- We can get much faster and more reliable broadband at no cost because of Government grants.
- The grants are provided per home, and the overall project funding has been approved.
- We need as many residents as possible to ‘pledge’ support through the OpenReach site to make this happen.
- Pledging support costs nothing. You are only committing to taking up the new service when it’s available, which will cost typically £5pm more than the current service and for some residents may actually cost less. Read about how much it will cost here.
- When pledging support, please chose ‘Business’ or ‘Sole Trader’ if you can, and please select local body top-up funding option (this is KCC money).
- Pledging support takes a couple of minutes.
Pledge your support today at https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity
We are currently working with OpenReach to replace our old copper telephone lines in Bedmonton, Wormshill and Frinsted (all homes with an 01622 884 xxx telephone number) with the fibre-optic cables, which make broadband internet access much faster and more reliable for everyone.
Government and KCC funding has been approved for the project, meaning this very expensive piece of work can be completed at no cost to residents – the grants cover the whole cost of the work. It will see speeds of 900Mbps available to everyone.
We now need residents to pledge their support through the OpenReach web page.
It we get enough support to claim the grants that have been allocated, everyone will get a new fibre phone line and have access to 900Mbps broadband. We can keep our phone numbers and our current telephone socket if we want to. And we can usually keep our current provider to (BT, Sky, PlusNet etc).
Current Project Position
After months of work, OpenReach have produced a quote for the work and KCC and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have approved funding for it through the grants system. As residents, we need to pledge our support to claim the grant allocated to our individual homes.
We never see the grant money personally as it’s paid directly to OpenReach.
The project is now at a critical point. The Government have announced that the grant schemes will be ending on 6th April 2022, which means that enough pledges must be made in good time ahead of this.
We need as many pledges as possible by 18th March to have a chance of the project proceeding. 75 residents have expressed interested in the new service and with at least £2,500 grant available to every home, there is plenty of money available to cover the £160,000 price tag.
The work will cover Bedmonton, Wormshill and Frinsted, and every property will receive the same service speed, regardless of location. The two Village Halls (and Churches) are also included.
What Happens Next
Please complete the pledge process as soon as possible.
How Is This Possible?
The Government are providing ‘Gigabit vouchers’ to enable rural communities to upgrade lousy existing broadband services and KCC are providing additional funding on top. Each property in Bedmonton, Wormshill and Frinsted qualifies for at least £2,500 of funding.
What Will the New Service Provide?
If the project proceeds, it will take BT about 10 months to do the work. Every home will get a brand-new fibre-optic cable and these will be installed in the same way that the existing telephone cables are provided. For almost all homes in-scope, this will be from the overhead telegraph poles.
Once installed, the upgrade is not automatic. We each will need to chose a ‘full-fibre’ package from our current provider, or switch to a new provider if preferred, to get the new service, and this has to be done within 2 months of the work being completed (hopefully spring 2023).
Help will be available to do so when the time comes. Most of us will be able to keep with our current provider (like BT, Sky, or PlusNet) and choose from a range of speeds up to a massive 900Mbps – and your location will not affect the speeds available.
- Bedmonton and Frinsted must choose only the basic ‘full fibre’ service, providing at least 50Mbps, which from BT is only £1 per month more expensive than the current service.
- Most of Wormshill must choose a ‘full fibre’ service providing at least 100Mbps, which from BT is about £5 per month more expensive than the current service (this is due to the terms and conditions of the Gigabit voucher scheme).
Everyone will have access to all services, right up to 900Mbps. This is at least 10x faster than any home can get today. The new services will come with a new router with better WiFi and the speed each home can get does not depend on the distance from the telephone exchange.
What Happens to Normal Phones?
The ‘full-fibre’ services can provide an normal telephone line if required, for example for ordinary phones or alarm systems. There is a small additional charge to keep a phone line (usually £3 to £5 pm).
We need more residents on the list!
Whilst the numbers currently do work, there will be people that move or have a change of circumstances – especially businesses that are wound up for example. Therefore, having people on a reserve list is really important. Please get in touch if you can support this community project. Each resident on the list adds at least £2,500 of grant funding.
If you have any queries or concerns, or wish to support this project by being included:
- phone me on 07446 782 302; or
- click or tap here to send me an email; or
- tap here to send me a message on WhatsApp.
I look forward to hearing from you!