Abbotts Ann Potential Ultrafast 1Gbps (FTTP) Broadband Upgrade

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Abbotts Ann Potential Ultrafast 1Gbps (FTTP) Broadband Upgrade

Following months of internet / broadband connection woes (which as a business has been
beyond annoying, as if COVID hasn’t been bad enough!) we have investigated the possibility of getting ultrafast 1Gbps broadband (Fibre To the Premises) installed.

In January 2021 Openreach have informed us that 310 premises* in Abbotts Ann, Little Ann, Abbotts ann Down and Anna Valley can be potentially upgraded as part of the same community led upgrade project. Subsequently Openreach came back with a new number of properties on teh Abbotts Ann exchange bring the number to 620..

Gigabit FTTP would get you speeds of up to 1Gbps – on a good day (on a business fibre plan
we’re getting about 45mps). Average speeds around the village are massively variable (from about 20mps) – but are not good. So – FTTP would offer steady internet up and down stream that up to TEN TIMES faster than average superfast broadband.

Having fibre to your door means you’re then not affected by electromagnetic interference (which copper lines are affected by A LOT – ie. microwaves, speakers, tv, radio and even xmas tree lights), so the signals (because it’s light not an electrical current) are much more stable.

At the moment – and based on a preliminary ballpark cost from Openreach – the cost of upgrading the 310 houses would amount to £280k or just under £1k per house.

Currently there is government funding available (via the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which would allow us to POTENTIALLY get the upgrade carried out at NO COST to us.

The ONLY thing would be – we’d need to upgrade our monthly plans (to take account of the fact we’d then be on FTTP, not FTTC) with our Internet Service Provider (ie BT / Sky / Plusnet / Talk Talk etc. – your internet SUPPLIER) – the likely cost increase would be around £5 per month, depending on who you’re with and what plan you decide to go for).

THIS GOVT FUNDING ISN’T GOING TO BE THERE FOREVER. In fact it’s highly likely it will run out soon. So it’s a “use it or lose it” situation.

After it’s gone – you’d then have to personally pay the £1k per house each to get this upgrade
done, after the fact. So, I believe, it makes sense to act now.

I’m not desperate to start a massive solo community infrastructure upgrade project – we just need FTTP for our business (so we can run business efficiently from here).

BUT – rather than keeping quiet about this – and doing an upgrade to a small part of the village (of premises that are on our ‘run’ from the exchange to our cluster of houses), I felt we at least OUGHT to try to see if we can mobilise the community, and see if we can upgrade the maximum amount of houses in the village.

So – my feeling is we need to mobilise a bunch of active community volunteers, who can be the main ‘point of contact’ in each ‘sector’ of the village.

In order to make this project function – each householder has to go through a very easy process of signing up and qualifying for THEIR OWN respective Gigabit ‘Voucher’ – which is effectively the government funding – which then goes to Openreach, to pay for the installation. It’s VERY easy to do.

The idea is that we have a network of volunteers around the village who can help co-ordinate /explain / support. Who would then feed in to us as the main liaison with Openreach (they only want one point of contact).

That way we can hopefully get as many people who want it, upgraded. With the minimum of
hassle to anyone. And get the upgrade paid for by the government.

Many hands make light work!

1 – Can you help / be a Community Gigabit Hero Champion of Gorgeousness? Let me know –
2 – We’ll get a gang together
3 – If enough of us are interested in helping, I’ll progress the village wide project with Openreach (if not it’ll be a smaller project with fewer houses involved)

1 – being a point of contact for your ‘sector’ of the village – feeding into us (Openreach only want one point of contact)
2 – distributing letters / printed material (from Openreach) about what people need to do, and
3 – helping guide / advise people throughout the process / fielding any emails from your sector of the village

That’s it. I think.

Thanks for reading. You get a badge for getting this far. Well done you.

Cheers – Jeremy

Jeremy Mason
Folly Cottage, Abbotts Ann