CSW Broadband Project Update April 2014

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Bringing faster broadband to our rural areas

Project Update April 2014

If you would like a Word version of this newsletter please email broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk

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Topics in this edition:

Launch of first superfast broadband cabinet

New map and new 12-month plan issued 7/4

Which? Campaign for defined broadband speeds

Questions and Answers

 

Launch of first superfast broadband cabinet

CSW Broadband has launched its first superfast broadband cabinet in Snitterfield, a picturesque village in South Warwickshire. This is the first of 51 cabinets that will start to go live from April 2014. Further cabinets will follow from July and October this year. As anticipated, the rollout of superfast broadband has been accelerated and many cabinets have been brought forward from their original go-live dates. The project rollout will bring superfast speeds of a minimum 24Mbps to almost 45,000 properties, with many more properties achieving speeds of 2-23 Mbps. The latest map shows the rollout plans to 7-digit postcode level, including which areas we estimate will achieve superfast and which may fall below that level (based on the distance from the cabinet). There are still some areas that are awaiting additional funding, but this is actively being sought and the Government has offered the project £3.68m, subject to match funding being found.

 

New map and new 12-month plan issued 7/4

We have a new map on our website giving locations for rollout phases starting between now and October this year. The map also gives an indication of the speeds that are likely to be achieved. As previously, the new map does come with the caveat that telecoms infrastructure does not follow postcodes, but as the new map is created using data to 7-digit postcode level, this is more accurate than previous versions. The new rolling 12-month plan details all 51 cabinets that are included in the first phase.

The latest map can be found here

The latest 12-month plan can be found here

 

Which? Campaign for defined broadband speeds

 

The consumer campaigning organisation, Which?, is currently asking people to sign up to its latest petition which calls for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to offer guaranteed broadband speeds. According to Which?: “three in five people experience problems with their broadband.” The article goes on to say: “Our research shows that nearly half of broadband customers have suffered slow speeds, with six in ten having to put up with these sluggish speeds frequently. And there’s more – many people just aren’t getting the speeds they were promised.”

 

Which? is calling for ISPs to:

  • Give customers written speed estimates at the start of the contract, expressed as a range and an accurate estimate for your home within that range.
  • Allow people to exit contracts without penalty at any point if they can’t get the minimum speed.
  • Fix loss of connection as quickly as possible and refund people for loss of service.
  • Cut out the jargon – give consumers information they understand and take responsibility for fixing problems, without the need for multiple contacts.

 

To find out more or to sign up to the petition visit: http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/broadband-speed-service

 

Questions and Answers

My area is shown as green on the map, what does this mean?

This means that your cabinet has been upgraded to superfast and connected to the fibre network. It is therefore now possible to order superfast services from a wide range of providers. There are a number of different superfast packages available, including some with bundled telephone calls and even TV or sport on demand.

There may be two shades of this colour on the map, the darker shade shows which areas we estimate will achieve superfast and the lighter shade indicates which areas may fall below that level (based on the distance from the cabinet).

 

It is recommended that you consult an independent source for advice about broadband providers, such as www.MoneySavingExpert.com  – the broadband-specific information can be found here http://tinyurl.com/ob92z6m

 

To see if superfast is available in your area go to www.dslchecker.bt.com We also have a range of fact sheets and other information in our About Broadband section of our websitehttp://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/about-broadband

 

How is it that some premises will get fibre but not superfast?

By the end of the project, around 93% of premises will have access to fibre, and 91% will have access to speeds of 24Mbps and above (note: both these statistics are the result of work carried out under this project, plus commercial roll-outs). Some premises will be connected to fibre but have speeds of less than 24Mbps due to factors including the distance to their street cabinet. Additionally, some premises connected to fibre will have speeds in excess of 24Mbps as FTTC delivers speeds of up to 80Mbps.

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%), however this will have to be match funded. In the current economic climate it is not easy to see where the required match funding will come from, but we have recently made a submission through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership European Structural Investment Funds Strategy for a total of £7.85m. 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.

 

We are currently also looking at procurement options for the additional coverage. The areas to be covered by the additional funding will not be known until after the procurement is complete.

 

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

 

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/frequently-asked-questions

 

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found at:

 

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/bduk-contract-qas

 

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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CSW Broadband is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council, BT and Department for Culture Media & Sport. Logos have been removed to reduce file size for emailing.
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