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Gigabit fibre - we need more pledges!

Update on Gigabit Fibre 31/03/21:
 
Today I met with Openreach and the news is that we are not quite there yet, as the scheme still needs some additional pledges, acceptances and refinements!
 
In Wanborough we have enough money for the build, but both are big schemes and they need a contingency. Chiseldon has good numbers, but in both cases we will see the totals revised when invalid pledges are removed.
 
Openreach stressed how brilliantly we have done to hit the numbers we have, when it hasn’t been possible to hold public events to promote it. This is credit to the hard work undertaken to get here and we both want to thank residents who have delivered leaflets, hosted banners and promoted the scheme. We have done this in just over 4 months!
 
Pledges will carry forward and we hope to get positive news on the build once the numbers are firmed up.
 
For Wanborough and Chiseldon there have been quite a few ineligible pledges where people have in some cases pledged 2 or 3 times from the same address and where people have put in a different postcode (which is in the scheme) where their address isn’t). Openreach engineers will be looking to see if any postcodes which are effectively within the scheme area can be included as quick wins.
 
If you have not received the DCMS Voucher please let us know (after 8th April) including your name, full address and date when you pledged (you would have received an email). Please check if anyone else in your home has also applied. There is only ONE VOUCHER per premises.
 
From Michelle Maidment (Rural Engagement Manager):
 
‘As discussed, the DCMS portal is closed and we can’t request any more vouchers.
 
However, any vouchers that were already sent out and not yet accepted have a grace period of 28 days from the date that they were first sent - where applicable these will extend past the deadline, so we encourage anyone who has not yet accepted to check their spam/junk and accept, as we do need all of the acceptances that we can possibly get.
 
The next immediate step will be to go through all the pledges/addresses that were marked as ineligible and see how many could be added into the current projects.
 
Any which cannot be added to the current proposed build, will be added to Phase 2. We’ll update the pledge sites over the coming week.
 
The NEW VOUCHER SCHEME will launch on 8th April. Based on the current guidance provided, postcodes are eligible for the next voucher scheme and we anticipate being able to use this to progress Phase 2 and those residents not included the first time around.
 
Please ask residents to check spam/junk for emails that may have been missed. Over the course of the next week we will be checking all pledges that were marked as invalid to assess their inclusion into the current scheme or the next one. The pledge sites will be updated. Once this piece of work is completed, we will then begin the exercise to build costs for Phase 2.’
 
Gary Sumner
Your Ridgeway Ward Councillor
 
 

 

HOW DO YOU PLEDGE?

 

Please check if you are in the scheme by using the following link:

 

https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity

 

 

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).

 

We are doing well - we have 91% of the required pledges and need to get to around 95-100%. 500 homes in the villages have now pledged and we have until the 31st of March to get the pledges made.

 

We live in an increasingly digital age, from making a doctors appointment, ordering our prescriptions from the GP, renewing your green waste subscription, ordering your shopping or talking to friends and family via Facetime - all of these things require a reliable digital connection.

 

Start to download films, watch Netflix or Sky, attend a Zoom or a Teams meeting or your children have to do online lessons and it becomes critcal.

 

Over the past year having a broadband connection has enabled grandparents to still see their grand-children and talk to their wider families and friends. 

 

 

 

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!

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/broadband-speed-boost-sees-home-values-jump-by-3500

 

 

Please check if you are in the scheme by using the following link:

 

https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity

 

 

If you have any questions please let me know?

 

Call me on 790814 or email gary@ridgewayvillages.co.uk

 

Gary

 

Gary Sumner

Your Ridgeway Ward Councillor

2nd March 2021

 

Update on Gigabit Fibre for Wanborough & Liddington.

 

The DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) funded Gigabit Fibre scheme has been promoted since the end of November.

 

Updated (21st March 2021) we are at 91% of pledges.

 

The total, including contingency is £982,917.

 

We need to get to between 85-95% then the scheme is likely to proceed but we ideally need closer to 100% if we can get it, to compensate for when some people have accidentally pledged twice or have changed their mind.

 

Timing has also become critical as the funding for this year now ends 31/3/2021 (we were previously advised that as the 'business case was approved' that the funding could carry forward) so we need to make all efforts to get back to that target if we want the scheme delivered.

 

With the help of residents and businesses we have Openreach banners all around the village and both BBC Wiltshire and the Swindon Advertiser are covering this in the coming days.

 

Again with help from ESP Colour printing we are going to leaflet the villages in the coming days.

 

The free (Government funded) £1500 Gigabit Fibre voucher (or £3,500 if you run a business registered at home) will cover the full cost of connection to your home. Those who don't pledge will have to pay to connect later - this cost will depend on the distance to connect, among other things.

 

Finally, in 2025 copper lines will no longer be continuing and residents and their service provider will have to seek alternative methods of telephone connection/broadband if you receive those through a copper cable.

 

Indicative cost of connections quoted in the reply from BT (a service provider) in the article below.

 

Please continue to support and if you are uncertain please send me your questions and I will either point you to the information publicly available or can help get the answer.

 

Due to the deadline Openreach will NOT add any more homes to the scheme but after April 1st we will request new schemes for the smaller areas not currently included.

 

https://www.ridgewayvillages.co.uk/contact/

 

 

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.

 

 

From November 2020:

 

I have worked together with our MP Robert Buckland and Openreach since the Spring of 2020 to try to deliver this scheme for the villages. I have attended dozens of meetings - looked at logistics, postcodes, maps, planning. 

 

Now the opportunity is here!

 

Register your interest in Openreach Fibre Broadband

 

https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity

 

The Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme means that every eligible rural home can get a voucher worth £1500 and up to £3500 for small businesses.

 

Robert Buckland MP explained:

“Following many meetings between myself, Cllr Gary Sumner and Openreach, we are pleased to announce that residents in Wanborough, Liddington and Chiseldon are now able to register their interest in Openreach Fibre Broadband, utilising Government funding.

 

Terms & Conditions:

Voucher applicants will be expected to take a FTTP contract once the build is completed for:

 

i)          A minimum of 12 months 

ii)         A minimum speed of 30 Mbps or double speed if the speed received today is greater than this, i.e. if you receive 40 Mbs today, you will be expected to take 80Mbs.

 

The providers that people can use are here https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fttp-providers

 

Terms of the funding from DCMS: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020-09-08-GBVS-Beneficiary-Terms-and-Conditions-v6.0.pdf

 

Address

Cllr Gary Sumner

Ridgeway Ward

Blenheim
Wanborough
Swindon
SN4 0AW

 

Tel: 01793 790814
E-mail:
gary@ridgewayvillages.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

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