade, so check comparison sites and technology reviews carefully.

Parish-level mapping for parish council websites

Our data team are looking at future improvements to the website. One of the features that is being considered is the provision of mapping, together with suitable text, which can be placed straight onto parish council websites.

The advantage is that this would take people straight to the area that they are likely to be interested in, and the underlying data would be maintained by the CSW Broadband team so that it would always be up to date.

Do you maintain a parish council website? Would you be interested in including this facility in your site? If so, please drop us an email to: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

What would help you, as a parish council, to keep your residents informed about the broadband rollout?

Please drop us an email to broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk, and we’ll develop a plan that incorporates as many of the suggestions as possible.

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.

There is no symbol on my property, what does that mean?

This means that superfast broadband may be available to you now. This would be either through the earlier CSW Broadband rollout or through commercial providers who have disclosed that it is planned to be covered by the end of 2019.

Because the latter information is provided to us in commercial confidence, we are unfortunately not able to state which provider has said that they will go to a particular area.

To find out if Superfast broadband is already available at your property, you can use either the BT or Virgin line checkers to see if one of these companies is providing a service now. The How to use the BT DSL Line checker page on our website contains a handy guide to interpreting the results of the BT checker.

We do not have checkers for independent providers, so you may have to ask around locally.

If broadband is not yet available, it should be by the end of 2019. To see whether you are in the CSW Broadband programme you should first check our interactive map. We regret that we have no information about commercial providers’ rollout plans.

My property has a Purple Star on it, what does that mean?

Work is underway in this area as part of Contract 2. You can find a list of the work that is being undertaken on our Rolling 12-Month Plan. Work is carried out in Waves.

Waves start at 3-monthly intervals and each Wave could take approximately 12 months to complete once it enters the build stage, meaning that there will be more than one Wave running at any time.

It should be noted that Contract 2 data is supplied to us at postcode level only. Therefore, the purple star is our best estimate of which properties will benefit from the current rollout.

As we always make clear, there is a lot of surveying and other work to take place, so until the service has gone live at a particular property it is not possible to say with any degree of certainty what speeds will actually be achieved, since there are so many variables.

The rolling 12-month plan may indicate that a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) upgrade is to take place in your area. Please use the BT DSL checker to establish which cabinet your property is connected to.

For the best results you will need to be able to enter a BT landline number for your property. If you do not have this then you can use your address, but it may be less accurate. Do not use the BT postcode checker as that covers too wide an area to be of any use.

You can then check the specific cabinet on our Rolling 12-Month Plan. The How to use the BT DSL Line checker page on our website contains a handy guide to interpreting the results of the BT checker.

If your upgrade is shown on the Rolling 12-Month Plan as Exchange Only (EO) or Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) then there is no cabinet to upgrade and it will not be until the service actually goes live that you can use the BT DSL checker to see if you will benefit from this work.

My property has a Blue Star on it, what does that mean?

Your property is in an area that is currently under investigation for Contract 2. This is all subject to survey and there is a lot of work still to do before we can give details of when the rollout will actually occur in every area.

The rollout commenced in early 2016 and will continue until 2019. However, we are working to accelerate this and over the next few months will be working closely with BT to ensure that we gain maximum efficiencies from the programming. This approach has borne fruit with Contract 1.

The work is being announced in Waves, with new Waves coming on-stream every 3 months. Each Wave may take up to 12 months to build, so that several Waves will be running at any time.

Mapping the coverage is difficult. It should be noted that Contract 2 data is supplied to us at postcode level only, but telecoms infrastructure does not follow postcodes. In fact, as the surveys progress we are finding that we have some postcodes that are served by a number of different cabinets, and some cabinets that serve properties in more than one postcode.

When you factor in the fact that some properties may be served by exchanges or cabinets that are several miles away, you can see the difficulties!

As we move further into the programme, we are seeing the introduction of different technologies such as FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) and also more Exchange Only lines which use new infrastructure rather than an existing cabinet.

Due to the complex nature of the work and the different technologies that are involved, it is therefore impossible to say with any degree of certainty, which specific properties will be able to connect to the new service or what speeds a particular property might be able to achieve until the service has actually gone live.

By registering through our website and providing us with the information we need, we can contact you once the work has been completed and the service is live and ready for you to order from a selection of Internet Service Providers.

My property has a Yellow Star on it, what does that mean?

These properties are currently under investigation for Contract 3. The actual rollout will commence in 2018 and will be completed by the end of 2019.

Until full investigations have been carried out, we cannot give further information about Contract 3 upgrades, however work will be announced in Waves, with each Wave taking up to 12 months to complete.

As we move further into the programme, we are seeing the introduction of different technologies such as FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) and also more Exchange Only lines which use new infrastructure rather than an existing cabinet.

Due to the complex nature of the work and the different technologies that are involved, it is therefore impossible to say with any degree of certainty, which specific properties will be able to connect to the new service or what speeds a particular property might be able to achieve until the service has actually gone live.

By registering through our website and providing us with the information we need, we can contact you once the work has been completed and the service is live and ready for you to order from a selection of Internet Service Providers.

My property has a Purple Pentagon on it, what does this mean?

Prior to going out to tender for Contract 3 we carried out an Open Market Review, under which all commercial providers were asked to state where they would be providing superfast broadband coverage by the end of 2019.

Purple pentagons on the map represent properties in areas where an independent provider has previously said that they would provide coverage, but they may not have done so yet. Under State Aid rules our project is not allowed to intervene in these areas.

We will be reviewing Under Review areas on an annual basis to establish if the work is likely to be carried out. If the supplier is unlikely to be able to complete the work then the area would be eligible for consideration for future interventions under this project, should additional funding become available.

We are continually actively seeking additional funding.

My property has a Red Pentagon on it, what does that mean?

Your property is in an area that is awaiting further funding. We are doing all that we can to bring in additional funding to take the network further.

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, 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 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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