6st June 2021
On the 17th February, through our project partner BT Openreach, we submitted on behalf of all residents our proposal for the Community fibre upgrade project to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport ( DCMS). The proposal funded through the Gigabit Voucher Scheme is for Openreach to transform our broadband services to a dedicated fibre network.
Our goal was to get the proposal in before the 19th February, after which the Gigabit Voucher Scheme closed to all new projects. For the forth coming year the DCMS are running the £5 billion Gigabit Programme with greater emphasis on identified problematics cities and regions - which typically means the smaller communities such as ours are left to one side. We felt it was important to maintain momentum and beat the cut-off date so we can retain access to the closing Voucher Scheme.
On the 6th April BT Openreach advised that our Community Fibre Project has been approved by DCMS. This year our project is expected to proceed based on the funding arrangements of the legacy Voucher Scheme. Which is good news for us.
The frustration is that we are now waiting for DCMS to update its Suppliers Gigabit portal, which partners like Openreach need access to gain approvals as well as access to the voucher funding. We cannot get started until the portal is re-opened and BT Openreach believe this will not be until August. Until then we don’t have a definitive timeline on activities.
In the meantime we are continuing to prepare the way. A Community Interest Company (CIC) has been set-up for the benefit of the community. It is the CIC which will contract with BT Openreach for the delivery of the upgrade project, with the associated social benefits, The CIC Directors are Liz Parnell, Hugh Dickerson and Richard Randall.
Please do not hesitate to contact the members of the CIC if you have any questions regarding this fibre upgrade, especially during this extended lull in the project.
A fast, reliable, Internet service is important to us.
(first published 11th November 2020)
Our need for a reliable Internet service has never been more apparent than during the current pandemic. Within our villages many of us are trying to work and live our lives through online services… our children are attending virtual classrooms, we stay in touch with our families, friends and colleagues, we shop online. The Internet has become central to how we live today.
With lockdown implemented, the increase in service demand across the village clearly demonstrated that our underlying Broadband infrastructure was no longer fit for purpose. We struggle today and have no capacity for the future. We are being told by our service providers that we have access to a ‘high speed’ service, but the reality for many this is not our experience.
Life becomes extremely frustrating without access to a fast Broadband service. We experience stuttering video, frozen pages, slow access to business systems, slow email, and our children struggle with their education.
Future Proof the value of your home: read this - Daily Mail article 11/12/20
How do we address this frustration?