Very slowly the connectivity of the village is increasing but, like most of our internet, rather at a snail’s pace and sometimes it’s all rather frustrating….
There is some good news and hope for those of you still struggling on single figures (or less!). A few months ago the ‘Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme’ was announced which awards larger grants for FTTP (fibre to the premise) infrastructure in rural areas such as ours. For a group of two or more properties the government may pay up to £1500 per residence or£3,500 per business (any kind of business so small sole trader counts, but not working at home for another employer unless you are self-employed). At about the same time upper Doctor’s Hill was given a quote from Openreach of around £1,200 per property for a FTTP solution (the best!). Suddenly the increased vouchers and the lower per property cost meant that a community partnership became achievable as only 50% of the properties needed to sign up and complete paperwork for the vouchers in order for the whole scheme to go ahead for the 22 properties on the list. I am delighted to report that contracts have now been signed with Openreach and that this scheme should be delivered within in the next 12-18months. You will have already been notified by myself if your property lies within this scheme.
We are really hoping the Upper Doctor’s Hill project will be the start of the rest of us achieving a reliable and speedy broadband connection and will provide the blueprint for others to easily follow in their footsteps.
There seems to be particular advantage in looking at larger schemes and therefore my current advice would be to gather a small set of your neighbours together, for example between 2 and 10, and register yourself for a FTTP community partnership. When/if you get a quote then do contact me and I’ll guide you through the next stage of the process.
Whiteparish exchange– FTTC available to some– contact your supplier to upgrade to a fibre service if you are within about 1.2 km of this cabinet. Salisbury end of village.
Wellow 15 (5) – FTTC – some residents at end of Mill Lane and along A27 who were on Wellow 5 are now connected to the new FTTC Wellow 15 cabinet - contact your supplier to upgrade to a fibre service if you are within about 1.2 km of this cabinet
Wellow 5 – Mill Lane – ‘behind’ Wellow 15 at Hatchett corner – I suggest you talk to your neighbours and look at using the rural Gigabit voucher scheme and request an FTTP scheme quote. Previously we have had reasonable quotes for your area so now vouchers are higher – try again.
West Wellow 3 - pockets around the village - I suggest you talk to your neighbours and look at using the rural Gigabit voucher scheme and request an FTTP scheme quote. Previously we have had reasonable quotes for your area so now vouchers are higher – try again.
Lockerley 4 – currently quotes obtained for lower Doctor’s Hill and Gambledown area but too expensive, ongoing negotiations with Openreach. Newtown road residents may like to group together and look at rural Gigabit voucher scheme.
Romsey exchange – as above – talk to your neighbours! Group together in smallish clusters and look at rural Gigabit voucher scheme
Check your cabinet connection and available options using http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome
Register your interest in a community fibre partnership on Openreach website https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/community-fibre-partnerships/
So….as usual none of it makes much sense other than as a way for the government to state that communities are enabled to get better broadband but strictly ration its availability to the most determined only…and in the process add layers of administration and therefore unnecessary costs. Technology is changing everyday and better connectivity at a lower cost is coming to our rural areas, but slowly. The only upside is that many of us may now get FTTP and then suddenly we will have some of the best services in the country and be in the top 10% rather than the bottom 10% In the meantime I am hoping that the sun stays out long enough to allow me to submit this report as when its damp connection speeds plummet.