Newsletter — Voucher Scheme Launch

145 cabinets live to date

Over 29,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

  • Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme
  • New rolling 12-month plan and map
  • EU funding update
  • Copy for your own website or newsletter
  • Questions and Answers

Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme

A new scheme has been launched in Warwickshire to enable eligible businesses and voluntary organisations to claim grants of up to £3000 towards the cost of upgrading to superfast broadband. The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme is now available to any business, charity or voluntary organisation and can cover both fixed solutions, usually fibre connections, or wireless solutions such as satellite or microwave broadband where fibre is not available.

Organisations are usually eligible if they employ fewer than 250 people and have a turnover of less than £41m per year. Even sole-traders or businesses run from home can apply, so the scheme is open as widely as possible.

The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme will complement the broadband rollout under the CSW Broadband programme, and is administered by Coventry City Council, who have over 12 months experience of the voucher scheme in Coventry prior to its extension into Warwickshire.

We feel that it is very positive that this scheme is now open to organisations in Warwickshire and we would strongly urge people to apply as soon as possible. As the CSW Broadband project rolls out the fibre network across Warwickshire even more businesses and communities will be able to take advantage of the new ways of working. This voucher scheme will help those businesses who need support to connect to the new technologies, and will also help those in areas where the fibre network has not yet reached by contributing to the connection costs of satellite or microwave solutions. Warwickshire has a high number of small enterprises and businesses run from home, and it is important that these should be able to compete against larger businesses in an increasingly global economy.

The scheme has been running in Coventry for some time and so far over 300 vouchers have been issued, totalling more than £500,000. Organisations from a wide range of different sectors have benefitted, including manufacturers, training organisations, professional services and ICT companies. What these all have in common is a need to have high speed high quality digital connectivity at an affordable price, and that’s what this scheme is all about.

Remember: A fibre connection may not be available in your area now, but the CSW Broadband network is expanding rapidly. It is a wholesale network that will offer a wide choice of Internet Service Providers, so if you are told that fibre broadband is not yet available in your area, check the CSW Broadband website for more information: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk and of course, this voucher scheme also covers satellite or wireless solutions if you can’t wait for fibre!

Applying to the scheme is very straightforward and applications will be dealt with promptly. Simply visit: www.coventry.gov.uk/broadband

If you have already contacted us to express an interest in the scheme then you will also receive a separate email from us advising how to submit an application. All enquiries about the scheme should be directed to Coventry City Council by emailing: sccbroadband@coventry.gov.uk

We have copy about the scheme on our website that you can download to use in your own newsletters and on websites. Please help us to get the word out about this great opportunity!

New rolling 12-month plan and map

Last week we issued the latest iteration of the rolling 12-month plan and updated the rollout map. We’ve changed the layout as we now have so many cabinets live or in progress that it was getting too confusing!

We have rearranged the table format as follows:

  • The first, green table lists all the live cabinets to date – any live cabinets in the future will be added to this table. This will make it easier to see if your cabinet has gone live yet
  • All cabinets yet to be upgraded are listed below this in their respective phases
  • The tables list 10 entries by default, and you can either show more entries (up to 100) search by exchange area, or move to the next list of 10 entries

The new 12-month plan can be found here: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/where-when/rolling-12-month-plan

The new map (showing Contract 1 Phases and overall coverage for Contract 2, Part 1) can be found here: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/latest-maps/nga-network-coverage-map

EU funding update

We are in the process of preparing a bid against the £6.96m ERDF fund to extend the fibre network in the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership area. We are working with partners to ascertain what is feasible and an Expression of Interest will be submitted by May 6th. We will keep you posted on progress.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We regularly produce updates of around 350 words that can be used on your own website or in newsletters. There are a selection of articles available for download and you can select the most appropriate depending on where your particular area is in the rollout pipeline. Copy can be found at: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/downloads-resources/copy-to-use-on-your-own-website-newsletters-or-flyers

Questions and Answers

My cabinet was scheduled for completion by now, when will it be done?

We have always stated that the timings given on the rolling 12-month plan and the maps are indicative only. A Phase will run for approximately 6 months, with two Phases running at any one time. However, as we move through the rollout we are getting to more challenging areas and are finding unforeseen problems. Where there is a delay, the reason for this will be listed on the rolling 12-month plan. A number of cabinets show that the delay is due to civil engineering work required. This is often due to blocked or collapsed ducts, but as holes are dug and we get a better understanding of what the issues are this information will be updated. Please bear with us in the meantime.

I have been told that my cabinet has reached capacity, what does this mean?

When a cabinet is installed BT know how many properties will be connected to it and make an assumption about how many of the available connections will be taken up. If the take-up is higher than anticipated then BT will need to add additional capacity by installing new connection cards into the cabinet. BT Openreach actively monitor each cabinet and will automatically order the new cards, so that in many cases the upgrade will happen before the cabinet reaches capacity. On occasion, however, take-up is not only higher than expected but also happens very quickly, so that the cabinet reaches capacity and there is a short delay before more orders can be taken.

It would not be feasible for CSW Broadband to specify a higher capacity in every cabinet just in case it reaches capacity quickly. For one thing, this would add considerably to the cost of cabinets and would result in less overall coverage for the project – with fewer communities having the opportunity to benefit from faster broadband. Upgrades once the cabinet has gone live are carried out by BT Openreach on a “business as usual” basis, and at no cost to CSW Broadband. The best thing to do is to ensure that you order the new service as soon as you know that superfast broadband is available in your area.

When will you be able to show timings for Contract 2, Part 1?

We hope to be able to issue this information later this year. There is a lot of work to do to model the rollout in the most efficient way and it is essential that we get it right. As soon as we know what is happening, you will know also.

Many more frequently asked broadband questions can be found on our website at: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/faq

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:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CSWSuperfastBroadband

Twitter: https://twitter.com#!/cswbroadband

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/CSW-Superfast-Broadband-4403473

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