You’ve done it. Openreach has confirmed that our East Horsley FTTP project is now fully funded by your validated vouchers.
Anyone who still wants to join in and pledge can do so at: www.openreach.secure.force.com/VoucherSite/
Please keep validating your vouchers when invited to do so in a DCMS government email sent from:
Validation will ensure that you should not face any extra charge for getting the fibre to the outside of your premises, put you ahead of anyone who later decides they want an FTTP service and enable Openreach to keep you informed.
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS:
- Once DCMS receives enough “validations of vouchers”
- DCMS will give the go-ahead for our Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) project
- Openreach will add the East Horsley project to its queue of works
- Openreach will install new fibre cables to Distribution Points (DPs) or sub-surface footway boxes in our roads
- Openreach will notify you when the installation is complete (approx. 10 months)
- You then take out or upgrade a contract with an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Your upgraded FTTP broadband service must be taken for at least 12 months
- With at least double your current speed
- The ISP will install the fibre from the DP or footway box to inside your premises
- And make your hub/router connection
- And FINALLY, switch on your ultrafast, reliable broadband!
This important project is being coordinated by the Parish Council. To fund this project we needed at least 600 residents to pledge their Gigabit Voucher. Read on...
Fibre is the future. Just as in the 1920s, East Horsley residents replaced gas lamps with electric lighting, so a hundred years later the government is keen to replace the copper wire connections that currently serve as the conduit for phone calls and the Internet, with fibre optic cables. Zoom calls, Netflix, Sky, iPlayer, the weekly shop, high definition computer games - put simply, a copper wire cannot cope with all this data traffic, which is why, at busy times of the day, the internet coughs and splutters.
To enjoy truly high-speed Internet with no limit on the number of users, the connection to your home needs to be upgraded. Replacing copper wires with a fibre cable will help future proof your home or business. Ten years from now a home without a fibre connection will be viewed in much the same way as a home in the 1930s without electricity. When you come to sell your house in the future, a fibre connection could help clinch the sale.
Your Parish Council is working with Openreach to enable the transition from copper to fibre, installing gigabit-capable broadband. If all goes well, the new service should be available later this year or by early 2022, initially delivering broadband speeds of up to 330 Mbps (Megabits per second) and even higher are expected in the future.
So who pays?
The cost will be funded through the government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. Every home and business in the village will be offered a ‘Gigabit Voucher’ with nominal values of £1,500 and £3,500 respectively that can be pledged to fund the work. This funding will be available until 31 March, 2021. The village has already experienced this type of project on a much smaller scale, in Green Dene; schemes are also at an advanced stage in Surrey Gardens and High Park Avenue. Several separate schemes have been absorbed into a parish wide project involving 1,700 premises in 72 roads.
How will it work?
Openreach will run fibre directly from the exchange to distribution points in the local roads using existing poles and conduits. Assuming you pledge your Gigabit Voucher, you will be expected to sign up to a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband package with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) of your choice. The ISP will then make the final connection to a new hub or router in your house. Your subscription may increase a little, from maybe £10 a month, depending on which speed option you select.
If you decide not to take part, your existing broadband service will be unaffected.
Openreach confirmed we will need voucher pledges from around 600 households, less if local businesses pledge their higher value vouchers, to cover the cost of the scheme. Openreach is confident, based on previous experience, that this is achievable.
We mounted a publicity campaign encouraging residents and business owners to pledge their voucher via the dedicated Openreach web page, working with a group of 45 ‘broadband road leads’ who agreed to help us secure enough pledges.
Now that sufficient pledges have been registered and validated the project has moved into the Openreach delivery queue. The engineering lead time will be in the order of 10 months which means you could be enjoying high speed internet by Christmas 2021 or early 2022.
The project is being spearheaded by a Task Group comprising:
Colin Carmichael (Parish Councillor, The Highlands)
Steve Harvey (Parish Councillor, Woodland Drive)
Stuart Bowden (Broadband Road Lead, Rowbarns Way)
Chris Woods (Broadband Road Lead, Heath View)