CSW Broadband Project updates
Over 67,000 households and businesses are now able to get high-speed broadband across the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.
Communities that have recently benefited from superfast upgrades include parts of Arley, Ashorne, Barton, Bidford on Avon, Brinklow, Broadwell, Burmington, Burton Hastings, Chadwick End, Church Lawford, Clifford Chambers, Fillongley, Goldicote, Hampton in Arden, Henley in Arden, Kings Newnham, Kingsbury, Long Marston, Little Compton, Maxstoke, Monks Kirby, Stratford upon Avon, Wolverton and Wolston.
As mentioned in the last newsletter, although CSW is pleased with this progress, we realise that there is still a great deal of work to do in the remainder of Contracts 2 and Contract 3 as we take the fibre network even further.
Unfortunately, some delays to the advertised programme are inevitable when, for example, previously unforeseen engineering issues arise. Where possible, the Contract 2 – Delayed Upgrades table on our Rolling 12-month Plan is regularly updated to try and give affected residents an overview of the reasons for the delay along with the dates that Openreach expect the work to be completed by.
With regard to the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Programme, CSW Broadband has now issued the Invitation to Tender and providers now have a period of around six weeks in which to submit their bids for this programme of work.
In line with Government requirements, the project will focus on bringing Ultrafast (1Gbps) connectivity to around 450 public buildings across the region but it is hoped that the successful bidder may also decide to use the new fibre as a springboard to cover a wider area (e.g. residential properties within that area). However, for State Aid reasons that cannot be part of the tender evaluation.
Campaign to increase take-up of broadband in already upgraded areas
We have now emailed over 170 parish/town councils with bespoke content for their websites giving details of the communities (within their respective geographical boundaries) that have already benefited from a CSW upgrade. This website content also provides information about the benefits of broadband as well as details on how residents can find and order a broadband package to suit their needs if they haven’t done so already.
A number of councils have replied to say that they will be uploading this valuable information to their respective websites and it is hoped that by helping us to ‘spread the word’ it will help to increase the take-up of superfast broadband across the CSW region, particularly to those residents who may not know that their connections have been upgraded. Check your local parish/town council website for further details.
We have also carried out the first of two proposed mailshots to around 8000 already upgraded properties within the CSW region where the take-up of broadband services has been slower or lower than expected.
As with the work we have been doing with the parish and town councils, the purpose of this mailshot campaign (funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Take-Up Fund) is to try to increase the take-up of superfast broadband services in CSW upgraded areas. The more residents take up these services, the more money (Gainshare) we get coming back into the project for potential re-investment to help us to extend the network to even more communities within our area.
More ISPs now providing FTTP services in the CSW Region
Although only a few Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were initially offering Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) packages when FTTP solutions first started being rolled-out a few years ago, the picture has now changed considerably with more and more ISPs offering FTTP packages across the CSW sub-region.
This is great news for both local residents and businesses who have benefited from an FTTP upgrade as they now have more choice than ever before in finding an ISP and a package to suit their individual needs.
Our Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) webpage, which provides valuable information and advice on ordering an FTTP service, now has an updated list of all the ISPs who have stated that they now provide FTTP broadband packages to residents and businesses across the CSW Region.
Top tips to protect your children/grandchildren on the internet
As parents, we tend to worry about every little detail of our child’s life and in today’s society, we have one more worry; concerns about the dangers that technology poses to our children, even from an early age.
There are many things to consider when it comes to keeping your child safe online. The Ultimate Parental Guide to Protecting Your Child on the Internet is a really useful online resource which provides information and advice on a wide-range of issues including: Keeping Younger Children Safe, Setting Limits, Parental Controls, Educating Your Teens, Sexting, Cyberbullying and much, much more.
CSW Broadband’s Self-Help Guides webpage contains links to a wide-range of other self-help guides regarding broadband issues and staying safe online, which you might also find useful.
Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community
‘Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community’ is an information and networking event for anyone living or working in the rural areas of the Rugby borough.
Warwickshire County Council is running the event in collaboration with the Warwickshire Rural Community Council. Local residents will have the opportunity to talk to local groups and organisations and to pick up lots of useful information on subjects as diverse as tackling rural crime and cyber crime, rural transport services, how to reduce your energy and utility bills, adult and community learning opportunities and support services for carers.
CSW Broadband will also be attending should local residents / businesses have any broadband related issues that they would like to discuss.
The event is due to take place between 09:30 and 12:30 GMT on Friday 1st March 2019 at the Wolston Leisure & Community Centre, Manor View, Coventry, CV8 3GT.
For more information about services which will be attending and what you can learn more about, visit Rural Rugby – Sowing the Seeds for a Stronger Rural Community or email Jennifer McCabe at email@example.com
Case studies needed – Tell us your story!
If superfast broadband has made a real difference to your life or business, why not tell us about it by submitting a case study.
We regularly appeal for case studies but sadly very few people respond. Submitting a case study is really helpful for us when we are applying for additional funding to help us take the fibre network even further - to help those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of superfast broadband.
All we need is a few lines telling us of the difficulties you experienced before you had superfast broadband and how life has improved since your property was upgraded.
Submitting a case study is also a great way of gaining some free publicity to promote your company if you are a business owner. So, if you would like to help us help others, why not submit a case study today!
Copy for your own website or newsletter
As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters/websites should you wish to use them.
Questions and Answers
Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.
How do I switch to a different broadband provider?
You may wish to transfer broadband for a variety of reasons, such as:
· Poor quality of service
· You need additional features that your current internet service provider (ISP) does not offer
· You think the deal you are subscribed to is not providing good value for money
· You are moving house/business premises
First of all, check if the contract period you signed for with your existing supplier has expired. Contracts are generally for either 12 or 18 months. Most contracts require you to give a month’s notice, even after the initial 12 or 18 months.
If it hasn’t expired, you may be liable for a cancellation fee or even the balance of the fee until the contract runs out. It’s your choice if you decide you want to buy yourself out of a contract that hasn’t yet expired.
It is also important that you check that the new service you wish to sign up to is available in your area. A couple of useful and impartial sources of advice are the Which? broadband speed checker and Moneysaving Expert which has lots of advice about switching provider.
You can also use various comparison websites and we’ve listed a few below. Please remember that some comparison sites work by receiving a commission from the ISPs and may not list all of the available options. You may therefore want to try several such sites before making a decision.
Can CSW Broadband influence how much suppliers charge for their services?
We have no influence over the prices charged by commercial providers. Our role is to extend the wholesale fibre network as far as possible, and we are doing this through the contracts that we hold with Openreach.
As access to the network is available to all suppliers on an equal basis it is a purely commercial decision on the part of an ISP as to which packages they offer and at which price range.
The best thing is to shop around to find a deal that is right for you (see previous FAQ above for links to comparison sites/websites offering impartial advice).
Ofcom also launched their Boost Your Broadband campaign recently, which also provides some very useful advice on how you get better broadband deals.
You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.
Why not join the CSW Broadband conversation on social media!
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To find out more about the project, please visit the CSW Broadband website.