Newsletter — October 2014

Topics in this edition:

  • Too far from the upgraded cabinet? Try Unlimited Faster Broadband
  • 2Mbps or superfast in white areas?
  • Ofcom guidance for businesses looking to buy a broadband package
  • Events on website
  • Questions and Answers

Too far from the upgraded cabinet? Try Unlimited Faster Broadband

Upgrading a cabinet may not solve the broadband speed problems of everyone that is attached to that cabinet. When a new cabinet is installed to bring superfast broadband to a village, it is connected with fibre back to the exchange or other point. The new cabinet is then connected to the existing copper cabinet and the final delivery of the broadband is made through the existing copper (or aluminium) network. However, broadband speeds decrease significantly over copper (or aluminium) cabling, and are considered to be effective only up to about 1km from the cabinet. Of course, there are exceptions to this, and some properties a little further away may achieve excellent speeds whilst others quite close to the cabinet may experience difficulties.

The CSW Broadband project aims to bring superfast speeds to as many properties as possible, but if you are connected to a long copper line or have other issues then that is not always possible. BT has now brought out a new product called Unlimited Faster Broadband, which aims to bring speeds of 2-15Mbps to those who are connected to the fibre network but are unable to achieve superfast speeds. This will be a useful stop-gap for many people until they are able to achieve full superfast speeds. For more information visit:

Have you applied for Unlimited Faster Broadband? Are you currently using it? Tell us about your experiences – we’d love to hear from you.

2Mbps or superfast in white areas?

Our current contract aims to bring superfast broadband to over 40,000 properties (over and above the commercial rollout) across our area. This will make a real difference to communities and to businesses and individuals. However, there are a number of areas that will be unlikely to benefit from superfast broadband under the current contract. This is simply because the cost of reaching every property within our project area is too high and so we are actively seeking additional funding to take the fibre network even further.

Under the terms of the current contract, areas that are shaded white on our map are due to achieve speeds of at least 2Mbps by spring 2016. However, we are currently out to tender for additional coverage using the £8.12m guaranteed funding that we currently have. This is comprised of £4.06m from BDUK, £3.68m from Warwickshire County Council, and £380k from Solihull MBC. We also have a further £5.62m BDUK funding for which we are seeking match funding.

As the BDUK money has to be spent by the end of 2017, it would be a waste of money to upgrade areas to 2Mbps under the first contact, and then to come along a few months later to upgrade again to superfast speeds under the second contract. Therefore, once we know which areas are to be covered at superfast speeds under the second contract, these will be coloured in accordance with which phases they are in, and will go straight to superfast.

We expect to have the initial coverage under the second contract by spring 2015, and both contracts will run simultaneously so as to achieve some very challenging deadlines.

Ofcom guidance for businesses looking to buy a broadband package

Ofcom has outlined its programme of work designed to enable small businesses to get the best out of communications services in the UK.

Ofcom is undertaking a range of work to ensure that the market is delivering for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – typically of up to 249 employees.

The first part of Ofcom’s SME Plan is a ‘contract checklist’ for business consumers. This guide offers advice on what businesses should look out for when taking out a new landline phone, broadband or mobile phone contract.

Events on our website

We have an events section on our website that contains information about a range of events that are held by our project partners. They are mainly on topics such as using social media, or internet marketing and are held at locations around the area. Some are free, but others are charged by the providers.

Best to check this section out regularly:

It is also easily accessible from the link at the bottom right of the website homepage where there is also an easy to view listing of the next few events.

Questions and Answers

How will I know when my cabinet has gone live?

The best way to see if your cabinet is live yet is to use the BT checker: .  It will tell you when your cabinet is ready to accept orders. The access is on a wholesale basis, which means that any ISP can use the infrastructure to provide their services. It works best if you can enter a BT landline number for your property, or alternatively use the address option. Don’t use the postcode checker as it covers too wide an area to be of any meaningful use. Don’t forget that you will need to check out broadband packages carefully to get the one that is right for you. For impartial advice go to:

We have leaflets that can be distributed to every property connected to the upgraded cabinets. If you would be prepared to help with this please complete the Community Champions form on our website:

My cabinet has gone live but my chosen provider is not offering a service in my area — why?

We are installing a wholesale fibre network and there will be a wide choice of providers. The decision as to whether to offer a service is a purely commercial one that each provider will take. We cannot influence this, but, if you were to run a local campaign to encourage people to register their interest with a particular provider, that might help your case. We are unable to get involved in influencing providers’ commercial decisions.

What are you doing about getting additional funding?

The Government has announced additional funds of £3.68m to take superfast broadband coverage up to 95% (our current project will achieve 91%) and Warwickshire County Council has agreed to match this amount. In addition, we have been offered a further £6m by BDUK and we are talking to partners about the potential for them to contribute match funds towards this. We have also made a submission through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership European Structural Investment Funds Strategy. Unfortunately, the timing of any allocation from EU funds is unlikely to meet the deadline by which we must apply for the government funding, so we are actively investigating any and all other funding sources.

Many more frequently asked broadband questions can be found on our website at:

Send this email on to all your contacts! We need to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Please send this email to your contacts and encourage them to send it further. It’s probably best to remove the contact details above our logo at the top of the email otherwise it could get to be a very long string before the email itself appears!

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.