I was contacted by a new regional manager for Community Broadband and on Friday morning, 23rd June he arrived for a chat. Discussions were very useful BUT we seemed to go a little backwards in the process….., I hope, in a positive way!
Due to the complexities of our local telephone systems (5 local exchange connections) and previous advice given we were being forced to work very much in sections around the village and had submitted requests for faster broadband for all of the village and neighbouring areas, according to local telephone exchanges and slightly hindered by our border with another county. BT Openreach and Hampshire Broadband have now offered to look at the village in a far more holistic way, which we currently think may be a better option, as Fibre to the Property (FTTP) for all looks like the best option and the one to make it really worth running the community project and raising money for. I have asked for all areas neighbouring the village to also be included in the review.
FTTC – fibre brought to a new/nearer sub cabinet on your exchange cabinet and copper from the fibre cabinet to your home. This limits speeds and you can be at most 2km from a cabinet to get benefit from it. Speeds 50 – 3 Mbps depending on distance from your local fibre cabinet. Some residents on Lockerley 4 can already opt into this via their broadband provider and pay a higher broadband service monthly charge.
FTTP – fibre broadband to your door, brought on existing pathways, so for us, mainly overhead on telegraph poles to junction boxes on local poles. If you choose to opt into the service (any provider) it is brought right up to your house (some distance limitations/additional costs may apply).
Please note – that whilst both systems are designed with over capacity, still there may not be capacity to opt in at a later date, especially true for FTTP. So I urge all residents to take a long term view on broadband connections to your property. It is likely that any costs incurred will be reflected by an increase in your house price/saleability of your home now and into the future. It is also likely that your perception of existing broadband services will decrease over time due to an increase in the online data load.
Hampshire Broadband have a package now available which will pay up to £1,640 per property (at a 50% match funding rate). With a whole village approach, hoping costs will be more affordable.
In summary: I am waiting for Openreach to get back to me with more information, more engineering plans and perhpas a 3 way meeting with Hampshire Broadband. We were told that for FTTP it should now be possible to deliver it on a geographical basis not a telephone exchange basis. All previous quotes for FTTP and FTTC are now on hold (Lockerly 4, Wellow 5 and Wellow 3) whilst a whole village solution is investigated. About 6 properties on Wiltshire border, mainly Bunny lane, Whiteparish1 exchange have been offered FTTP from a Wiltshire based scheme.
Apologies – I am typing this very quickly at the last minute to meet newsletter deadlines so you might not quite be following but happy to answer questions by email…I will also send out this information via my village email/broadband contact database. If you do not currently get broadband emails from me then do email me, address below, with your name, telephone number, address please and current average broadband speed, if known.