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Email: enquiries@dickensheathpc.org.uk

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Broadband Update

Bringing faster broadband to our rural areas

Project Update May 2017

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Over 57,500 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

Contract 3 update

Broadband advertising – consultation on fairness

ERDF funding latest

ICT Business Advisor – job opportunity

How to make a bad day better

Copy for your own website or newsletter

Questions and Answers


Contract 3 update

Well, the good news is that we have received multiple bids for Contract 3! The team are now busy evaluating these and we hope to be in a position to announce the winners of the 3 Lots in the next few weeks. After that, the real work starts, and we expect to be able to map the additional coverage in the autumn.

Broadband advertising – consultation on fairness

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have published a public consultation seeking views on different options to strengthen the standards around broadband speed claims. The consultation is open for 10 weeks, closing on 13 July 2017.


The options include speed claims based on the:

  • Peak-time median download speed;
  • 24-hour national median download speed;
  • Range of peak-time download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users; and
  • Range of 24-hour national download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users.

Each option would also require an advertisement making broadband speed claims to urge potential customers to check with the broadband provider the speed they’re likely to receive.


Together, these options are intended to better manage consumers’ expectations of the broadband speed they’re likely to receive from different broadband providers, with each of them offering tougher standards for broadband speed claims in ads than the current position.


The consultation follows independent research by GfK commissioned by the ASA which found that the current regulatory standards were likely to mislead consumers.


The current standards permit headline speed claims that are achievable by at least 10% of customers, where they are preceded with the words “up to” and qualified, as appropriate, to help manage consumers’ expectations of achievable speeds. The research found that while speed is an important factor for a significant proportion of consumers who are making decisions between providers, many are unclear on what speed they would likely achieve based on the advertisements they viewed.


The speed of broadband services depends on a number of factors and the impact of these factors varies between technologies, service providers and between users of the same provider. One-to-many advertising such as a national TV ad or outdoor billboard campaign cannot reasonably be expected to provide the same information as one-to-one information direct from each provider about the speed an individual consumer is likely to get.


However, the research was unable to find consensus on what an alternative advertising standard should be that would ensure consumers are not being misled. The consultation is seeking views on four options and any other options proposed by respondents, which both help to prevent consumers from being misled and better manage consumers’ expectations about the broadband speed they’re likely to receive from different broadband providers.

ERDF Funding update

We have now received the Contract for the ERDF-funded element of Contract 3, including the business support that will be delivered by The Chamber as project partners. Work is ongoing with the WCC legal team to enable us to sign this.

ICT Business Advisor – job opportunity

Are you eager to put your advisory skills to the test? Do you enjoy supporting businesses with ICT? Do you have a strong understanding of ICT and the opportunities it has for business growth?

Due to recent growth and an expansion in projects Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is looking for two experienced ICT Business Advisors to join their growing team in order to support businesses across this area to adopt and exploit benefits of emerging technologies.

The Successful Business advisors will support small and medium sized businesses to commercially exploit new technologies enabled by superfast broadband. This role is of high importance as we are looking for experienced Business Advisors who can focus on helping SMEs with potential growth in order to maximise the impact of Superfast technology.

The successful Business Advisors will be able to demonstrate the following experience:

·        Working with new and established businesses on a 1-2-1 basis to develop an action plan focused on opportunities for growth based on the effective use of ICT

·        Developing, writing and delivering seminars/masterclasses on a range of ICT topics, including Social Media and online Marketing

·        Working with SME clients to overcome barriers during the implementation of their action plan, in order to sustain momentum towards the agreed goals

Key skills for this position include:

·        Excellent understanding of ICT and the opportunities for businesses to exploit Superfast enabled technologies

·        Degree or equivalent level qualification

·        Understanding of SME business life-cycles, stages of development and their relevance in relation to business growth

This is an exciting opportunity to grow your career in an interesting and challenging environment working with a number of different growing companies with excellent benefits and rewards. If you feel you have the necessary skills and experience for this position, then please download the application form and job description which are available from www.cw-chamber.co.uk, complete and return to Gemma Smith, HR Manager. Alternatively please send CV and covering letter to the email address below.

Email: gemmas@cw-chamber.co.uk

How to make a bad day better

Everyone has a bad day every so often. Sometimes problems start from the time you open your eyes, on other occasions you might almost get through to bedtime before trouble strikes. You can dwell on your bad luck – or you can do something about it. The easiest way is to change how you look at things – it’s surprising how a different perspective can change a situation. Here’s 10 tips, adapted from www.mindtools.com:

1.      Reach out – invite a trusted friend or colleague for a coffee. Often, talking about what is bothering you will help, and someone else’s viewpoint may show that things aren’t really so bad

2.      Go for a walk – sunshine and fresh air can work wonders to lift your mood

3.      Achieve a “Small Win” – making progress towards an important goal gives a sense of achievement. Break big actions down into smaller ones so that you can see clear progress

4.      Be grateful – stop and think about all the positives. People, things, experiences, find the good

5.      Schedule a team meal or event – Doing something positive for others can make you feel better, and will give you and colleagues something to look forward to

6.      Praise yourself – we all like to feel valued, and recognition gives a sense of pride and achievement. However, we are sometimes hard on ourselves, so give yourself the recognition you deserve, even if others don’t

7.      Get some exercise – you don’t have to be an avid gym bunny. Going for a walk can induce the same feel-good factor, and if a particular situation is getting you down, then a break can give you a chance to take a breather and come back refreshed

8.      Help someone else – giving has positive benefits, so why not help a colleague? Carry out a random act of kindness (like buying cakes for the team), or volunteer to establish a more regular habit

9.      List the pros and cons – things are rarely as gloomy as they may seem. Writing down the negatives and the positives can help you to get a different viewpoint, and gives an opportunity to think about how you can make changes

10.   Put things into perspective – No matter how bad things may seem now, will it make a difference in a week? A month? In one year? In five years? In most cases the answer will be “no”, so that will help you to put a bad day into perspective.

Copy for your own website or newsletter

We regularly produce updates of around 350 words that can be used on your own website or in newsletters. There are a selection of articles available for download and you can select the most appropriate depending on where your particular area is in the rollout pipeline. We now have two versions: a web version with embedded hyperlinks, and a copy for print where the links are typed out in full. Copy can be found on our Copy to use on our own website, newsletters or flyers webpage.

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the Q&A’s raised recently. Our website has a full set of Q&As, which are regularly updated.

Why do we have to wait until the autumn to find out if we are covered under Contract 3?

The CSW Broadband team are currently evaluating tenders, and hope to be able to announce the winners of the 3 Lots in the next few weeks. We will then enter into a period of working with the contractors to establish the project parameters and how the teams will work together. At the same time, the CSW Broadband data team will be checking all of the information for each Lot, right down to premise level, and producing the maps and property checker information so that this can be posted to the website. There is a lot of checking and cross-checking to get to this point, so that we can ensure that the information that we give is as accurate as it can possibly be. We’ll be moving forward as quickly as possible, but with the emphasis on accuracy rather than speed.

We are thinking of setting up a Community Broadband Scheme, should we do this?

The decision is entirely yours. However, the view of the CSW Broadband team is that any superfast broadband installations carry a cost, and if there is a chance that you might be included in the coverage for Contract 3 then it might be best to wait. Otherwise, you could put in a lot of work to raise local interest (and to get residents and businesses to contribute to the considerable cost), only to find that the service will be coming to you at no charge anyway.

Of course, it is always possible that a community will decide that they can’t wait for the CSW Broadband project to get to them and they want an uplift now. As long as everyone is aware of the potential for the CSW Broadband project to provide coverage at a later date, without the need to pay directly for infrastructure costs, then the decision is one for the community alone to make.

You can find more frequently asked broadband questions on our website.

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To find out more about the project, please visit the CSW Broadband website.

CSW Broadband is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council, BT and Department for Culture Media & Sport. 


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