Community Fibre Partnership – gigabyte broadband 25.10.2021 Update

The Parish Council is helping to bring full fibre broadband to the parish.

As a result of a Government funding stream we are working with the Worcestershire Council Project team and Openreach. This has involved contacting all local residents to ask them to sign up to the scheme, so that we can draw down government funding to cover the cost.

What a Fibre to premise connection means is that the final distance between the green network boxes (often located by the side of the main road) which are connected to the national fibre network, replaces the traditional copper wire connection.

A full fibre connection means that there are faster download and upload speeds and greater volume as well as reliability. So for example films can be downloaded quickly and or where lots of people are using the internet in a home or business, all can experience the same speeds.

For some in the parish for example many of those who live in Broadwas and are near the “green box” enjoy good speeds (though full fibre is faster), but the further away from it, the slower and poorer the speed and often reliability of connection. This of course is a common factor in rural areas hence the government scheme.

Where are we now?

Over 50 addresses in Cotheridge are currently being connected and Openreach are about to lay underground cables. 20 + addresses in Little Green have just received the green light and work is expected to start shortly. (By some quirk of fate Broad Green addresses already have a fibre to premises connection).

The largest scheme is focused on Broadwas village (some 120 + addresses) and it took some time to get enough support and sign up. Unfortunately the previous government scheme came to an end, but we have been able to carry it forward into the new scheme recently announced by government and we are waiting for details about what to do next.

There is one more smaller scheme that covers 20 or so addresses in other parts of the parish and it is hoped to be able to take this one forward shortly.

What does this mean?

Once the Broadwas scheme moves forward, then approximately 80% of addresses (homes and businesses) will have full fibre connections. This helps future proof each address and creates greater scope for home working and use of the internet generally.

It also means that thanks to those parishioners and WCC (see below) who stepped forward that we will have attracted inward investment in excess of £250,000.

We understand that for some residents they could not see or justify the need for a full fibre connection, though they will benefit as the network will be in place, and are therefore very grateful for those who have and for those who kindly explained why it was not right for them.

The small print

In order to get the government funding and connections in rural areas are costly, we have had to ask enough people to sign up which means they agree to use the connection for 12 months once it is ready. This may mean changing supplier though this is often not necessary and there may be a small additional cost per month, though as full fibre rolls out nationally, there is a lot of competition for monthly rentals so prices are good.

We are grateful for the support of Worcestershire County Council for their support especially in providing a top up find which has meant that when enough people have not stepped forward we have been able to double the value  of the “voucher”  (i.e. proof the government requires to release funding) of those people who have

So what next?

For those in Cotheridge and Little Green you should expect within the next 12 months to be connected and “live”

For the other parts of the parish once we have the details of the new scheme we will be getting in touch and also asking those who decided not to take part to have another look, as we can’t guarantee that the WCC top up fund will be as generous as it was before.

So please look out for announcements.

Here’s some background information

The Openreach take (remember that Openreach are different from BT, they look after the infrastructure, which the providers then use to offer services such as your telephone call and internet connection.

The government take, for those who enjoy the wider context

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are responsible:

Some details about the funding scheme:

Some more details about the different ways rural communities can get better broadband connections:

And finally:

Updated 25.10.21

Knightwick to Broadwas form

Select the form and download Word document. Once downloaded (a status line at the bottom of your screen shows when) save it. Edit the form with you information and email to Richard Burrows.

Bringing faster broadband to Cotheridge and Broadwas

Thanks to a government funding scheme the Parish Council are working with Worcestershire County Council Superfast Broadband Team and BT Openreach to help all businesses and homes in the parish have a better internet connection.

Presently most of us benefit from the fibre network that links local cabinets to exchanges, however the connection between local cabinets still relies on copper wires, which depending on where you live or work can mean that connection speeds are slow and or can’t keep up with demand. The scheme means that subject to there being enough local commitment that a fibre connection can be installed to most addresses in the parish. As a result, there will be a faster and more reliable connection, which as the use of the internet continues to expand, we all will stand more chance of keeping up.

There may not be another chance for some time

Recently the government announced that it was cutting funding and targets for the role out of fibre to premises broadband, this means especially for rural areas it is less likely that there will be similar funding schemes in the foreseeable future.

Some key information

    • A fibre connection replaces the copper one that links premises to the nearest green cabinet box. This box links into the Superfast fibre network. A full fibre connection means you can have faster speeds, greater capacity and more reliability, especially important if there are lots of people using the internet.
    • Many premises in Broadwas are not far from the green cabinet which means they get good speeds now, but the further you live from the cabinet the slower and less reliable copper connections become, and even then they cannot carry the volume or higher speeds that fibre can.
    • There is growing evidence that a full fibre connection can add value to property and benefits the long-term prosperity of a community.
    • If you were to pay for full fibre instillation then the cost could be depending on where you live anything from £1500+ to £10,000+
    • By signing up you attract the government voucher but have to agree to take up from your service provider a full fibre package for 12 months, after then you can step down to a lesser package. Costs vary but it is a very competitive market so roughly depending on your service provider it can be as little as £10 extra a month for 12 months. A small price to pay for the future benefits and potential of a full fibre connection.

TIMES Press Release January 2021 – click here for details

MHDC Press Release September 2020 – click here for details