How to contact Gary or Neil:
Email Gary - email@example.com
Email Neil - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Neil for voucher issues in Chiseldon and Gary for voucher issues in Wanborough & Liddington.
Update 31/7/21 following our meeting with Openreach yesterday:
Project builds are divided into multiple stages and tasks, with different engineering teams assigned to each. Where the build is significant, like in Wanborough and Chiseldon, some tasks may be completed earlier in the project cycle than others so that we can minimise the risk of delay.
Local surveys are still ongoing for phase 1 properties in both Wanborough and Chiseldon, but are expected to be completed within the next few weeks. These surveys are intended to look at the local connection ends and check routes into properties via poles or ducts. To put some context to the Phase 1 survey work, Wanborough has 20 zones within its project scope to survey and Chiseldon has 26. We had hoped to complete all survey work for Phase 1 around now, but we have experienced reduced engineering staff levels due to track and trace; there are 10 zones left to complete in the coming weeks.
In terms of the feedback received about 8 week delivery; we think this relates to the spine cabling that is being laid to serve both projects, we expect this to be completed in about 8 weeks time, notwithstanding any barriers to build.
Spine cable is the major cable link between the exchange and the local area. Both the Wanborough and Chiseldon schemes will utilise this spine. However the equipment at the exchange that the spine will connect to is not due to be shipped in until later in the year, so whilst the cabling itself will be completed in the next few months, it cannot be activated just yet.
We are on schedule to complete within the committed timelines and at the moment this means for Phase 1, the expected completion date is May 2022. As the project progresses and equipment is put into place we can give more specific updates and if we can deliver before this time, we will.
Phase 2 properties will follow on and we’ll update on timelines once these are passed to delivery, more on this below.
We have now finalised the address list for Wanborough and Chiseldon and no further amendments can be made. We have set a final deadline for voucher pledges for these additional properties to be made to our website, the deadline is August 20th 2021. We have set this deadline so that we can capture everyone who wishes to take part, validate the pledges and then ask our engineers to perform a second round of surveys and ensure that no-one is missed out. For this reason, voucher pledges made after this date will not be included, so it’s important that anyone who wishes to take part and is yet to register a pledge via the Openreach website does so by this date.
If a pledge/registration has already been made to the Openreach website there is no need to do so again. After August 20th, the team will make the request for vouchers for anyone who is yet to receive a voucher or yet to validate.
Finally we have the news we've been working towards:
I met with Openreach this morning together with Neil Richardson (who has been working with the Chiseldon residents) and we are pleased to confirm that we have now officially moved into the build phase of the project – we did it!
It is definitely happening!!!!
Gigabit Fibre is definitely coming to our two communities!
As many of you have seen Openreach engineers have been in the area finalising their plans for the rollout and we will learn over the coming weeks the timescales for delivery, we’ll share that info with you as soon as we can. In order to claim the voucher Openreach have a 12 month period before they expire and most were pledged late last year.
If you live in Wanborough & Liddington or Chiseldon you could still miss out if you haven’t pledged your voucher and for those who haven’t engaged, it may not be too late.
Households who haven’t pledged or been part of the scheme may have to pay to connect to the new network later so whilst there is still an opportunity to use the free Government vouchers of £1500 for a home or £3,500 for a business it makes sense to take part.
Neil and I continue to explore ways of getting the un-validated vouchers converted and letters will be going out to these people shortly, we are also looking at a method of validating vouchers by SMS instead of email. If you haven't received your voucher please email me again as Openreach can access the vouchers again.
I would like to personally thank who helped start this process from the first meeting he and I had with Openreach in April 2020 and celebrate the achievement through lockdown of promoting this! We have raised nearly £2m in pledges and Neil Richardson has been a fantastic advocate in Chiseldon, promoting and sharing the benefits, organising leaflets, as well as joining me on very regular briefings and workshops to achieve this.
Thank you to local printers (ESP Colour) who produced the Wanborough Leaflet for free and those helpers who did the deliveries.
This has also been a great community effort with many residents being Gigabit champions online and sharing the positive news with friends and neighbours, but please keep spreading the word to your friends/neighbours so nobody misses out.
We still have the other villages to address, and some missing streets and we are working on what can be attached to these schemes and what will have to be done separately under a new funding application.
Your Ridgeway Ward Councillor
Why is Ultra-fast broadband important and what is this scheme?
A government scheme is giving us something for nothing (well nearly). Each home has a £1500 voucher to contribute towards building a brand new 'Gigabit Fibre' network in our villages to replace the ageing copper network (which will be retired in 2025 anyway).
A few answers to common questions:
1) Will the voucher cover the full cost of installing fibre to my home? YES
2) So I won't have to contribute if the cost of the scheme isn't covered? NO - if there aren't enough pledges to cover the scheme it won't be built.
3) What will it cost me? From around £25 per month
4) Why do I need it? Because life is becoming more digital, from downloading films, FaceTiming family and friends, making appointments, online shopping.
5) Will I be able to keep my phone number? YES (in 98% of cases according to BT).
6) Finally in 2025 Openreach will stop supporting the old copper newtwork and your current supplier will have to offer you an alternative - this could be a wireless connection - at this stage that is up to them but the copper lines will cease.
7) If I don't connect now can I connect later? YES but you will have to pay the cost from the nearest part of the new network to your home - and that depends on distance and what they may have to dig up.
8) Is the value of my home affected? YES - according to a report from Government (read the link below) and supported by those in the property industry - increasingly people will choose whether to rent or buy based on connection speeds. It makes sense really as if working from home becomes a regular thing then a home with bad broadband could affect your career!
If you have any questions please let me know?
Call me on 790814 or email email@example.com
Your Ridgeway Ward Councillor
2nd March 2021
Gigabit Fibre - some help from BT Consumer with the following caveat:
The information below is specific to BT Consumers Customer Services and offers only.
Prices change over time.
This information is provided for the sole purpose of the support of the Wanborough, Swindon, community solution.
This covers a lot of unanswered questions and although I'm a convert already it reassures me about costs and basics like retaining phone numbers.
This information was obtained by a helpful resident also supporting the scheme.