Sherfield English

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Village Broadband Update – 15th July 2017

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.
Technical info:
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.
Funding:
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.
Best wishes
Ursula

Update, May 2017
Summary - still chasing to get more answers….and understand the best options for the village.
Lockerley 4 - Initial costings for Fibre to the cabinet received but waiting for these to be revised to include third cabinet. For the additional two cabinets, Tote Hill and Newtown Square quote of £35,000, @£500 per property.
Romsey - Cabinet on A27 outside Hampshire Collegiate School is now fibre enabled but this cabinet is too far from parish properties (Dunwood area) to make much/any difference to speeds.
West Wellow 3 - Limited FTTP quote for some properties but very expensive per property, £75,000 for 13 properties, @ £5,500 per property. Exploring other options. Contact me for details, if interested.
West Wellow 5 - I have now received the engineer’s costings to provide a better broadband Service to many properties on the West Wellow 5 exchange under the BT Community Fibre Partnership Scheme.
A fibre to the property (FTTP) solution has been suggested for a total cost to all the households of about £75,000. 47 properties are listed and this therefore works out at about £1,600 per property.
This offer is subject to further surveys and has a timescale of up to a year for installation.
BT community Partnership FTTP provides local distribution points to each house listed and then the householder may take a Broadband Service from any provider. FTTP provides the fastest possible broadband speeds available – ie limited only by the copper cabling from the distribution point outside your house into your house and your own internal connections and computer equipment. It is the best solution currently available and gives access to much faster speeds than Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) which relies on existing overhead copper wires from the nearest fibre enabled cabinet to your home/business and currently has an effective limit of about 1 km from the cabinet. In our rural location it is unlikely to provide you with fastest (or perhaps even any kind of fast!) internet speed unless you live right next door to the cabinet.
In order for this project to go ahead then the cost of the installation must be raised in full. There are various suggested methods of doing this and I remain unclear at present as to whether any grants would be available to support this scheme.
Compared to other options and quotes that I have looked at this one does seem quite a good option. If you would like to get faster broadband in the shorter term. The £1,500 cost per property is likely to be offset by the saleability/value of your house.
If you are interested please contact me asap AND we would need a fund raising co-ordinator for YOUR West Wellow 5 exchange.
I am happy to discuss details and if I have enough interest I will hold a meeting at the village hall to present the plan and answer any questions. It would be hoped that our BT Community Fibre Partnership Programme manager would also be able to attend.
Whiteparish 1 – plans to place a fibre cabinet next to existing cabinet at northern end of village, but only to enable the fibre to a selection of Whiteparish exchange properties – ie those within about 1km of the new cabinet.

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Ursula