SUPERFAST BROADBAND CAMPAIGN – AN UPDATE
Enton and Rake Lane now have fibre Broadband
Following our Campaign in February, Openreach reversed their decision not to upgrade the street cabinet no.26 next to Milford Station. This cabinet went live last month and is now Fibre enabled. Residents that suffered speeds of less than 3MBps are now enjoying real speeds of upto 70MBps. The campaign success was undoubtedly achieved because of the strong resident support that we received, with over 90% of the 140 Enton/Rake Lane area households and businesses who will now benefit having signed up to our campaign. Community power does work. We are thankful too for support from Peter Martin, Deputy Leader of Surrey County Council.
Phase 2 of the campaign
Residents with phone: Wormley 01428 …
A number of residents of North Hambledon on the Wormley exchange have contacted me – they should be able to get superfast broadband Infinity now that Wormley upgrade to fibre is complete, as promised by Superfast Surrey (Surrey CC). However residents are gradually discovering, one by one, that they won’t get super fast broadband at all. This is mainly for people 1.5km beyond cabinet 6 on the Petworth Road on the edge of Hambledon. This means anyone near the Merry Harriers or North of there, or outlying areas such as Vann will not ever get super fast.
My message to residents in such a situation is to contact me Email me and I’ll happily put you in contact with others in similar position. My advice is also to contact the Superfast Surrey Team and ask in strong terms: “where’s my Superfast? – you promised 99.7% of Surrey would be covered?” The person to contact is the Senior Digital Officer Lucie Glenday. She will delegate but in my experience all her team are not empowered to answer questions other than the FAQ on their website – which don’t tell us anything new. They say there is a review going on, but one could ask why they did not anticipate so many people were not covered by their Superfast plans that requires them to have an additional review. (we calculate over 2000 in SE Godalming alone). Their website also says they plan to develop alternative solutions for the excluded residents. I have yet to get anything tangible from them to qualify exactly what Superfast Surrey consider as an alternative. As of July, they have no alternative solution.
Contact Surrey CC: email@example.com
Our First Success!
Following our intervention, Openreach recently agreed that they will fibre upgrade street cabinet no.26 at the junction of Rake Lane and Station Lane. This is a complete reversal of their earlier decision not to do so. It has undoubtedly been achieved because of the strong resident support that we received, with over 90% of the 140 Enton/Rake Lane area households and businesses who will now benefit having signed up to our campaign. Community power does work. We are thankful too for support from Peter Martin, Deputy Leader of Surrey County Council.
So what now?
There are a further 80 households and businesses currently served by cabinet 26 that are simply too far from it to benefit from the upgrade when it happens later this year. In addition, there are another 59 properties served by street cabinet 48 (located towards Busbridge, and which is already fibre-enabled), that have seen no benefit. Properties beyond about 1.5 to 2 km from their street cabinet see little or no advantage from fibre upgrade as any speed benefits are lost on the final “journey” from the street cabinet to the front door as data passes along copper or aluminium wire.
Our campaign focus is getting a solution for these 139 households/businesses spanning 13 different GU8 post codes. So far, we have an average of 68% of those households/businesses signed up to our campaign. This is a significant achievement but we are making efforts to increase it.
Where are we with BT/Openreach?
Hambledon has now got Fibre enabled to Cabinet 6 of the Wormley Exchange. The first residents to use the service are seeing speeds of upto 35Mbs (once they sign up to the increased tariff and extra box installed). The closer to the cabinet the higher the speed possible. Cabinet 6 on Petworth Road is not too far from the Wormley Exchange at the top of the hill near the bridge over the Railway.
For those residents that need to check if their postcode is included in ths Superfast Scheme go to:
www.Superfastsurrey.org.uk If you are included, you need to go to BT, or TalkTalk to request upgrade to their BT Infinity products (extra monthly cost and install fee)
For those residents that are not in the scheme (particularly those to the North of the Village, Feathercombe, Hydestile, & Enton) go here www.GU8Superfast.co.uk to see the campaign to get SuperFast enabled.
The Surrey Superfast Broadband Team have a website. It has a Postcode Checker so you can see if your line is going to be upgraded. Beware, the system is a little clunky, and it seems to me that the Wormley Exchange (01428) is part of the Surrey CC Project BUT I can’t find any information that indicates that those village residents on the Godalming Exchange (01483) are part of the project. My deduction is that 01483 lines will have to wait for the BT commercial roll-out of fibre. The cabinet at Milford Station, for example, that serves Salt Lane is not due to be upgraded until March 2014.
For those of you that completed the Superfast Broadband Questionaire, here is an update:
Superfast Broadband in Surrey – the latest position
Surrey County Council is following a competitive dialogue procurement process to select a private sector company to extend the roll-out of broadband in Surrey to those areas that are not commercially viable for the private sector to invest alone. The aim is to ensure that homes and businesses can access superfast broadband and make use of the benefits it offers, no matter where they are located in the county.
Final proposals were received from two bidders in June. These provided detail on issues such as technology, deployment, speeds and cost. The proposals were evaluated against a set of criteria, which took into account both cost and quality to find the best solution for Surrey.
On 24 July 2012 Surrey County Council’s Cabinet considered the proposals and took the decision to award the contract to the preferred bidder.
The project is now in a ten day standstill period, as required by the Public Contracts Regulations (2006).
The contract will be finalised with the preferred bidder and signed during August.
At this point the County Council will be in a position to provide further details around this ground breaking, superfast broadband contract for Surrey. A joint press release shall be issued with the Supplier and a bulletin will be circulated to provide information.
Surrey County Council will work with the Supplier to develop the deployment schedule. Information on where and when superfast broadband will be deployed will be available in the Autumn.
Superfast Broadband Project Team
Surrey County Council
Dont forget to register your interest for BT to extend their BT Infinity coverage to Hambledon. If more residents expressed their interest in BT Infinity the logging of this demand may give BT a greater impetus to roll out towards Hambledon. So please use their BT Infinity availability checker and confirm your interest so we can build a weight of demand. Just go here: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
We have heard about initiatives for Superfast Broadband but they are not going to change anything for a very long time. Hambledon remains in the slow lane, with Broadband bandwidth crawling along under 2Mbs – amongst some of the worst performing areas in the country. BT has an interim solution – the relatively new BT Infinity system that promises slightly better speed of broadband – by installing fibreoptic cables to street cabinets. It is being rolled out slowly to many parts of the country – but BT is being selective about where it installs fibre. Milford has got BT Infinity already but the cabinet serving Hydestile and North Hambledon (at Milford Station) is not scheduled for upgrade yet. Maybe there are town planning delays to this, or more likely I am guessing it is driven by demand for broadband and potential catchment area. So maybe if more residents expressed their interest in BT Infinity the logging of this demand may give BT a greater impetus to roll out towards Hambledon. So please use their BT Infinity availability checker and confirm your interest so we can build a weight of demand. Just go here: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
If 30 or so people register interest it may make the difference.
If you want to check your broadband speed – try this: http://www.speedtest.net/