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Bringing fantastic full fibre broadband to Sparsholt and Westcot

on Fri, 05/02/2021 - 3:54pm

Dear Sparsholt & Westcot residents,

We are Maia Sissons and Justin Dunn, and we both live in Westcot, and we are writing to you today to let you know of an opportunity that we feel would be hugely beneficial to all of us in Sparsholt and Westcot.

There are 140 properties in Sparsholt and Westcot many of which do not yet have fibre broadband directly to the home (known as FTTP). Many of us already have a fibre connection through a copper line to our houses but in the next five years this is going to be inadequate for the amount of data that we will all require. Copper lines provide a maximum of 80mbps (distance from the cabinet dependent) but most will receive far less. Fibre to the property provides speeds  of up to 1000+mbps regardless of distance from the cabinet.  We don’t know about you, but since last March we’ve been working from home and also had to deal with on line schooling which has really magnified the fact that we need to safeguard our technology requirements for the future. Basically, we need better broadband!

So, we’ve been in touch with Oxfordshire Council and OpenReach, and we have a fantastic opportunity that we’d like to share with you. Small communities such as ours are able to make use of a voucher scheme funded by the government and topped up by Oxfordshire Council. This amounts to £7000 per household.

How does it work?

If we, as a community, join together as one project and pool our vouchers we will be able to get fibre to all of our properties directly at no cost. The only commitment we need to make is to sign up for an FTTP connection for a minimum of one year ( this can be with your current provider (ISP) if they offer a FTTP product) and this won’t be required until the project is complete in 6-9 months. Once the project is completed OpenReach claim the voucher back for every household from the government so we don’t actually have to do anything, other than you paying your ISPs monthly FTTP service cost, once it's delivered to you.

The reason we are writing to you today is that the government are closing the funding scheme on the 31st of March  but closing applications from Feb 17th  for communities such as ours. After this date, for Sparsholt and Westcot, there will be less  chance of the infrastructure being upgraded for at least five years. So we have to act fast if we’d like to do this. We basically need all of us to sign up our commitment to this by Monday 15th February.

Maia and I have asked all the questions we think you all probably have. We believe this is a massive opportunity for us here not to miss out and to make sure that we are future-proofing all of our properties so we can take advantage of this technology.
 

All you need to do now is complete this form: tinyurl.com/fabfibre

If you have any other questions, Maia or I are really happy to talk with you so here are our numbers and email addresses.

Justin Dunn

Maia Sissons

We, like you are just residents in this community. We want to share with you this chance that we have before we lose it!! We do need the majority of us to sign up for this to cover the costs of the project  (which will be paid for by each of the £7000 vouchers). If we don’t get the majority of us to sign up for this, this project will not happen.

Kind Regards,

Maia Sissons & Justin Dunn


FAQs

Why do I need it and what will it do for me?

Why do I need faster Broadband?

There is published research independent of Openreach that shows faster broadband can increase your house value by up to 2%. The second most asked question when viewing a house to buy or rent is what is the broadband speed, so you may not require faster broadband but should you ever wish to sell or rent your house a faster broadband will make it much more attractive to potential buyers.

More and more services require Wi-Fi/internet connection; Netflix, Sky Q, Ring door bell, Xbox, Security cameras- this will only go in one direction.

Currently even with copper fibre connection this will not be enough to get the best possible speeds. Even if you feel your broadband speed is fast enough, by signing up you will be future-proofing your own property and the rest of our community.

I am told I already have Fibre. Why is FTTP different?

When communication providers (CPs) speak of Fibre they can mean either Fibre to the Premise (Full Fibre, FTTP, Fibre to the Home) or Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). Most of the country have FTTC. Full Fibre or FTTP delivers gigabit capable fibre all the way into your home or business. It delivers faster speeds that can be guaranteed, no loss of speed at peak times and no loss of speeds due to distance from the cabinet or exchange. This link helps to explain the differences Openreach ADSL/FTTC/FTTP explained (click).

We have this one opportunity to get FTTP that will ensure very fast connections able to manage the growing bandwidth requirements over the next few years.

What would I be signing up for?

We are aiming for a scheme that has 130% funding so we do not require a legal entity to sign a contract or undertake the liability for the cost. Openreach will undertake liability of risk for the scheme,  when we have liability cover through the raising of an additional 30% substitute vouchers. This covers any voucher drop outs.

To receive the funding the people who are pledging their state aid voucher are committing to ordering an FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) broadband service from their chosen provider, upon completion of the infrastructure build. This will be in approx. 6-9mths time.

Openreach then have the approval to progress build of the infrastructure to all 140 listed addresses. Once completion of the infrastructure is signed off in approx. 6-9mths, this leaves 3mths of the 12mth ring-fence, for the committed 43 pledgees,  to have placed orders with their internet service provider of choice and have the service operational in their homes prior to the 12mth deadline.

What speed can I get from FTTP?

Current technology is capable of 1Gbps. At the moment most service providers are only offering service up to 330 Mbps. This is expected to change as demand increases.

Is there an alternative solution to taking FTTP? Can I have a new cabinet nearer to me than take FTTP?

In theory yes, but in practice the cost of a new cabinet will be more expensive than FTTP and will be ineligible for Government vouchers.

I have a green fibre cabinet nearby, why can’t you just connect into this?

This is fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and is not capable of supporting a community’s FTTP connections. We have separate fibre connection points called nodes with much bigger capacity that we use to deliver fibre to the premises (FTTP).

How long does a typical Community Fibre Partnership take?

A Community Fibre Partnership can take up to 1 year to deliver once the contract is signed.

The time taken to get to contract is dependent on the complexity of the scheme, whether DCMS vouchers are used and the time it takes for the community lead to rally their community.

Service Providers

Do I have to use BT?

No, everyone who takes part can choose their own communications/service provider (SP/CP) for service  - details of participating fibre providers that use the Openreach network here - https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fttp-providers . If your provider is not on this list we would suggest you contact them because given the project will take 9-12 months anyway, there could be plans to upgrade.

How much more a month is an FTTP service?

Your service provider can give you all the details for the investment in an FTTP product and you may find it is the same cost as your current product.

Delivery

How long will it take to deliver?

Our contract states we will deliver within 12 months of a signed contract. We will of course work to install the network as quickly as possible.

Do you need to dig up my road?

We will usually deliver the new fibre via existing poles and ducts, very occasionally we may need to install new duct and poles but we can usually deliver over the existing infrastructure.

How can one know if a fibre cable would come into the house underground or overhead?

It follows the current route.

Would normal voice line come through the same fibre cable or via a copper cable?

Customers can choose if they wish to have a Voice Over IP service or keep a copper line for their voice calls.

Will I need a new router and if so when do I get it?

When you order the service this will be sent to you from your Internet Service Provider.

When will you need to enter my home?

Our project will deliver a full fibre solution from the exchange to your property, however we do not enter your home when we are building the network. The final connection into your property will be done when you place an order with your Service Provider.
 

All you need to do now is complete this form: tinyurl.com/fabfibre

 

Even if you think you already have FTTP it would be worth signing up as it helps us get ultrafast broadband for everyone in Sparsholt and Westcot.

This information will only be used for the purpose of this project and will only be sent to the Programme Director at OpenReach.

Examples of FTTP plans with suppliers currently:

BT

SKY

Once again, any questions please don’t hesitate asking one of us as we are sure there will be more than one of us thinking exactly the same thing!!

Justin Dunn
Mobile- 07595 023794
E Mail- [email protected]

Maia Sissons
Mobile- 07555 729796
E mail-  [email protected]