Newsletter — September 2013

Topics in this edition:

  • What’s happening?
  • New website launched
  • New maps and graphs on website
  • Champions required in many areas – particularly around Solihull
  • New literature being prepared

What’s happening?

Not surprisingly this is the question that we are asked most often. It may appear that since the contract signing everything has gone quiet, but that is far from the case. In fact we currently likened the project to a swan – nothing much happening on the surface, but paddling like mad under the surface.

Since the signing we have been working with BT to base lining the areas. For BT this has meant carrying out a strategic CURE process. If you think of the copper telephone service, it has evolved over an extended period of time – in fact since 1878. In the first instance telephones were installed mainly in a few large houses, so the copper wires were installed specifically to those properties often covering very long distances. As more subscribers came on board additional copper was installed, sometimes to new exchanges. As towns and villages grew and even more connections were required new infrastructure (including small local exchanges) were put in place and so the system grew. That means that we now have a situation where properties within the same villages may be connected to any number of different distribution points. For voice services this didn’t matter, but data transmission degrades quickly over copper so distance is important. Therefore, as part of designing the new network BT are looking at all of the existing copper installations to see where improvements can be made so as to provide the shortest copper routings and the best data transmission, whilst not disrupting existing telephone services. Hence a strategic CuRE – Cu (chemical symbol for copper) Re-Alignment.

Once this work is complete and other planning work has taken place we will be in a position to announce the first phase of work as part of a 12-month rolling programme that will be updated quarterly. The first announcements should come around the end of the year.

New website launched

Our new website has been launched. The first thing you will notice is the redesigned front page which will make it much easier to find key information. We also have new sections, for instance an events page that will include any events that we have planned, plus relevant events that are submitted by other organisers. If you have an event that you wold like us to consider for inclusion please visit

New maps and graphs on website

The maps and graphs on the website have been updated to indicate the additional areas that are currently under investigation for the installation of NGA (Next Generation Access). NGA effectively means fibre in the ground. We can’t guarantee that superfast will be achievable from day one in all NGA area as delivery will depend largely on geography, topography and (as explained above) the existing infrastructure. However, our aim is to get the fibre network as far as possible and as technological improvements are constantly being made faster download speeds can be achieved over greater distance across the copper network. Therefore once fibre is installed, the equipment that is attached to it can be upgraded as improvements become available and reduce in cost, but the expensive part is getting the fibre installed in the first place.

Champions required in many areas – particularly around Solihull

We currently have a network of over 200 business and community Local Broadband Champions. These are people who may not have a technical expertise (in fact, no specialised knowledge is required) but are keen to help maximise the opportunities to bring faster broadband to their area. The role involves making others aware of the CSW Broadband project, and encouraging them to complete our surveys. We will provide posters, flyers and other materials, plus a comprehensive guide to getting your local community engaged with the project.

Because Solihull originally had a low area of coverage we have few champions in those parishes and communities. However, there is now to be significant intervention in the Solihull area and we urgently need Champions. To find out more please visit

New literature being prepared

We are currently preparing new literature for distribution through our Champions network and we hope to reach all households and businesses. The literature will give an overview of where we currently are and explain how we will move forward. This will be especially useful for those who cannot easily access the website – in other words those who are most in need of support from our project. If you are able to help with deliveries please email

Questions and Answers

How do I learn more about how the network will be rolled out?

Take a look at our video on the website:

When will you be able to tell me what is happening in my area?

We expect to be able to make the first announcements towards the turn of the year. In the meantime we do have an indicative map on our website but this is at high level only as it will be subject to change until announcements are made.

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found 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

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