Connecting Solihull and Warwickshire Fibre Broadband Update
Bringing faster broadband to our rural areas
Project Update November 2019
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Over 71000 properties able to connect to the fibre network
Topics in this edition:
CSW Broadband Project updates
Completed fibre upgrades in your area – info for parish & town websites
ISP complaints & advice
CSW website – content review
Case Studies needed – Tell us your story
Copy for your own website or newsletter
Questions and Answers
CSW Broadband Project updates – Contract 3
Another 39 Contract 3 cabinets / structures have gone live since the last newsletter was sent out at the end of September.Communities benefiting from these upgrades included parts of:
Alvecote, Ash Green, Astley, Aston Cantlow, Balsall Common, Bearley, Birchmoor, Brailes, Bretford, Curdworth, Easenhall, Fillongley, Hampton in Arden, Harborough Magna, Kitebrook, Knowle, Leamington Spa, Little Compton, No Man’s Heath, Polesworth, Radway, & Shipston on Stour and the Chase Meadow area of Warwick.
As a result, over 71,000 properties across the region are now able to connect to the fibre network thanks to the work of the CSW Broadband Project.
Once we have received confirmation that a particular cabinet or structure upgrade is complete, we will inform as many of the affected residents as possible.
Remember, once your property has been upgraded, you won’t get a faster service automatically. You need to order the improved service with your chosen ISP (Internet Service Provider) to benefit from the upgrade.
To check on your property’s superfast status, enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker. Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker webpage will help you make sense of the Broadband Checker results.
You might like to use a broadband comparison site such as MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadband Choices, Broadband Genie, Choose or uSwitch to find a fibre broadband package to suit you and your family’s needs.
Finally, if your property has benefited from an FTTP upgrade, our Fibre to the Premise webpage provides you with information on ordering an FTTP service and the subsequent installation process.
CSW Broadband Project updates – LFFN Programme
The Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme is designed to stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks in both rural and urban locations across the whole of the UK.
The CSW Broadband Project successfully bid for a £5.7 million slice of the money available for this programme and in line with Government requirements, we will use this money to focus on bringing Ultrafast (1Gbps) connectivity to around 320 public buildings across the region.
It is hoped that the successful bidder may also decide to use the new fibre network as a springboard to cover a wider area (e.g. residential properties within that area).
After a lengthy tendering, evaluation and assurance process, BDUK – the government body who oversee our project activities, have finally given CSW the go-ahead to award the contract and we will have more news on this in January’s newsletter.
Completed fibre upgrades in your area – info for parish & town council websites
We have now completed our campaign to provide nearly 200 local parish / town councils with bespoke content to publish via their websites and / or newsletters with regard to fibre upgrades that the CSW Project has already completed in their area.
As mentioned in the last newsletter, the purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness amongst local residents, particularly those who may not know that they can now take advantage of a fibre broadband service.
Each parish / town council area where we have completed work has now been provided with information on:
· The name of the upgraded cabinet/structure and the communities (road names and/or postcodes) benefiting from that upgrade
· Details of how residents can find out if their specific property has benefited from one of those upgrades
· Details of how those residents can find/order a fibre broadband package to suit their individual needs
We have urged all the contacted councils to publish this content online for the benefit of local residents, so please visit your local parish or town council website for more information.
ISP Complaints & Advice
Ofcom have recently published their Telecoms and pay TV complaints Report for Q2 (April to June) of 2019. With regards to consumer complaints about fixed line broadband, the report shows that Vodafone generated the most broadband complaints per 100,000 customers while Sky generated the fewest. Ofcom does not itself deal with individual complaints but they do monitor them and can take action if enough people raise a problem.
If you have an issue regarding the service that you are receiving from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) the ISP review website’s ISP Complaints and Advice section contains detailed information and advice on problems that consumers often experience with their broadband ISPs and how to get them resolved.
CSW website – content review
We are currently in the process of overhauling, editing and updating our website. So far we have concentrated on looking at the existing content – stripping out information that was ‘surplus to requirements’ whilst ensuring that the vital content that residents use and need is retained.
This is obviously very much a work in progress and there is still a lot of work to do before this content review is completed. For example, we still need to update the FAQs, the data in the Check Your Property Tool and also the Latest Map in the near future.
As always, we try to provide residents with what we think will be useful information or information that they have asked for when they contact us.
However, if there is something broadband related that you would also like to see more information on, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and we will seriously consider adding content on that subject to our website in the near future.
Case studies needed – Tell us your story!
If superfast broadband has made a real difference to your life or business, why not tell us about it by submitting a case study.
We regularly appeal for case studies but sadly very few people respond. Submitting a case study is really helpful for us when we are applying for additional funding to help us take the fibre network even further – to help those in areas that are still waiting to experience the benefits of superfast broadband.
All we need is a few lines telling us of the difficulties you experienced before you had superfast broadband and how life has improved since your property was upgraded.
Submitting a case study is also a great way of gaining some free publicity to promote your company if you are a business owner. So, if you would like to help us help others, why not submit a case study today!
Copy for your own website or newsletter
As always, we have a range of short articles of around 300 words that can be downloaded for use in your own newsletters / websites should you wish to use them.
Questions and Answers
Here are some of the Questions and Answers (Q&A’s) that residents have raised recently. Our website has a full set of Frequently Asked Questions, which are regularly updated.
How will I know when my connection has gone live?
Once a particular cabinet / structure upgrade has been completed, we always try to inform as many residents as possible that they can now benefit from an improved service.
With the restricted marketing budget that we had during Contracts 1 & 2, we emailed all affected residents whose details we had on our database as well as local broadband champions, parish councils and district councillors, informing them of the completed upgrade and encouraging them to spread word of the upgrade to other local residents on our behalf.
We announced upgrades via our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and as noted earlier, we have also provided nearly 200 parish / town councils with bespoke information giving details of the upgrades and the local communities benefiting from those upgrades for them to publish on their websites and/or newsletters.
We will continue with all of the above activities during Contract 3 – the current phase of the CSW Project and if our budget allows, we will also try to mail leaflets directly to all affected residents so that they can take advantage of the benefits of a fibre upgrade to their property, if they wish to do so.
If you would like to check yourself if your connection is live, simply enter your landline number or address into the BT Broadband Availability Checker.
If fibre is available, either ‘VDSL Range A & B’ (if you have received a Fibre to the Cabinet upgrade) or ‘WBC FTTP’ (if you have received a Fibre to the Premise upgrade) will be listed in the ‘Featured Products’ column of the results table along with the speeds you are likely to achieve.
Our How to use the BT Broadband Availability Checker web page will help you make sense of the Availability Checker results should you require any further help.
Can CSW Broadband influence how much suppliers charge for their services?
We have no influence over the prices charged by commercial internet service providers (ISPs). Our role is to extend the wholesale fibre network as far as possible, and we are doing this through the contracts that we hold with Openreach.
As access to the wholesale network is available to all suppliers on an equal basis, it is a purely commercial decision on the part of each individual ISP as to which packages they offer and at which price range.
There are a number of comparison sites where you can compare the different packages available from different ISPs such as: MoneySavingExpert.com, Broadbandchoices and Broadband Genie, uSwitch or Cable.co.uk to help you find a deal that suits your needs and price range.
It is also worth noting that with Black Friday just around the corner, different ISPs will be offering potential customers some great deals in terms of broadband packages and prices over the next couple of weeks, so keep a look out for these as well.
You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.
Help us to spread the word!
We need to reach as many people as we possibly can. You can help us by emailing this to all your local contacts and encouraging them to email it to all their contacts.
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