Update on Superfast Broadband

Friday 31st of October 2014 12:00 AM

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Superfast Broadband - monthly update.

Too far from the upgraded cabinet? Try Unlimited Faster Broadband.

Upgrading a cabinet may not solve the broadband speed problems of everyone that is attached to that cabinet.

When a new cabinet is installed to bring superfast broadband to a village, it is connected with fibre back to the exchange or other point.

The new cabinet is then connected to the existing copper cabinet and the final delivery of the broadband is made through the existing copper (or aluminium) network.

However, broadband speeds decrease significantly over copper (or aluminium) cabling, and are considered to be effective only up to about 1km from the cabinet.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, and some properties a little further away may achieve excellent speeds whilst others quite close to the cabinet may experience difficulties.

The CSW Broadband project aims to bring superfast speeds to as many properties as possible, but if you are connected to a long copper line or have other issues then that is not always possible.

BT has now brought out a new product called Unlimited Faster Broadband, which aims to bring speeds of 2-15Mbps to those who are connected to the fibre network but are unable to achieve superfast speeds. This will be a useful stop-gap for many people until they are able to achieve full superfast speeds. For more information visit: http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/47740/~/what-is-unlimited-faster-broadband%3F

Have you applied for Unlimited Faster Broadband? Are you currently using it? Tell us about your experiences – we’d love to hear from you.

Our current contract aims to bring superfast broadband to over 40,000 properties (over and above the commercial rollout) across our area. This will make a real difference to communities and to businesses and individuals.

However, there are a number of areas that will be unlikely to benefit from superfast broadband under the current contract. This is simply because the cost of reaching every property within our project area is too high and so we are actively seeking additional funding to take the fibre network even further.

Under the terms of the current contract, areas that are shaded white on our map are due to achieve speeds of at least 2Mbps by spring 2016.

However, we are currently out to tender for additional coverage using the £8.12m guaranteed funding that we currently have. This is comprised of £4.06m from BDUK, £3.68m from Warwickshire County Council, and £380k from Solihull MBC. We also have a further £5.62m BDUK funding for which we are seeking match funding.

As the BDUK money has to be spent by the end of 2017, it would be a waste of money to upgrade areas to 2Mbps under the first contact, and then to come along a few months later to upgrade again to superfast speeds under the second contract.

Therefore, once we know which areas are to be covered at superfast speeds under the second contract, these will be coloured in accordance with which phases they are in, and will go straight to superfast.

We expect to have the initial coverage under the second contract by spring 2015, and both contracts will run simultaneously so as to achieve some very challenging deadlines.

Ofom has outlined its programme of work designed to enable small businesses to get the best out of communications services in the UK.

Ofcom is undertaking a range of work to ensure that the market is delivering for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – typically of up to 249 employees.

The first part of Ofcom’s SME Plan is a ‘contract checklist’ for business consumers. This guide offers advice on what businesses should look out for when taking out a new landline phone, broadband or mobile phone contract.

We have an events section on our website that contains information about a range of events that are held by our project partners. They are mainly on topics such as using social media, or internet marketing and are held at locations around the area. Some are free, but others are charged by the providers.

Best to check this section out regularly: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/events/event

Category: Infrastructure