The broadband in Bedmonton, Wormshill and Frinsted is being upgraded and this work is nearing completion – homes in Bedmonton and Wormshill are now connected, with the rest due to be finished by the end of March 2023.
Government and KCC grants are paying for this work, representing about £200,000 of investment, which will provide much faster and more reliable broadband service for everyone – and be good for the next 20 years or more.
How to Get the New Service
Please note that the upgrade is not automatic.
When the new service is available, residents will be able to order the upgrade, in most cases from their existing provider, or any provider offering ‘full-fibre’ (also know as ‘FTTP’ or ‘gigabit’) services. At time of writing, this includes BT, Sky, TalkTalk, EE, PlusNet, and many others.
If you pledged support for the project, you are required to choose a service of at least 100Mbps (60Mbps in Frinsted) so that BT can claim the grant allocated to your home.
Once ordered, OpenReach will come to your house and physically install a brand-new fibre-optic cable alongside your existing telephone line. For almost all addresses, this means a new cable from the pole in the street and therefore ground works are not usually required. The cost of this work, for those that pledged in the project, is covered by the grants (normal ongoing service charges apply).
What’s Happening to Voice Lines?
The ‘plain old telephone system’ (it’s actual name) is being retired by BT sometime in 2025 for everyone. For customers still using home phones by then, BT will re-configured the service so that the home phone can be connected to the broadband router – and any homes without broadband will get a box specifically for this purpose.
Because of this, there are three options for us now as we get the new Fibre service:
1. Fibre Broadband Only
Residents that don’t need a home phone will no longer have to pay for it, so the new service can work out to be able the same price – or even slightly less – than we currently pay.
Mobile phones can make and receive voice calls and text messages when at home using ‘WiFi Calling’. Any recent mobile phone will work, and service contracts with O2, EE, Three and Vodafone all support this.
2. Fibre Broadband with ‘Digital Voice’
For residents wanting to keep their home phone and 01622 phone number, a ‘Digital Voice’ service can be selected. This has the advantage of eliminating the old line rental charge, so many residents will find their monthly bills are inline with the current service. BT and Sky are the main providers offering this service and some residents have already changed to this solution on the current system.
The first resident to move over to the new system described the change:
“Basically you unplug the old phone from the old wall socket and plug it into the router instead, works immediately. You also get a free digital handset and that wirelessly connects to the router. That means we can call someone on the phone plugged into the router and also call another number at the same time using the digital handset. So effectively two phone lines on the same number. We didn’t pay an installation charge but there is a charge of £9.99 for the delivery of the new router etc“
3. Fibre Broadband with Copper Phone Line
The third option is to keep your old copper phone line – which can be requested with BT. This is though the most expensive option and BT may insist on moving this to ‘Digital Voice’ in 2025.
The list of addresses included in the contract are given in the document below. During the project, Chaucer House and Wrinsted Lodge were also added.
Download “Fibre Broadband: Final List of Included Addresses”Final-List-Of-Addresses.pdf – Downloaded 432 times – 66.82 KB
- Community interest was canvassed May 2021
- A ‘Community Fibre Partnership’ contract with OpenReach was signed on April 2022
- The first connection was made on 2nd February 2023
- The remaining areas should be completed in phases between now and the end of March 2023.