Newsletter – September 2020

Nearly 73,000 properties now able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • CSW Project updates – Contract 3
  • CSW Project updates – LFFN programme
  • Openreach to extend Full Fibre network into Stratford
  • Cyber-crime skyrockets during lockdown – Top tips on how to stay safe
  • Case studies needed – Tell us your story!
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

CSW Project updates – Contract 3

Since our last newsletter went out at the end of June, another 21 Contract 3 structures have gone live. The communities benefiting from these most recent upgrades include parts of:

Ansty, Arley, Berkswell, Brinklow, Claverdon, Fillongley, Frankton, Keresley End, Knowle, Ladbroke, Lapworth, Lowsonford, Monks Kirby, Morton Bagot, Napton on the Hill, Shustoke and Stoneleigh.

As a result of this, nearly 73,000 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 try and 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.

CSW Project updates – LFFN Programme

As mentioned previously, The Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme is designed to stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks in both rural and urban locations across the whole of the UK.

CSW is using the £5.7 million we were awarded, in line with Government requirements, to bring full fibre gigabit connectivity to around 300 public sector buildings across the region.

Our work on this project is well underway with over 70 of the sites already surveyed and moving through to the build phase. This includes 47 schools and 24 other public buildings such as libraries and fire stations.

It is hoped that with the new full fibre network in place that suppliers will then use it as a springboard to bring full fibre to residents and businesses in the wider community as well.

As and when these builds are completed, we will inform as many of the local residents and businesses who will also have benefited from this work that they can now order an improved service.

Openreach to extend Full Fibre network into Stratford

Over the summer, Openreach announced their intention to increase investment in full fibre broadband via a commitment of £12bn to deploy their FTTP network to 20 million UK premises across the country by the mid to late 2020s.

This extension of their Fibre First deployment programme includes the roll-out of full fibre to 3.2 million rural properties including those in the Stratford upon Avon area.

Back in January, Openreach had already stated their intention to take their full fibre network to Bidford on Avon, Coleshill, Henley in Arden, Hockley Heath, Lapworth and Wootton Wawen within the CSW region in an investment that will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits these communities.

The fibre infrastructure that CSW Broadband has already deployed in these areas has acted as a springboard for this work. By using this existing resource as the foundation for their Full Fibre network extension, Openreach will be able to provide these communities with an ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband service that will be fit for purpose for decades to come.

The work within the Stratford exchange area is included in the first phase of Openreach’s extended network build that they are hoping to complete by March 2024.

Cyber-crime skyrockets during lockdown – Top tips on how to stay safe

Financial losses caused by cyber-crimes surged by nearly 75% as the UK entered lockdown earlier this year according to the City of London Police, which runs the national Action Fraud service.

During the first month of lockdown alone, the force received nearly 4,000 reports of online incidents – costing the equivalent of £2.9 million in reported financial losses.

Cyber-crime is a growing trend and criminals have been quick to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic for their own gain and have, in particular, been targeting social media users and online account holders in a bid to make money and steal personal details.

As we enter another prolonged period of lockdown restrictions, here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure you don’t become a victim of cyber-crime:

Check for software updates – Then actually install them. Hackers can take advantage of bugs in the system, but as soon as programmers are aware of errors they can fix them. So keep your computer up to date!

Choose strong passwords – It’s obvious but one of the easiest and most important ways to keep yourself safe. Experts recommend using at least eight characters and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (e.g. $&*?).

Avoid using actual words or any personal information, and keep your passwords somewhere other people won’t see them. At the very least, make sure your email and online banking are well protected.

Constant vigilance – If you use online banking, keep track of each transaction and investigate anything you don’t recognise or don’t remember paying for.

Cyber criminals may try to siphon small amounts of money from lots of different accounts to avoid detection, so everything is worth checking out.

Use security software – Keep this updated as well. There are lots of free anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes available and you should make sure this is turned on every time you surf the net.

Don’t respond …to anyone claiming to be a foreign prince whose bank account has been blocked, anyone asking you to ‘just confirm’ your account details or anyone warning you if you don’t your Facebook account will be deleted.

They don’t have £352,376,492 in a bank account with your name on it. It’s pretty obvious, but there’s a whole world of scams out there and you should be wary of anyone asking for money or personal information.

To report any incidents of fraud or cyber-crime that you think you may have been a victim of, visit the Action Fraud website.

Case studies needed – Tell us your story!

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

We would also like to hear from you if your property has not yet benefited from an upgrade. Again, all we need are a few lines telling us of the difficulties experienced and how this is impacting on your household – for example during the recent Covid-19 lockdown.

Submitting a case study, whether relaying a positive or negative experience, can be really useful in supporting our applications for additional funding, to help us take the fibre network to those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of a faster broadband connection.

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.

Can CSW Broadband influence how much suppliers charge for their services?

We have no influence over the prices charged by commercial providers. Our role is to extend the wholesale fibre network as far as possible, and we are doing this through the contracts that we hold with Openreach.

As access to the network is available to all suppliers on an equal basis it is a purely commercial decision on the part of an ISP as to which packages they offer and at which price range.

The best thing is to shop around for a deal that is right for you. Please remember that some price comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options.

Therefore, you may want to try several such sites before making a decision. The MoneySavingExpert.com and Which? websites can provide useful and impartial advice on this.

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:

Follow us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on LinkedIn

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