Souldrop to lose out on Super-fast Broadband

Supe-rfast Broadband for Souldrop 2018

Supe-rfast Broadband for Souldrop 2018

Bad news for Souldrop’s Super-fast Broadband!

Souldrop Village is to loose out on the long awaited Broad Band upgrade when it comes online in 2018′ It seems the village won’t benefit from the upgrade because the fiber connection will terminate at the box by the Vesuvio Hotel some 2.9 Kilometers away.

The 2.9 kilometers between the box and the village will mean that because of the distance the upgrade will actually make the average village connection slower than it is currently.

This will be a massive blow to those in the village that are expecting an upgrade

“We have been waiting patiently for nearly ten years for this upgrade and now we find out it’s not going to happen, I am absolutely gutted” said one angry villager who preferred to remain anonymous. Many villagers will echo that sentiment.

Below is an extract of correspondence between Roger Vennison and an Openreach officer…first Roger explains the technicalities ….
“Whilst they do seem to be have a lack of knowledge about the local funding for the project the facts about the technical aspects are clear. As you may be aware the cabinet that connects our village to the Sharnbrook Exchange is cabinet 5 and this is situated on the A6 next to the Italian Hotel. This is obviously a good distance away from the village (2.9Km according to the Openreach guy) and the copper link from this cabinet would reduce the broadband speed to less that we currently have!!! As you so rightly say we need a cabinet in the village.

Although I wasn’t originally aware of the location of cabinet 5 I have been chasing ‘Superfast’ Broadband for the village for some years. I spoke to the Mayors office and was passed to the council officer who deals with this matter, currently this is Justine Ives. Although this lady is polite and tried to be helpful I didn’t feel that I was making much progress. I have also recently mentioned my correspondence with Open Reach to Jeremy Viewing. Jeremy had also spoken to Justine Ives (last November), it appears that she told him that cabinet 5 would be updated to fibre in the first 3 quarters of 2018. She didn’t say that although the cabinet would be updated this wouldn’t necessarily help increase internet speed in our village! I have recently left a message asking Justine to call me as she seems rarely available to contact by phone, I intend to ask her about the problems with cabinet 5.

I have also written back to the guy from OpenReach to get him to once and all confirm that there is no intention to increase the Broadband speed to Souldrop.. If this is the case I think that there is no doubt that we (the village) should start to make a fuss in what ever way people think is appropriate. It may be that Jeremy will organise some things to make our position clear to those that matter. However there is no reason that we shouldn’t also explore other ways of making our feelings felt
It’s perhaps also worth mentioning that there are other ways of getting faster broadband, for example folk to the east of the A6 can, I understand, get Broadband by ‘radio’, these’s also satellite system etc. Of course some of these systems may well be too expensive for us non business folk. The point is, I feel, that up to now we have been told that all we have to do is wait until our cabinet is updated to fibre but this doesn’t seem to be the case and we are possibly waiting for nothing.
Where to go from here?    Firstly I think that we need to make totally sure that there isn’t already a plan to somehow get us a better service. There is mention of “Technical solutions” in the Open reach message, this may be the case but it doesn’t appear that Open Reach is aware of using them in our case and although the council is funding the update their technical knowledge seems limited!!. If we do nothing it may well be that in 2018 cabinet 5 is updated as shown in the plans and someone will say “well I never, this hasn’t helped Souldrop.” As an individual I will certainly continue to try to get precise answers but a larger group of people would hopefully be able to bring more pressure on the Borough Council (and Open Reach). I would be happy for you to use any info I can obtain, in any way you feel appropriate and I’ll keep you informed of any further  progress I make.  This is the message I received in answer to my question to Openreach about what would be done about our distance from our cabinet, I asked about my own house which is one of the nearest to the cabinet, so others would be even worse off……..”

Openreach Officer

“Thank you for getting in touch with us about fibre broadband availability in your area. Unfortunately you’re not in a plan to get fibre but we’ve included some details that we think would be helpful.
Fibre broadband
As you know, you receive your service through our Sharnbrook exchange, which has been enabled to deliver fibre broadband as part of our commercial deployment. Many premises connected to the exchange are within reach of the service, yours unfortunately is not.
As part of the upgrade, cabinet 5 that serves your area is planned to be enabled. However, a cabinet being upgraded doesn’t mean everyone in that area will be able to get a fibre service. The technology we are planning is ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ (FTTC). Many premises served by the cabinet will be able to get the service. However, FTTC has line length limitations. If the distance from the premises to the fibre cabinet is greater than 1.5km, then the fibre broadband signal will get weaker before failing altogether.
Unfortunately, in this case, your premises falls into this category as it’s over 2.9km from the fibre cabinet, which means your speeds are lower. However, you’re better off keeping any existing ADSL (copper broadband) service as the speeds are better and the connection will be more stable.
We’re very much aware that premises in this situation present us with a specific set of engineering challenges. To overcome the problem, we’re implementing technical solutions in many areas however because these are often very economically challenging they are usually only deployed via the public funding route.
Public funding has been made available to county councils via the BDUK to upgrade commercially unviable and hard to reach areas with fibre broadband. We’ve worked in partnership with them to bring high-speed broadband to these areas.
The Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Superfast Broadband programme – – which we’re partnered with – aims to deploy fibre broadband in areas not covered by private commercial markets. It’s a large engineering project with complex technical challenges and has made good progress so far.
My advice to you is to let the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Superfast Broadband project team know of your requirement and to see if your postcode can be factored in their future plans. Which areas are upgraded, likely timescales and all communications are via the project’s website:
Community Fibre Partnership (CFP)
We have pledged to extend fibre broadband for the remaining few percent of UK premises that are unlikely to be covered by public or private commercial plans. This will involve engaging with local communities to explore innovative funding and technical solutions – where we co-fund fibre access in your area. That means a proportion is raised by the community, with some contributed by us.
In more than 200 locations we have worked with the communities directly and delivered fibre broadband sooner than would otherwise have been possible. These solutions are usually better suited for areas that are not in any commercial or public plans.
If a local community is interested in this option then we’ll be happy to engage with them. More details can be found on our website below:”

The answer is surely that the village should have it’s own box
The problem is Openreach don’t have the funding to install a new box in the village.

If you want a better deal on your Broadband, you are going to have to get active and make some noise!

What do you think?




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