BCL Community Fibre Broadband Project

This is an exciting project for our community. Please read the details below fully and if you have any questions then please send them to Adrian Shepard, BCL Director.
This web page will be updated with new information as it arrives. Please keep checking back.
(last update 9/3/2019 – see bottom of page)


Why do we need Fibre Broadband?
(also known as FTTP)

NOTE: FTTP is an abbreviation for Fibre To The Premises. This means running fibre optic cables all the way from the exchange to the premises.

At the 2017 AGM several questions were raised as to whether it was possible to improve the reliability and speed of the internet connections on our roads.

The internet or broadband connections still run along the same old cables we use for our telephone connections and these cables have been in the ground for several decades now. The cables are deteriorating and  several residents have suffered from gradual or complete failure of the signal down their cable. Hence this problem potentially affects all of us living around The Camp.
Also, if we are going to re-surface our roads around 2020 then we should look at upgrading the infrastructure now to avoid digging up the road again later.


Benefits of Fibre Broadband (FTTP)

  • Installing a new fibre network means your broadband speed can potentially increase by 10 fold from around 20-30Mb/s up to 330Mb/s
  • This means that streaming multiple streams of HD TV or even Ultra High Definition TV are possible. So for those who enjoy BBC iPlayer, NetFlix, Amazon movies etc. then you will find two or more of you can watch separate programs at the same time in HD quality.
  • Working from home also benefits from high speed broadband by becoming as quick and easy as working in the office.
  • Connecting to loved ones abroad using say FaceTime or Skype will be more reliable and better quality.
  • Connecting to internet based home security systems will be improved, allowing HD video monitoring and faster, more reliable connections.
  • For those who enjoy computer gaming then they will enjoy a higher quality experience.
  • Having the latest technology infrastructure on our roads will increase the value of properties.

Estimated costs and voucher scheme

86 out of 128 households responded to the survey sent out earlier in 2018 saying you would be interested in upgrading the infrastructure.

Openreach have provided a ball park figure (computer generated based on cable runs etc) = £53,449.
Based on 86 households splitting the cost = £620 approx. each

VOUCHER SCHEME

Our community can potentially benefit from the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme. The scheme provides vouchers to support the capital costs of installing new fibre connections for businesses and residents, to help with the costs of connecting to full fibre broadband.
The scheme is primarily based on supporting small businesses (i.e. those with less than €50 million euro turnover and less than 249 employees) and each business address can receive £3000.
NOTE, the business must be registered to an address on our roads (Top Park, Valley way or Camp Road)
On top of that we can get vouchers for residents as long as the value does not equal or exceed the business vouchers.
Each residential voucher is worth £500.

So, for example, I have noted seven businesses from the first round of replies.
Business vouchers: 7 x £3000 = £21,000
Residential vouchers (must total less than business): 41 x £500 = £20,500
Total potential vouchers: £41,500

Deducting vouchers from project cost: £53,449 – £41,500 = £11,949
Potential reduced cost per resident = £11,949/86 = £138.94
(which I think would be extraordinarily good value if we can reduce the price to this)

LIMITATION ON VOUCHERS

Vouchers will only be issued if businesses or residences have a 100Mb/s (or faster) internet connection installed and working 12 months after the initial contract is agreed with Openreach. 100Mb/s Ultrafast broadband packages are available from a number of providers and will cost around £50/month. This means real commitment to a faster network by at least 48 addresses on our roads.
Here are some suggested potential service providers for 100mb/s FTTP (please do your own research too as the list is always growing e.g. Sky are going to sell a FTTP service soon):

BT (https://www.productsandservices.bt.com/broadband/ultrafast/ )
Zen (https://www.zen.co.uk/home/broadband  )
iDNET (https://www.idnet.com/data_products/super-fast-broadband.php )
Cerberus Networks (https://www.cerberusnetworks.co.uk/node/183#cerberus_fttp )
Andrews and Arnold (https://aa.net.uk/aa/broadband-FP.html )
Freeola ( https://freeola.com/ultrafast-broadband/ )

Note 1: Openreach can take up to 10 months to install the new fibre network, so any new 100Mb/s connection will have to be planned ahead of time to be up and running 12 months after the contract is signed. Openreach require 50% of costs to be paid once a contract is signed. (approx £27,000 based on estimated costs)
The vouchers can only be claimed at the end of the project, therefore if any business ceases to be running at the end of the project, or those claiming vouchers do not install 100Mb/s connections they will not be issued.

Note 2: All those named on the contract will have fibre installed to the house and prepared ready for when you order service. Any household who does not commit to the community project will NOT have a connection allocated to their property.


Next Steps

  • Setup a bank account to manage funds. – note this has now been done.
  • Obtain commitment from all property owners who want to continue further with the project by the payment of a deposit. I suggest a deposit of £350 as this will cover 50% of costs (based on estimate) and allow the project to potentially proceed quickly. This deposit is refundable if the project fails to go ahead for any reason. Also, a partial refund will be paid back at the end of the project if we can claim enough vouchers through the Gigabit Voucher Scheme.
  • Obtain numbers of all those who will commit to getting 100Mb/s connection within 12 months of project start.
  • Obtain an accurate list of businesses whose registered address is within our community and are prepared to commit to getting 100Mb/s connection within 12 months of project start.

If we still have enough interest then we can ask Openreach to carry out a survey and obtain an accurate costing for the project.

All residents who support the project will have a connection to their property included as part of the cost.


To Progress:

If you are a property owner on Top Park, Valley Way or Camp road and would like to be part of this exciting community project then there are two things you need to do to make sure the project progresses to the next stage:

1)  Pay deposit
Please pay a deposit of £350 by BACS to Bulstrode Camp Limited (BCL). Please contact BCL Directors for bank details.
Please use the following format for payment reference: House Number (or name if no number exists) then CRd or VW or TP (as appropriate) then surname.For example  211CRd Smith. 
NOTEThis deposit is refundable if the project fails to go ahead for any reason. Also, a partial refund will be paid back at the end of the project if we can claim enough vouchers through the Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

2)  Complete Signup Form
Please click HERE to complete online form.


UPDATES

UPDATE MARCH 2019

This is a final reminder to everyone that we will close the form to sign up for the Community Ultra Fast Broadband project on 1st April. This is a superb opportunity to benefit from around £20,000 in government vouchers to reduce the costs of implementing Fibre Broadband to our premises (FTTP). If the project does not go ahead then the cost for an individual household to install Ultra Fast Broadband will be considerable (several thousands of pounds).


Also, our contact at Openreach called me a few days ago to pass on some important information to share with everyone:

  • The Voucher Scheme:-  Business vouchers have recently been reduced from £3000 to £2500. Residential vouchers stay the same at £500.
  • The Voucher scheme will end around September/October 2019 and the government have not yet indicated to Openreach what will happen after that date.
  • For the Gerrards Cross area there are no programs in place for the next 3 years to install Fibre to the premises (FTTP) free of charge.
  • Other community programs have found installing fibre to the premise a huge benefit in so many ways: streaming HD media, working from home, home security, communicating with friends and family, backing up media and increase in property values. Also, as Fibre Optic replaces the old ‘copper’ cable networks it provides for improved reliability and future proofing.
  • To install Fibre to your property on an individual basis you will not be able to benefit from the voucher scheme and the cost will run to thousands of pounds.

Current state of BCL project (9th March 2019)

  • To date 30 households have committed to the project by paying the deposit. This means we currently have £10,500 in the project account.
  • All 30 households have indicated that they would commit to a high speed (100Mb/s or faster) connection being installed and working within 12 months of the contract start. This means that we can make full benefit of the voucher scheme.
  • Of the 30 interested parties there are four business with addresses registered on Camp Road etc. This would allow for £10,000 in business vouchers.
  • Also 19 residential addresses will be entitled to vouchers at £500 each = £9,500. 
  • The total for vouchers and deposit payments comes to £30,000
  • If the Openreach ballpark figure of roughly £54,000 is close to the actual cost of the project then this leaves a shortfall of £24,000.

After 1st April

BCL will close the ‘sign-up’ form on 1st April 2019 and ask all those who have committed to the project with a deposit payment if they would like to move forward. This may mean paying an additional sum to make up any shortfall. However, I would like to remind everyone that installing Fibre broadband as part of a community project will be considerably cheaper, saving almost £20,000 with the use of the vouchers.