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Hockley Heath Park Traveller Incursion 11/8/2015

The Travellers have been successfully moved on from the Park today at 6.00pm. It has been a good example of effective communication and good decision making based on regular informed interaction between Residents, HHPC, SMBC professionals and the West Midlands Police.
I would particularly like to thank Alan Brown, SMBC Head of Environmental Services and his team at SMBC for working so effectively and quickly on behalf of the Hockley Heath Community and Parish Council.
The decision made this evening by the responsible West Midlands Police commander of resources at the scene was intelligent and judged the situation perfectly. Ably abetted by the SMBC Environmental Services team on the ground with the Police. Well done!
This action helps to restore confidence to Hockley Heath residents and businesses in the effectiveness of West Midlands Policing and their much improved coordination with the SMBC Environmental Services professional team.
HHPC will now be conducting an inspection of buildings and facilities in the Park. However an initial review seems to indicate no serious damage to the grounds, buildings, bowling club and play equipment. However there is considerable waste and litter left on the Park grounds.
This means there is a significant health and safety hazard from bottles, waste and fouling from rubbish left behind on the park and in the surrounding ditches. HHPC has commissioned SMBC Environmental Services to send a crew to clear and dispose of the dangerous mess. In the meantime we have cordoned off the lower park to residents until cleared.
You will be pleased to hear the HH Bowls Club were out in force this evening playing on their pitch once again as the Park returns to normal service. Many thanks to residents who raised the alarm and village organisations that helped communicate information to the village during this distressing episode and also those who helped with the clearing up operations.
The Park main gates on to Old Warwick Road will remain closed whilst HHPC reviews the future security options for the Park. All current Park and Pavilion key holders are now required to open and close the main gates at all times. Once the new security measures are in place we hope normal service can be resumed.
Finally this episode will not disrupt or delay the HHPC upgrading of the children’s play area which commences in September.
Kind Regards, Peter
 
Peter T. Rayson
Chairman
Hockley Heath Parish Council

Hockley Heath Park Traveller Incursion 8/8/2015

The Hockely Heath Park has been invaded by a significant sized group of Traveller families comprising approximately 10-12 vehicles and caravans. Access to the park was obtained via a padlock having been removed from the park grass area entrance: only used by emergency services or Park maintenance contractors.
The police have been in attendance, in force, to contain the situation. The police can take no action at this time as trespass is a civil not a criminal activity. The civil action response has to be a court order which can only be obtained on Monday morning. HHPC are working directly with SMBC to ensure this is done along with getting the bailiffs in to move the Travellers on ASAP.
In discussion with the Police Inspector the advised course of action for HHPC is to allow this group on to the Park and localise them for the police to keep watch and monitor their activities rather than barricade the Park and scatter them all over the village. Whilst this is a major issue for  HHPC and the residents surrounding the Park it is deemed the safest approach for all concerned.
The Police can only act if there is criminal actions taking place, for example: damage to property, abusive behaviour, theft and any other criminal activity. If any villager sees or is impacted by anything of this sort involving these Travellers then they must report it to the police immediately. These reports will all be logged and will be hugely important on Monday morning when the court injunction is served because criminal activity can be and will be acted upon.
In the mean time HHPC and SMBC advice is to ensure all your property and belongings are secure. Also do not take matters into your own hands as this can easily escalate and cause more harm and damage for both the village and the Travellers who have young children amongst them.
On advice from the Police, the Park main gates will not be locked tonight or Sunday night as they are usually at dusk. HHPC has been assured by the Police that they will be monitoring on every hour for the duration of the incursion all Park facilities, to ensure they are not broken into or vandalised.
If any Villager sees any threatening behaviour or fighting they are to call 999 immediately and the Police are alerted to respond at once.
Whilst this is completely unacceptable behaviour by the Travellers; we will be working closely with SMBC and the West Midlands Police to try and find a safe and swift conclusion to this incursion.
Yours Sincerely,
Peter Rayson
Chairman
Hockley Heath Parish Council
 

Superfast Broadband August Update

Are you in an area where the commercial providers have failed to provide superfast broadband?

CSW Broadband is delivering Superfast Broadband (min 24Mbps) across Coventry Solihull and Warwickshire to places where commercial providers won’t offer a service. This is being achieved by rolling out high speed fibre optic cables and equipment, which is available to Internet Service Providers (ISP) to deliver their products, including high speed fibre optic broadband, to you. This allows you to choose the ISP and the products that suit your needs – and your wallet. What we will be buying is known as Next Generation Access (NGA). This refers to the actual broadband network, as opposed to superfast broadband which is one of the services that will be delivered over the network.

Work is already underway in some areas as a result of an initial round of public funding. Further funds have now become available and to secure them and then to expand the scope of the project we need up to date information about broadband that people receive or is available to them if they want it.

We can only use public funding for places which will not receive Superfast Broadband as a result of earlier rollout i.e. installed by a supplier in the normal course of their business, or through the first CSW Broadband project.  Now that we have the funding and are planning the second stage of our rollout. We need to confirm which areas are eligible for our assistance – and this is where we need your help!

A key part of the consultation is our mapping. The State Aid Intervention Map – NGA shows the State Aid intervention area – in other words where we believe we will be legally able to spend public money. PLEASE NOTE: this is not a broadband coverage map!

The map has four different shadings using seven digit postcode resolution:

  • Black = where two or more providers have stated that they will be providing NGA services
  • Grey = where one provider has stated that they will be providing NGA services
  • Hatched = conditional white. This means that a provider has previously said that they would provide coverage but has not done so yet
  • White (shaded pink on the map) = Areas that we can invest in and which may be included in the Invitation to Tender

Because the map aims to define the Intervention Area it differs significantly from the Superfast Broadband Availability maps we produce to track the rollout.

Consider a postcode where 89 out of 100 homes or businesses have been connected to the NGA network, on the Intervention Map this would be shown as No provider because there are still 11 homes or businesses to be connected. However, on the Superfast Broadband Availability maps it would be shown as Available with our usual caveat that you must check availability for your own home or business using the commercial provider’s website.

By mapping partial postcodes as white (pink) we retain the option to invest in these areas if intervention is required to ensure availability of superfast broadband.

For the planned rollout under the current CSW Broadband project please refer to our 12-month rolling plan and associated map.

BDUK has introduced very strict criteria as to what qualifies as grey, and we have applied this rigorously so as to minimise the grey areas as far as possible. For NGA, each postcode is turned Grey if:

  • BT has upgraded the network infrastructure serving the area AND ALL premises within the postcode have an estimated (VDSL2 for FTTC) Access Line Speed of more than 15Mbps;
  • OR, if Virgin Media serve 90% or more of premises within a postcode;
  • OR, if it is in an area that is served by an alternative fibre-based, NGA fixed wireless or other qualifying technology that meets the requirements of the BDUK NGA Technology Guidelines.
  • Each postcode is turned Black for NGA if it satisfies at least two of these conditions. Postcodes that satisfy one of these conditions is turned grey. All other postcodes remain White.
  • Where 2 operators have declared partial coverage of premises within a postcode, a complete overlap of coverage is assumed, e.g. if a postcode contains 30 premises and operator A serves 10 premises and operator B serves 25 premises with Superfast Broadband, 5 premises are considered to be NGA white.
  • Even 1 premise under 15Mbps would turn a postcode white, even though 99% may have NGA coverage.

BDUK are being pessimistic about expected coverage and this is reflected in the mapping. Furthermore, we are aggressively enforcing white areas to maximise potential coverage.

The priority for CSW Broadband will be to use the available public funding to provide a ‘step change’ in broadband capability for premises currently getting relatively slow broadband speeds (less than 15Mbps). Therefore, in the first instance, the focus of the forthcoming procurement under the BDUK Framework will be the NGA White areas identified in the State Aid Map below. However, the project reserves the right to consider extending intervention to the areas classified as “Conditional White” in the event that the risks of these premises not achieving Superfast Broadband is verified.

When we go to tender the areas to be covered will be refined by taking some postcodes out of scope and not by turning areas grey. This is obviously better as it allows them to be introduced later if necessary.

We need to be able to identify:

  • Any premises that are shaded grey or black on our map that are unable to access broadband with a minimum speed of 24Mbps
  • Any premises that are in the proposed intervention area (shaded pink on our map) and are already able to access 24Mbps or above
  • Any areas that are shaded pink on our map where there are proposals to provide a minimum 2Mbps service or a superfast broadband service within the next three years.

To do this we need to confirm that the information we have is accurate and up to date. For example we believe that some areas which have been marked as grey or black may not have or will not get superfast speeds – and that is where you come in.

Please respond to this consultation even if you have previously completed one of our surveys as this information forms part of our formal procurement process

What we need you to do?

1)      Look on our map to see how your area has been defined – are we showing you as being in an area that has (or will receive) superfast broadband or not? www.cswbroadband.org.uk/consultation

2)      We need to know if we have the designation for your area correct on the map. Please use the BT Broadband checker (www.dslchecker.bt.com) to find out if superfast broadband is available in your area – in which case it will say that speeds of 24Mbps or above are achievable. To use the checker, either enter a BT landline telephone number (including area code) or your address (you need to click the link below the number box). Please do not use the postcode checker as it is not accurate enough to be of any help!

3)      If you are currently subscribing to a superfast broadband service are you achieving the speeds that you should? Check your speed at www.speedtest.net  and note the results.

4)      If there is/are alternative provider(s) to BT using fibre, wireless or other technology to bring you services please make a note of them.

5)      If, after carrying out the checks above, you believe that we have your area wrongly designated on the map please complete our survey at www.cswbroadband.org.uk/consultation

Please note that this consultation closes on 18th September, so please respond as soon as possible

Thank you for your help – your responses will help us to ensure that we are able to consider those areas that will not otherwise be upgraded

Questions and Answers

Why are you carrying out another public consultation?

The public consultation is not just some random exercise that we have decided to undertake. It is a requirement for the procurement that we plan to undertake in the autumn. We have already carried out an Open Market Review whereby we ask the providers where they expect to provide superfast broadband by 2017. We know from the previous procurement and consultations where the cabinets are. What we are less clear about is which properties are on exchange only lines or have other issues, particularly those in areas that may have been upgraded to superfast as part of the commercial programme or as part of the CSW Broadband rollout.

Once we have good information we can then use it to challenge the responses that we receive to our Invitation to Tender. We do not expect to simply accept what we are given, but in order to provide a robust challenge we do need accurate information. That is why we are asking people to engage in the consultation process.

In summary, we are only at the beginning of a huge rollout. Our ultimate goal is to achieve the 2020 EU targets of 100% connected at 30Mbps or above, and our aim is to do that well before 2020 (funding permitting). We are doing all that we can to take the fibre connectivity to as many premises as possible and some may take a little longer than others. If anyone is unable to wait for the public network to roll out then there are options to privately fund a connection through BT but that will be expensive – and it is that cost that prevents our project from implementing one-off or small-scale solutions at this stage when there will be better and less expensive technologies available in the future.

Can our village contribute financially to the contract to be sure of being included in the next rollout?

The problem remains that we can’t see any mechanism for ensuring that a particular village or parish would be economically covered. We will go out to tender to achieve a minimum percentage coverage. The bidders will come back with their proposals, which will include the percentage that they will achieve. Last time we asked for 90% and the current rollout should achieve 91%. We then enter into all sorts of contract negotiations which include the total homes passed (THP). BDUK have oversight of all projects and so they are able to advise if we are achieving value for money. Last time we were told that we had scored extremely well on all counts when compared to other projects.

As we do not have detailed knowledge of any providers’ existing infrastructure and are not network design engineers we have to let the contractor design the rollout plan so that they make best use of the available funding whilst achieving the project objectives (fibre as far as possible etc) and the THP. Throughout the project there are clear contractual milestones which are monitored and payment is made on the basis of results.

In theory if there was to be fibre in your area but not covering a cabinet then you could pay towards that, but the cost would depend on where the fibre connection was and any difficulties in standing the cabinet, powering it up, connecting it etc. At this stage there are simply too many variables, but we are aware of communities that have approached BT directly for a bespoke solution and been quoted anything from £20-50k.

We will be asking our partners for support to match the additional £6m, but that will be over a much larger area rather than a specific village or parish.

As we don’t know at this stage what the rollout will look like for the £7.36m that we have bid for, or indeed for any part of the £6m that we are hoping to find match for, we would suggest that now is not the best time for you to be thinking about spending your money. We should imagine that you would be less than happy to commit several £00,000s only to find that it could have been included in the project anyway!

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/faq

We need to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Please send this email to your contacts and encourage them to send it further. It’s probably best to remove the contact details above our logo at the top of the email otherwise it could get to be a very long string before the email itself appears!

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops

Facebook Page –  https://www.facebook.com/CSWSuperfastBroadband

Twitter – https://twitter.com#!/cswbroadband

LinkedIn –  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/CSW-Superfast-Broadband-4403473

June 2015 Superfast Broadband Update

Phase one rollout update

Work is progressing well on phase one of the rollout programme. At the time of writing we have a total of 40 cabinets live with a further 15 Phase One cabinets due to go live over the next few months. Phase one is almost a testing phase as we get to grips with the contract management requirements that are laid down by BDUK, and with the numerous other considerations that need to be worked through before a cabinet can be stood and made live.

A major consideration is the siting of the cabinet itself. Whilst there is no longer a requirement for planning permission to be obtained, we do try to be mindful of the locations in which the cabinets are to be placed. However there is sometimes a trade-off as we do have to meet statutory requirements with regard to highways safety considerations such as visibility for drivers, access to pavements and distances from tree roots etc. We also have to consider the safety of the workmen who will be opening the cabinet regularly to make the physical connections as more subscribers come on-stream. There is also, of course, the requirement not only to provide power to the cabinet itself, but also to ensure that we are not impeding other underground services such as gas and water. In some cases avoiding other services can be a real challenge, and not one that is obvious simply by looking at a street-scene to decide on a cabinet location.

The good thing is that during the run-up to phase one and through the early stages of the rollout we have built strong relationships with other agencies and partners, and have worked together to build processes that will help to minimise the time required to survey a location. We are also finding ways to streamline the actual installation and commissioning process so that things will run as smoothly as possible.

Phase two is about to start

Phase two of the project is due to start in July, with a further 41 cabinets being brought into the programme. These are located across Warwickshire, and include a mix of some very rural areas and some that are not so rural. The full list can be seen on the updated rolling 12-month plan, which is available at: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/where-when/rolling-12-month-plan

The exchange areas that are to be upgraded from January are now also included in the rolling 12-month plan, and the September update will bring information on further exchanges.

We did say that we would endeavour to accelerate the rollout and we are actually well ahead of the original programme. As we move into the more difficult areas thing may slow down a little, but we are still expecting to complete the current rollout by spring 2016.

Additional funding

As previously mentioned, the CSW Broadband project was offered the opportunity to bid for £3.68m additional BDUK funding to take our coverage up to 95%, subject to match funding being found. We did say that the match would be a difficult ask given the current condition of Local Authority finances, but are delighted to announce that the provision of broadband throughout the area is considered by our elected members to be a high priority for our businesses and communities and so the WCC Cabinet approved the match funding at their June meeting.

We are now working to submit our bid to BDUK by the deadline of 30th June.

In a welcome turn of events, we have now been offered the opportunity to bid for a further £6m – this is on top of the £3.68m and could make a total of £9.68m additional BDUK money available to the project. When you consider that the current £15.47m contract consists of £4.445m BDUK, £4.445m local authorities and £6.58m from BT it puts the potential additional funding into perspective.

We would need to raise an additional £6m over and above the £3.68m, but if we are able to find the match funding and to procure a delivery partner it could mean a total additional spend of over £19m, plus the delivery partner contribution. That would certainly help to extend the fibre network, although it should be borne in mind that as we extend further out the costs increase so that the number of properties passed will not be at the same ratio as with the current project.

So, where will the additional match funding come from? Well we have just made a submission through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership for just under £8m EU funding to cover the period 2014 to 2020. This should allow us to cover the £6m, and we hope to hear about this towards the end of this year.

Procurement of the additional network capacity

The procurement of a partner to work with us on the delivery of the additional rollout has unofficially started, with the release last week of our Open Market Review. This does not form part of the legal requirements but is considered to be best practice and we did the same thing with the first contract. Under the Open Market Review suppliers are invited to tell us where they intend to extend their networks over the next three years. The information will be submitted in commercial confidence and will be used to develop the “Grey Areas” for the Public Consultation, which is part of the formal procurement process. Readers will recall that our project is not allowed under State Aid rules to operate in the grey areas as publicly funded projects should quite rightly not cut across private enterprise. Therefore we hope for a good level of response to the Open Market Review and Public consultation, as once the grey areas are set they cannot be changed. We assume that any provider who is planning to invest in their infrastructure will wish to respond to the Open Market Review, which can be found here: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/whats-happening/procurement-2014/open-market-review-omr

New CSW Broadband email addresses

We are moving to a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which will make it easier to keep track of our contacts as we have over 12,000 records in our current database. We are also taking this opportunity to set up two new email addresses. From the next edition our newsletter will come to you from BroadbandNews@cswbroadband.org.uk. Please ensure that your firewall will accept that address if you wish to continue to receive our newsletters.

We will also be setting up a new address for enquiries and will give information about that in the next newsletter. In the meantime please continue to use broadband@warwickshire.gov.uk for any enquiries

Events on website

We continue to offer a wide range of events through our website. These are delivered by partner organisations and many are completely free of charge. They cover mainly ICT-related topics and we hope to expand the offering.

We will be starting another round of local briefings about the project in September, and information will appear in a future newsletter.

Questions and Answers

My area is still shown as amber, what does that mean?

We don’t have information about the rollout in all areas yet, so they will remain amber. Don’t worry, you are still included in the programme and the timescales have not changed.

So when will I find out if I am included in the rollout under the additional funding?

In realistic terms we are unlikely to be in a position to announce the successful bidder until the New Year and past experience tells us that even then it will be some months before we are able to say which areas will be covered – and of course it all depends on how much funding we actually have!

How far will you get with the additional funding?

An excellent question! The £3.68m BDUK money is to take us to 95%. After that it gets progressively more expensive to provide superfast broadband as communities may be smaller, areas are more sparsely populated and there are geographic and topographic considerations such as rivers. motorways, railways and other obstacles to consider. This doesn’t make it impossible, it just means that the cost per property is considerably higher so that the further we go the less overage we get for the money.

It is less straightforward to say what we would get with the additional £6m (plus £6m match and contractor’s contribution). Although we are working towards our % rollout goals the figures that we use are based on premises that are currently existing. As we all know, there is a huge amount of development that is due to take place across the whole country, and our area is no exception. As things stand at present there is no planning requirement for a developer to provide superfast broadband, and some developments are being built in areas where there is no existing fibre spine. We are therefore working with planners to address this issue and more information will be given in the next newsletter. This development means that we are constantly trying to hit a moving target.

We also have to bear in mind that the further we roll out the more challenging, and therefore the more expensive, the provision of fibre broadband becomes. Extensive work is therefore being undertaken to more fully understand the challenges and the potential costs.

At the end of the day, until we go through procurement we will not know exactly what is achievable, but we are doing our utmost to ensure that we have all of the necessary information to once again be able to provide a robust challenge throughout the procurement exercise.

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/faq

Proposals for the new Hockley Heath Recreation Ground

The Parish Council has been working with Sutcliffe Play to develop a new play area at the recreation ground for children and teenagers to use.  We realise that the users of the play areas would want a say and so we are looking for your voice.  Please click here and complete the very quick survey for us. The Parish Council will also be taking a stand at the Summer Fair on 6th July 2014 so that you can have a good look at the picture boards suggesting various equipment.
As yet nothing has been agreed so every comment is vital in creating an environment for the community.  The survey will close on 31st July 2014.

October 14 Date Announced for Lapworth Exchange Upgrade

Exchanges and Cabinets

In order to build the fibre network the local exchange must first be upgraded, and then the cabinets that are fed from it. In many cases the exchanges were upgraded as part of the commercial rollout, but the CSW Broadband project includes the upgrade of a number of smaller exchanges.

The list below shows the exchange areas where work is to be carried out in phases over the next 12 months. An exchange area may appear in the list more than once if a number of cabinets are to be upgraded over different phases. The numbers showing against the list of Phase 1 cabinets are the actual cabinet numbers.

We are bringing you this information as quickly as possible and are also working to accelerate the programme where this is feasible. We would therefore suggest that you check the website regularly for the latest updates as now that the rollout has started it will be a rapidly changing landscape. To see the latest updates go to http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/where-when/rolling-12-month-plan  

To check which cabinet you are connected to please visit www.dslchecker.bt.com which will usually tell you the Exchange and cabinet number (e.g. Address 1PCO HERTFORD ST, COVENTRY, CV1 1AD on Exchange COVENTRY is served by Cabinet 62).

If you do not have a BT telephone number you can enter your address and postcode. However, BT’s electronic records that are searched to produce the postcode and address check results are incomplete and contain errors. The accuracy is improving as the deployment progresses but the current error rate is between one in five and one in ten for the postcode checker.

Note also that the results will only tell you the current availability and will not show what is coming in the future, which is published here.

Health warning!

Please note that this information is based on current understanding and this will change. For example, if the survey finds many blocked cable ducts along the route to connect a Phase One cabinet then it may fall behind and only become Ready For Service (RFS) in a later phase even though the cabinet has been built. There are also exceptional circumstances which would result in a cabinet being removed from the programme.

There are a wide range of variables involved in the rollout of superfast broadband, and even if your local cabinet is successfully upgraded there is no guarantee that you will be able to achieve superfast speeds at your own property. These variables include (but are not limited to):

·       Distance from the cabinet. Broadband speeds can vary over copper connections so the further your distance away from the cabinet the lower the achievable speed will be

·       The quality of your copper connection back to the cabinet

·       Factors within your own property, such as electrical interference or the number of concurrent users

When you order a new broadband service your Internet Service Provider will carry out a test to establish what speeds you are likely to achieve.

 

Exchange Areas Phase 1
From April 2014
Cabinet Number  
ALDERMINSTER 1 Stratford Road Cnr Middlefield Road behind bench, Newbold On Stour
FILLONGLEY 5 Nuneaton Rd outside Woodcroft at Crossroads Tamworth Road, Meriden Road, Coventry Road
HENLEY- IN-ARDEN 1 Warwick Rd Jnc Stratford Rd outside The Bridge House B&B
HENLEY- IN-ARDEN 3 Alcester Road outside Pound Cottage Opposite Bulls Head, Junction with Stratford Rd
HENLEY- IN-ARDEN 7 Inside Wotton Hall Residential Park North end of Wotton Hall by post box
KINETON 2 Bridge Street outside library Cnr Warwick Road
KINETON 3 Warwick Road beside Swan Hotel Cnr Banbury Road
PEBWORTH 1 Long Marston Road Jnc Dorsington Road CV37 8RL in Long Marston
PEBWORTH 2 Lower Quinton – Main Road Jnc Campden Road CV37 8LJ
PEBWORTH 4 Lower Quinton – The Fordway outside 1 Jnc The Fordway CV37 8QP
SNITTERFIELD 1 Snitterfield Road Jnc Church Lane Bearley CV37 0SJ
SNITTERFIELD 2 School Road outside Snitterfield Primary School
SNITTERFIELD 3 Church Road opposite Holly Lodge CV37 0LE
STRATFORD ON AVON 6 Bridge Street in Cooks Alley
STRATFORD ON AVON 9 Evesham Road SW Cnr Shottery Road
STRATFORD ON AVON 15 Jnc Wellesbourne Road, Alveston Lane opposite 3,Alveston Lane
STRATFORD ON AVON 20 Timothy’s Bridge Rd Jnc Masons Rd
STRATFORD ON AVON 34 Ely Street between 54 (Queen’s Head) and 55
STRATFORD ON AVON 35 Bridge Street outside 22 on roundabout Union Street
STRATFORD ON AVON 36 Outside Rose & Crown, Sheep Street
STRATFORD ON AVON 39 Welcombe Road outside St Gregory’s Church
STRATFORD ON AVON 45 Birmingham Road opposite the junction of Western Road
STRATFORD ON AVON 46 Gospel Oak Lane at the junction of Birmingham Road, (opposite The Dun Cow)
STRATFORD ON AVON 47 Timothy Bridge Road (outside Building Profiles Ltd)
STRATFORD ON AVON 51 Arden Street opposite Elms Court
STRATFORD ON AVON 54 Alcester Road at the junction of the Station Entrance (next to Rother House)
STRATFORD ON AVON 62 Birmingham Road between St Peter’s Way and The Avenue
WELLESBOURNE 3 LOXLEY
WELLESBOURNE 4 B4088 Charlecote, South end of house opposite Charlecote Road
WELFORD ON AVON 2 High Street at the junction of Barton Road, Welford-on-Avon
WELFORD ON AVON 3 Church Street at the junction of High Street, Welford-on-Avon

 

Exchange Areas Phase 2
From July 2014
  Exchange Areas Phase 4
From January 2015
Coleshill   Alcester
Leamington Spa   Alderminster
Curdworth   Barford
Kineton   Bidford on Avon
    Claverdon
Exchange Areas Phase 3
From October 2014
  Coleshill
Alderminster   Curdworth
Atherstone   Dunchurch
Bidford on Avon   Fillongley
Brailes   Haseley Knob
Chapel End   Leamington Spa
Ettington   Moreton Morrell
Harbury   Nuneaton
Harvington   Pailton
Henley- In-Arden   Rugby
Ilmington   Southam
Keresley   Stratford-On-Avon
Knowle   Warwick
Lapworth   Welford- On-Avon
Moreton Morrell    
Shipston on Stour    
Solihull    
Toll Bar    
Wolston    

 

NGA Network Coverage Map

The latest map on the website shows in broad terms where the CSW Broadband project will be delivering NGA services. At this early stage there is a degree of uncertainty as to where the project is ultimately likely to deploy fibre, but we are bringing you the information as quickly as we can. BT has to carry out a significant amount of planning and on-the-ground surveying work before we can be certain that a location can receive superfast broadband, so the situation shown on this map is likely to change as the rollout progresses or as additional funding becomes available. It is therefore advised that you check the map regularly.

One of the main problems we face is that the data we are given is detailed by postcode, and the maps are generated showing postcode data. However, telecoms infrastructure clearly does not follow postcodes. In fact, as the surveys progress we are finding that we have some postcodes that are served by a number of cabinets, and some cabinets that serve properties in more than one postcode. When you factor in that some properties may be served by exchanges or cabinets that are several miles away you can see the difficulties. Therefore the information on this map is indicative only.

The key to the colours on the map are:

Grey/Black/Hatched Areas: Due for upgrade to superfast speeds by a commercial provider so outside the scope of this project.

White Areas – Awaiting Funding: We are awaiting additional funding to bring these areas up to superfast speeds. In the meantime they will receive the Universal Service Commitment of a minimum 2Mbps, up to 23Mbps (after which it becomes superfast). Speed achieved will depend on geography, topography and existing infrastructure. We are actively seeking additional funding for these areas.

Amber Areas – Future Investigation: We aim to get fibre to 93% of our area, and 91% should achieve superfast speeds, which means a minimum of 24Mbps (although some areas may get much more). As the initial investigative work is completed we will update these areas on the map.

Light Blue Areas – Surveying for faster broadband: Surveys are currently taking place for the installation of fibre to these areas. However, because of the distance from the cabinet it may be that they will not yet receive superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps. As technology improves the speeds available over the fibre in these areas will be likely to increase.

Dark Blue Areas – Surveying for faster broadband and should achieve superfast: Surveys are currently taking place for the installation of fibre to these areas and it is anticipated that they will achieve superfast speeds. Please note that the actual speed achieved at any property can be affected by a number of factors, but it is likely that it will be a minimum of 25Mbps (although some areas may get much more).

It should be noted that this map is high level only as we do not yet have sufficient detail to give more information. The landscape is changing as more surveys are carried out and some areas that are currently under investigation may drop out if they are not deliverable within the timescales or the available budget. The reasons for drop out could be many, but include geography; topography; distance of the existing cabinet from properties; lack of availability of power etc. If an area drops out then another will be brought in for investigation – which is why the maps may change as the project progresses.

To see the latest map go to: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/latest-maps/nga-network-coverage-map

Postcodes

We are currently working to produce information about coverage by postcode. The challenge is to present this in a meaningful way that will give an indication of what might be achieved.

It should be noted that one of the main problems we face is that the data we are given is detailed by postcode, but telecoms infrastructure clearly does not follow postcodes. In fact, as the surveys progress we are finding that we have some postcodes that are served by a number of cabinets, and some cabinets that serve properties in more than one postcode. When you factor in the fact that some properties may be served by exchanges or cabinets that are several miles away you can see the difficulties

Questions and Answers

Once my cabinet is connected to the exchange, what then?

That is entirely up to you. We are installing a wholesale network, which means that any Internet Service Provider (ISP) can offer you broadband and there are a wide range of packages available. Do check though that you are able to actually achieve the speeds that are advertised as the geographic issues mentioned above will apply in all cases.

To see the list of ISPs visit http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/about-broadband/alternative-providers-and-isps.

For the BT broadband availability checker visit: http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/ADSLChecker.TelephoneNumberOutput

So once my new cabinet is in place does that mean I can get superfast broadband?

Not immediately. Standing the cabinet is part of the story, it then has to be connected back to the exchange. Usually this is relatively straightforward, but sometimes there are issues such as blocked ducts. These are more common in the rural areas where the fibre runs back to the exchange are likely to be longer and where vehicles driving over grass verges can cause substantial damage to ducting.

Additional funding has been announced – what will it cover?

The Government has announced additional funds of £3.68m to take superfast broadband coverage up to 95% (our current project will achieve 91%), however this will have to be match funded. In the current economic climate it is not easy to see where the required match funding will come from, but we have recently made a submission through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership European Structural Investment Funds Strategy for a total of £7.85m. Unfortunately the timing of any allocation from EU funds is unlikely to meet the deadline by which we must apply for the Government funding, so we are actively investigating any and all other funding sources.

CSW Broadband will be procuring a partner to take the network to 95% superfast coverage, but are a long way from being able to say which areas will benefit. As with the first contract there will be a procurement exercise and the results of that, and the subsequent investigative works, will determine where the network will be rolled out next.

The team are still actively investigating any and all sources of funding to reach the EU 2020 targets of 100% coverage at a minimum of 30Mbps – which is higher than the current superfast speed of 24Mbps!! The Government has already said that it will launch a £10m fund on 17th March for pilot projects to test new ways of delivering high speed broadband. CSW Broadband will work with suitable local companies in developing applications to this fund and, if successful, in trialling the new technologies in our area.

How is it that some premises will get fibre but not superfast?

By the end of the project, around 93% of premises will have access to fibre, and 91% will have access to speeds of 24Mbps and above (note: both these statistics are the result of work carried out under this project, plus commercial roll-outs). Some premises will be connected to fibre but have speeds of less than 24Mbps due to factors including the distance to their street cabinet. Additionally, some premises connected to fibre will have speeds in excess of 24Mbps as FTTC delivers speeds of up to 80Mbps.

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/frequently-asked-questions

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found at:

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/bduk-contract-qas

Send this email on to all your contacts! We need to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Please send this email to your contacts and encourage them to send it further. It’s probably best to remove the contact details above our logo at the top of the email otherwise it could get to be a very long string before the email itself appears!

CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops

Facebook Page –  https://www.facebook.com/CSWSuperfastBroadband

Twitter – https://twitter.com#!/cswbroadband

LinkedIn –  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/CSW-Superfast-Broadband-4403473

Additional Funding for Superfast Broadband Announced.

The Government has announced that additional funding of £3.68m will be made available to take the coverage of superfast broadband to 95% of premises across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. The funding is conditional on being matched. The current £15.47m CSW Broadband contract with BT will achieve superfast coverage to 91% of premises and this funding will enable the project to procure a solution to achieve  a further 4% to coverage, which is 95% overall.

In the current economic climate it is not easy to see where the required match funding will come from, but the CSW Broadband team have made applications through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership for a total of £7.85m from the EU, and we are actively seeking other sources of funding for this important project. They have always said that the current project us just a stepping stone towards the EU target of 100% coverage at 30Mbps. This funding will help to take the superfast coverage even further.

CSW Broadband will be procuring a partner to take the network to 95% superfast coverage, but are a long way from being able to say which areas will benefit. As with the first contract there will be a procurement exercise and the results of that, and the subsequent investigative works, will determine where the network will be rolled out next.

The team are still actively investigating any and all sources of funding to reach the EU 2020 targets of 100% coverage at a minimum of 30Mbps – which is higher than the current superfast speed of 24Mbps!! The Government has already said that it will launch a £10m fund on 17th March for pilot projects to test new ways of delivering high speed broadband. CSW Broadband will work with suitable local companies in developing applications to this fund and, if successful, in trialling the new technologies in our area.

Superfast Broadband – First communities to benefit are announced

From Spring 2014, superfast fibre-based broadband will start to become available for the first time in parts of Alderminster, Fillongley, Henley-in-Arden, Kineton, Quinton, Long Marston, Snitterfield and Welford-on-Avon. In addition, fibre will also ‘go live’ in areas of Stratford-upon-Avon and Wellesbourne not already enabled by any commercial rollout.

 

CSW Broadband will connect around 40,000 additional premises in the project area to superfast broadband with download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps.

 

Further updates about the rollout will be made in the coming weeks via our newsletters and the CSW Broadband website: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk.The combined commercial and CSW Broadband rollouts will result in 91 per cent of the area’s homes and businesses being able to access superfast broadband. On completion of the CSW Broadband rollout, all premises within Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire will be able to access a minimum of 2Mbps, but in practice this could be up to 23.9 Mbps (above which it is classified as superfast).

 

We recognise that this project is a stepping stone to the EU targets for 2020 of all Europeans having access to broadband above 30 Mbps (which is above the current upper threshold) and 50% connected to and using 100 Mbps, but additional funding will be required to make this happen (see below).

 

Additional funding

 

The government has announced funds of £250m to take superfast broadband coverage up to 95% (our current project will achieve 91%), but we do not as yet know when or how this money will be made available. In addition we are actively investigating any and all other funding sources, and have recently made submission through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership European Structural Investment Funds Strategy for a total of £7.85m. We aim to increase the fibre footprint as soon as more money becomes available.

 

Release of more detailed information

 

 

We have been working for some time now to offer more detailed information so that residents can have greater visibility of what is planned. One of the main problems we face is that the data we are given is detailed by postcode, but telecoms infrastructure clearly does not follow postcodes. In fact, as the surveys progress we are finding that we have some postcodes that are served by a number of cabinets, and some cabinets that serve properties in more than one postcode. When you factor in the fact that some properties may be served by exchanges or cabinets that are several miles away you can see the difficulties.

 

The reason for this state of affairs is that when the original copper telecoms systems were developed it was often the big houses that had telephones first, and these were connected back to an exchange (which would have been manned by real people!) As more properties were built, cabinets were introduced at strategic points to enable better management of the network, and over recent years as more developments have been built so more cabinets have been installed. At the most extreme end of things we have a property in Stratford that is connected to the Rugby exchange, and in many cases two neighbouring properties may be served by different cabinets, with one of them being a considerable distance away.

 

Because voice transmissions are not sensitive to distance in the way that data signals are, the distance of a property from its supporting infrastructure was of little importance. However, with the advent of broadband this has all changed as signals can degrade over as little as 750m, meaning that superfast speeds will only be achieved by those properties that are closest to the cabinet.

 

We will soon be providing the means for people to check through the website which cabinet they are connected to, and therefore if they will benefit from the current upgrade programme. We can only do this for those cabinets where we are sure of the location (thanks to your fantastic responses to our previous requests), and so will also be showing where we still require further cabinet locations

 

Questions and Answers

 

Why have you gone to these areas first?

 

The aim of the programme is to achieve the best possible broadband coverage for the project area with the resources available and to achieve best value for money. The rollout strategy is based on engineering logic taking into account many factors including local geography, demographics and planning requirements, the existing engineering infrastructure and the availability of suitable technologies to provide a service. It’s not possible with a programme of this size to plan every area at the same time so some areas will be enabled before others. We do try to work in one particular area for efficiency reasons but other than that there is no specific reason why we have chosen these locations first. You have to start somewhere!

 

So once my new cabinet is in place does that mean I can get superfast broadband?

 

Not immediately. Standing the cabinet is part of the story, it then has to be connected back to the exchange. Usually this is relatively straightforward, but sometimes there are issues such as blocked ducts. These are more common in the rural areas where the fibre runs back to the exchange are likely to be longer and where vehicles driving over grass verges can cause substantial damage to ducting.

 

Once my cabinet is connected to the exchange, what then?

 

That is entirely up to you. We are installing a wholesale network, which means that any Internet Service Provider (ISP) can offer you broadband and there are a wide range of packages available. Do check though that you are able to actually achieve the speeds that are advertised as the geographic issues mentioned above will apply in all cases.

 

To see the list of ISPs visit http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/about-broadband/alternative-providers-and-isps.

 

For the BT broadband availability checker visit: http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/ADSLChecker.TelephoneNumberOutput

 

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

 

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/frequently-asked-questions

 

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found at:

 

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/bduk-contract-qas

Superfast Broadband January 2014 Update

State Aid approval finally received

CSW Broadband has finally received State Aid approval for the additional £750,000 that was brought into the project during the procurement process. This means that we are able to intervene in the areas that qualify as “white” – i.e. as having no planned commercial provision of superfast broadband. The map that was posted to the website in November still stands, and will be updated as we gain greater certainty over which area will be receiving superfast broadband.

Additional funding – details still awaited

The Government has announced that an additional £250m funding will be made available to bring superfast broadband coverage in the UK up to 95% by 2017. However, no details have been released yet as to how the money will be allocated. We understand that there will be a match-funding requirement but it is unclear as to how that will be met, especially given the national state of Local Authority finances.

CSW Broadband is working with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on the development of the Strategic Economic Plan, which will set the priorities for action over the next few years. We are also working with the LEP on the European Structural Investment Fund Strategy, which we hope will enable us to attract EU funding to help with the broadband rollout. In the meantime, 2017 is getting ever closer and the sooner we are able to get on with planning further rollout the sooner we will benefit from economies of scale as we can run that provision as part of our current project. The longer we have to wait the higher the costs will be.

Text of The Big Build video

We have an excellent video on our website which explains how the network will be built and rolled out. However, not everybody is able to see the video, so in response to requests here is the text:

The big build to bring superfast broadband to the UK is complex and it takes time for a town or telephone exchange area to be upgraded. Here’s how it works in a typical exchange area:

The broadband many of us have today travels on copper lines from the telephone exchange, usually via a Green Road side cabinet to your home or business. The first piece in the superfast broadband jigsaw is the installation of fibre to the cabinet or FTTC technology. This is where fibre optic cable is brought from the telephone exchange building to new green roadside cabinets.

From the cabinet it then travels over the existing copper line into your business or home. Download speeds of up to eighty megabits per second will be possible via this type of connection.

In some areas it will be possible to install another type of cutting-edge technology called fibre to the premises or FTTP. This is the second piece in the jigsaw.  Here fibre is brought directly from the exchange into businesses and homes, bypassing the copper network completely. This will bring even faster download speeds up to 300 megabits per second.

Next will come solutions for exchange only lines. These connect premises which are very close by or perhaps much further away directly to the Exchange Building.

Finally there will be some places where it will not be possible to install a fibre optic connection.  BT is trialling alternative technologies to bring faster broadband to these areas, such as wireless, satellite and TV white spaces. BT’s advanced copper broadband Ethernet services will also play an important role as they continue to be rolled out across the UK.

Crucially BT’s network is open to all communications providers. This provides customers with a choice of service providers, keeping competition high and prices low.

In reality each of the technologies that make up the jigsaw will become available in different areas at different times. Not all of one area will go live on the same day, and not every technology will be used in each area.

But when the jigsaw is complete the UK will have one of the best superfast broadband infrastructures in the world – which will last for decades to come.

We would strongly recommend taking a look at the video if you can as the graphics really do bring the build to life. It’s available from our home page: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk  

Warwickshire’s  Rural Growth Network (RGN)

Warwickshire’s rural areas have good business start-up rates.  However, these businesses tend to remain small and fail to experience growth, so the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network has funded a number of partners and projects which aim to help existing rural businesses grow and is doing this by:

·       Providing specialist coaching, mentoring and networking;

·       Putting a focus on innovation and technology;

·       Providing a range of finance opportunities and specialist advice to help businesses access the right one for them; and

·       Creating a new Rural Innovation Centre at Stoneleigh Park, linked to further centres in north and south Warwickshire.

·       The RGN is also providing support for new start-ups and there are specific targets for women-led enterprise in the start-up support, business growth, small business loan and micro enterprise grants activities.

The RGN estimates that these activities will result in: 400 businesses assists, 120 new business start-ups and 500 new or safeguarded jobs by March 2015.

For more information on the activities of the RGN and the areas of Warwickshire included in the RGN area, please look at the website:  www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ruralgrowthnetwork  or call on 01926 412709

Coventry Voucher Scheme

This month Coventry City Council is launching a £2.6m scheme which is funded by BDUK under the Super Connected Cities programme. The project will offer superfast broadband connection vouchers to SME’s in the City. This is a great opportunity for businesses to claim up to £3,000 (excl. vat) towards the connection costs associated with upgrading their broadband.  This may involve a range of technologies including cabinet upgrades or fibre on demand (where available) or even wireless. It should be noted that under the terms of the funding this offer is only available to businesses located within the Coventry City Council area and that timescales are short since the project ends in March 2015. For more information visit https://www.connectionvouchers.co.uk

Questions and Answers

My area was to be covered under the commercial rollout by now but BT say they won’t be doing it. What can you do to help?

Unfortunately the current funding does not cover this cabinet as it was stated as being covered under the commercial rollout. However, any information relating to a cabinet that is in a commercial area but not being upgraded is useful as it allows reclassification for inclusion into the project’s intervention area.  The availability of new money which is due to be announced shortly by the Government is designed to address issues such as this. As soon as we receive details of the new money we will be starting work to model where this can be spent.

When will the project be complete by?

The network deployment under the current funding is planned to be completed by Spring 2016

There is still a large area in the region that will not be included in the fibre roll-out either as part of this project or as part of the commercial roll-out and yet communities in these areas are crying out for improved broadband speeds.  What plans if any do you have for addressing this?

This project is a stepping stone to the EU targets for 2020 of all Europeans having access to broadband above 30 Mbps and 50% connected to and using 100 Mbps. Additional government funds are proposed in the future to enable this to happen and we aim to increase the fibre footprint as soon as money is available.

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/frequently-asked-questions

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found at:

http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/the-project/bduk-contract-qas

Superfast Broadband Review of 2013

Review of the year

As we approach the end of the year this is a good time to reflect back on all that has happened over the past 12 months, so here is a quick round-up:

January

After a lot of work on the part of the project team, including an extensive Open Market Review to understand what the commercial providers’ plans were, the project entered the procurement phase and the Invitation to Tender was issued. The website was also restructured to reflect the new stage of the project.

February

Call for final locations of cabinets so that we could challenge the information that we were receiving from bidders. Detailed maps published showing the information that we held right down to individual property level. This was dependent on the cabinets being in the locations where we thought they were!

March

Responding to queries from potential bidders and preparing for tender evaluation.

April

Tenders returns received and evaluation commenced. The information from Champions and from survey returns was extremely useful in helping us to test the information that we were given in the tender documentation. This was particularly helpful in challenging the distance of properties from the actual locations of the cabinets – and therefore the speeds that are likely to be achievable.

May

Evaluation and challenge of tender return documents continued. Champions map went live on the website showing where the champions are located and survey returns. Businesses were invited to register as potential sub-contract suppliers to the project. We started to hold consultation events in each area. 10,000th survey response received – the sender of that survey won £20 in Amazon vouchers.

June

Contract with BT announced.  £14.57m project to achieve 91% fibre coverage by spring 2016. Additional 40,000 premises to achieve superfast speeds over and above the commercial broadband rollout. Launch event held at the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick and mini launch events continued in the five Warwickshire Districts. We started the project initiation activities, including the start of the modelling work for the additional £750 public funding that we attracted to the project through the procurement process

July

Website upgraded to show the current status of the project now that contracts were signed. The CSW Broadband team visited the BT Network Academy to learn about how broadband infrastructure has evolved over the years, and how the new network is to be installed. Project initiation activities continued.

August

New maps on the website show the areas that were under investigation for superfast broadband and which were awaiting additional funding. The Expression of Interest for the potential Rural Community Broadband Fund bid was accepted by DeFRA

September

Launch event held in Solihull. A major overhaul of the website took place with a new look and structure and lots of new information, including a video showing how the network will be rolled out. The changes were very well received. We also explained the strategic CuRe process that BT were undertaking – Cu = copper, Re = re-alignment. This is where BT are looking at the existing copper network that has evolved over more than 100 years to ensure that the copper runs are as short as practically possible as broadband does degrade very quickly over runs of copper wire.

October

We carried out the first physical surveys for cabinets. This was an instructive exercise and enabled the team to see at first hand the variables such as the availability of power, planning considerations and highways regulations that can impact on the siting of the new cabinets. At the very end of the month we received new data from BT confirming an additional 6,480 premises above those that were in the original contract would be connected to the fibre network, bringing the total project coverage to over 51,000 homes and businesses – and this is on top of the BT commercial rollout.

November

We applied for State Aid approval for the data that we had received from BT at the end of October. This is necessary to meet our funding requirements and, among other things, ensures that we are not spending money in an area that is to be covered under one or more commercial providers’ rollout plans. New maps published on the website depicting the new data.

December

We are still awaiting State Aid approval from BDUK, which we are informed will be received before Christmas. Also eagerly anticipating the first 12-month rolling plan and, as always, we will make the information available as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, we are continuing to respond to specific queries, working on the data that has been received, and actively seeking out additional funding. On that note, we are hoping that an announcement will be made in the Autumn Statement that is due on 5th December about the additional £250m Government funding – more news about that in the next newsletter

Rightmove to show broadband speeds on property details

Rightmove is an online property sales and rental database and now shoes “typical” speeds for each of the 1 million+ homes listed on its website. The data is provided by Point Topic and will show what the average speed is and what can be achieved with it. If superfast is not yet available but a go-live date has been announced this will also be shown. This is a very positive move as we have several instances of people who have moved from towns into the countryside only to find that the broadband that they had come to take for granted was not available. It should be noted that there are local variables that mean the data may not always be accurate, for instance distance from the cabinet and all the other factors that we have mentioned previously.

Key dates looking forward

There is some confusion over dates for different targets for broadband so here’s the key dates:

2014 CSW Broadband rollout starts
2015 Original Government target for 90% superfast ie 24Mbps (this is no longer achievable since it took so long to get European approval for State Aid issues)
2016 CSW Broadband rollout under current funding completes by end of the year, 91% superfast availability
2017 Government target for 95% superfast
2020 EU target to achieve 100% 30Mbps availability (although there is no funding on the horizon at present for this)

Thank You

It only remains to say a massive THANK YOU to all of our Champions, to those who have completed surveys and to those who have emailed or contacted us through social media with your comments and questions. Your input and feedback has been brilliant. Together we have shaped the project thus far and, to be honest, have become equally frustrated at the rate of progress. It now feels as though we are on the threshold of a real leap forward. Thank you for your forbearance – 2014 promises to be an exciting time!