You may recall that back in May, we circulated a form around the village to ascertain interest in a project to get Wing’s broadband infrastructure upgraded from ‘Superfast’ to ‘Ultrafast’. The outcome of that activity was very positive with many residents confirming they will either upgrade or seriously consider upgrading their broadband service if the project goes ahead.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working with Openreach to calculate the upgrade cost for the whole village (149 properties) including the properties on Preston Road and Station Road. This cost has now been confirmed as £79,479.
As we are a rural community, we have access to the Government’s voucher scheme which means that all this cost could be met by vouchers issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
In simple terms, a residential voucher service is worth £1,500. So, if 55 residents are willing to make a binding ‘pledge’ to the DCMS that they will upgrade from a ‘Superfast’ service to an ‘Ultrafast’ service, Openreach will upgrade the village in late 2022 without the need for village contributions.
On that basis, we have asked Openreach to secure the necessary DCMS approval for the Wing project. When approved, we can move to the next step of the process which is outlined in the table below. DCMS approval is expected around the end of August 2021.
For reasons associated with the Government’s national broadband project for rural communities (Project Gigabit), we will only have until 24 September 2021 to secure the required number of pledges. If we miss this date, it is highly likely that a Wing upgrade will not be achievable until 2024/5 at the earliest.
We must NOT miss this opportunity for a free broadband infrastructure upgrade!!!
The main purpose of this update is to give you advance notification that we will seeking ‘pledges’ from residents between 1 and 24 September 2021 and to let you know how you can ask questions relating to the project.
There are two parts to broadband. They are a) the underlying infrastructure and b) the service.
For Wing, the underlying infrastructure will be provided by Openreach. Hopefully, the cost of this infrastructure will be covered by the DCMS vouchers. The choice of service provider is a resident decision. Popular choices include BT, Sky, TalkTalk and PlusNet. The cost of the chosen service will need to be met in full by the resident. In most cases, this is a monthly service charge.
To help us deliver this project for you, we really need to be able to communicate with you by email. Please reply to the firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to pledge to receive full fibre broadband and email communications about this project. We will only use your email for the purposes of delivering this project to you and will not share your email with anyone without your consent. If you have any questions, please email the above address and we will do our best to answer them.
Parish Council asks residents for approval to add their address to the Openreach Community Fibre Partnership portal
Parish Council receives initial estimate from Openreach
Parish Council accepts the initial estimate
Parish Council asks Openreach for a formal quotation
Parish Council receives formal quotation from Openreach
Parish Council accepts formal quotation
Openreach seeks pre-approval from DCMS
Openreach builds a ‘Connect my Community’ web portal
Early September 2021
Residents go to the portal and pledge their vouchers to Openreach
Early September to 24 September 2021
When the threshold is reached Openreach applies to DCMS for full approval
DCMS contacts residents to ask them to sign up to the voucher terms
DCMS authorises the scheme and informs Openreach
Openreach has 9 months to build the infrastructure
To August 2022
DCMS pays Openreach the value of the pledged vouchers
Residents have 3 months to order an Ultrafast service from their preferred service provider
September to December 2022
DCMS contacts residents to check they have ordered an Ultrafast service
This is broadband where the cable coming into your house is copper. This type of service is sometimes called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). In most cases, this cable also carries the 737XXX telephone line.
The maximum download speed with FTTC is 80Mbit/s. (80 megabits per second)
What is Ultrafast broadband?
This is broadband where the cable coming into your house is fibre. This is sometimes called Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).
The maximum download speed with FTTP is 1 Gbit/s. (1 gigabit per second)
1Gbit/s = 1000Mbit/s
Does the FTTP have to be provided by BT Openreach?
We have decided to work with BT Openreach because it is present in the village and legally required to work with all UK service providers. This provides maximum choice to residents.
Who can provide Ultrafast services in Wing?
BT Openreach has a checker at www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband . Enter the postcode LE15 8SA and select 1 Morcott Road. In theory, this list all the service providers that can provide service in Wing. However, it may be worth double checking on your preferred service provider’s web site as well.
What is meant by pledging?
In summary, you are confirming to both BT Openreach and DCMS that you will upgrade to an Ultrafast broadband service within 3 months of project completion. Our understanding is that DCMS will check up to make sure you have placed an order with a service provider. We do not know what the implications are for pledging and not upgrading.
How much does Ultrafast Broadband cost?
As an example, BT’s current packages range from £27.99 to £59.99 per month. This includes a landline service. There may also be a small fee for activation and equipment delivery.
How long will I need to commit to using an Ultrafast service?
We assume 12 months. We don’t believe moving house within 12 months would be an issue.
If I do not want to get involved now, does that mean I cannot have an Ultrafast service in the future?
No. If you do not want to get involved now, you will be able to order an Ultrafast service in the future. However, if most residents adopted this approach, the project would not go ahead in 2022 and the availability of Ultrafast services would remain limited to the properties near the Village Hall.
If the project does go ahead, when is the village likely to be cabled with fibre?
Mid to late 2022.
Will BT Openreach need to dig up roads and pavements?
In most cases, BT Openreach will use existing ducts and poles. In certain areas, e.g. Mill Close, new ducts or poles is a possibility.
When will the new fibre be connected to my house?
The main BT Openreach project will provide new fibre to the existing village poles.
The new fibre from the pole to your house will be installed after you have placed an order with a service provider.
Will the existing copper cable to my house be removed?
Probably not. This cable will still carry your 737XXX exchange line. We are aware that BT Openreach has a combined fibre / copper cable but we don’t know if they will use it in Wing.
What is the future for exchange lines delivered over copper cables?
BT Openreach is turning off its long-standing fixed telephone network in 2025. If you want to retain a physical telephone in your house after that date, you will have to sign up to a telephone service that is delivered over broadband. As part of the move to Ultrafast broadband, most people either cease their landline number or move it to their broadband provider. When you move to Ultrafast broadband, the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) has a telephone socket that is effectively the same as your current BT socket. So in theory, your existing telephones will continue to work.
What is the difference between BT Openreach and BT?
They are both companies in BT Group. BT Openreach is the infrastructure part. BT is the service part. By law, BT Openreach has to offer access to all UK Communication Providers, e.g. Sky.
Have you been struggling with your mental health? Have you been feeling isolated, lonely or in need of a listening ear?
Pepper’s- A Safe Place aims to provide anyone struggling with their mental health a space to relax, take some time out and chat with friendly volunteers and like-minded individuals. We can offer a listening ear, a social space and a non-judgemental or pressurising environment.
Pop in for a cup of tea or coffee on one of your 4 adult drop-in sessions, these take place weekly on Tuesdays (10:30-12:30), Thursdays (13:00-15:00), Sundays (14:00-16:00) and in Melton on Wednesdays (14:00-16:00).
Our Parent and Baby Group in Oakham, after being closed for a couple of months over the holidays, will be re-starting on 2nd September for weekly sessions 10:00-12:00. This is a space for any parents or carers who are struggling with their mental health to bring their little ones, share experiences and feel welcome.
For anyone nervous about attending our sessions you are welcome to message us on 07714 503 556 or email email@example.com, we can answer any questions or set you up with a volunteer 1:1 to help you feel more confident before attending one of our drop-in sessions.