Things seem to be finally moving in the right direction, we now have power to the Cabinet – many thanks to Denise and Richard at Spinney Cottage for allowing work on their property to allow this to happen.
The last piece we expect to see happening is the installation of the fibre itself which should be happening in the next two weeks. All being well, we should be able to order the improved service from around 4th March.
Good news from our neighbours in Warburton, Lymm who have just gone live with their improved service, using the same voucher funding mechanism pioneered on our scheme. They have seen a massive speed improvement from around 1- 2 mbps to close to 40 mbps. They’re understandably delighted with the improvement.
I’ve been in a number of rather rather tense and frustrating conversations with BT on the delivery date over the last few weeks about their reasons for the continued delay in the delivery of our super-fast service, and when they are actually going to deliver.
BT/Openreach have had a number of complications they did not cater for in their plans including:
- Roadworks being upgraded from ‘Minor’ to ‘Major’ works by Cheshire East meaning a 3 month delay
- The power connection for the green box needed permission from the landowner to complete works opn their property
- United utilities are working on the same stretch of road
The new delivery date is now 4th March, after which we should be able to place orders for the upgraded service (more on this in a future post).
In terms of what happened, my opinion is, despite assurances to the contrary, BT simply started the whole process too late and left no wiggle room for any unplanned tasks. I have made our frustration very clear indeed to the highest levels at BT. Whether this has any effect remains to be seen.
I have been assured they have everything they need to complete and there are no obstacles in the way of the 4th March delivery date. You should see a lot of activity in the coming weeks along the Chelford Rd, hopefully the traffic queues will be worth it in the long run!
Unfortunately I heard yesterday that Cheshire East council have refused permission for the traffic management required near the Parkfield road cabinet to allow the fibre run to be completed. This is due to an ‘embargo’ on any roadworks over the Christmas period. Openteach tried, in vain, to appeal against this decision.
This work will now be put back until January 8th, which means we’ll miss the November switch on.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, I’m currently pushing for Openreach to give me a new date and will provide a further update once I know more.
Lots of activity happening in the next couple of weeks, and you’ll likely see a number of traffic lights up along the Chelford road.
There are two main stretches that are being worked on – the main run from the Booths Hall roundabout to the end of School Lane is happening next week – this is more proving and sub-ducting getting the route ready for the fibre connection.
Next Sunday (19th) will see traffic lights up near Parkgate road where they will be working on the section from the section of road from the Knutsford cabinet.
Connecting the existing copper telephone lines to our new cabinet is also happening next week. Power to the cabinet is due to complete by 27th Nov traffic management will be in place from the 20th to allow this work to complete.
Provided there are no major blockages on the route, work should complete on the 28th November. Service Providers should be notified a few days later, and we’ll then be able to order a fibre service from the broadband provider of your choice.
Watch this space, and fingers crossed there are no setbacks. I’m getting a guided tour on-site from the deployment team next week so I’ll be able to post more detail then.
As you may have seen, our new cabinet has now been installed at the end of School Lane, which is the first major milestone in the build out . The next steps are to run the fibre from Knutsford, install power and connect the existing existing copper lines to the cabinet.
I’ve been on the phone to BT today to get an update on progress. Whilst investigating the fibre run, they have found a blockage that they need to remove in the existing ducting (Despite asking, I still don’t know why this took a year to get to this point).
This will require temporary traffic lights on the Chelford road to allow them to fix the issue, for which they need to apply for a permit. We are awaiting an outcome on the application and to find out how long this process will take. There’s a chance this will delay the switch on date, but I’ll keep on at BT and will provide another update once I find out specifics.
As a result, I’ll put the project on an ‘Amber’ warning the November switch on date. We might still make it, but there’s a few unknowns we need to get resolved. Watch this space.
I have had a few enquires on the works to bring fibre broadband to Ollerton. The good news is that we remain on track for a November “switch on”.
The next milestone is to install the cabinet at the Chelford Road end of School lane. We should see happen in the next few weeks. In addition, BT are checking the cable routing making sure it is clear of any obstructions / blockages such as tree roots and silt. Any blockages may introduce some delays to the process, but we should get clarity on this shortly. Fingers crossed.
Just a quick update on the fibre install works…everything is seemingly on track for a November 2017 “switch on” date.
Here’s a short version of the update I’ve received from BT today:
- ‘First stage’ plans have been drawn up and completed.
- Works have been issued to survey the fibre routes determined by those plans.
- The works will retest ‘on the ground conditions’ including routes, presence of other plant, fibre joints, routes available as expected and network integrity.
- The work has been ongoing since April. That work is completing. This is running to plan. No delays are currently expected.
- We are on track for November.
More press coverage today in the Knutsford Guardian….
Many thanks to those who made it down for the Photoshoot. Here’s a link to the article
I’ve been in conversations with BT and we have found a way to submit all the remaining funding requests. I now have assurance from BT that the scheme will be fully funded by the voucher scheme.
As a result I have now signed the contract with BT and the project is now officially up and running.
We have a target date of November 2017 to bring the service live. I’ll provide updates throughout the year as we progress throughout the project.
After 11 months of getting this scheme off the ground, we’re finally looking like this is going to happen…
Thanks all for your ongoing support.
***Update – if you have already applied for funding, then there is nothing for you to do***
You may remember the satellite voucher scheme that was reported in the press earlier in the year. Every household receiving under 2mbps is eligible for £350 towards the cost of a satellite installation cost. At the time we discounted this as a solution – Satellite is a sub-standard connection and the monthly costs (on top of the existing line rental) were about £30 per month and capped at a fairly stingy 10 gbit. Not a viable solution.
I have been in regular dialog with BDUK and Connecting Cheshire to persuade them to make our community scheme eligible for this funding. In parallel I negotiated a discount on our scheme from £35,000 to around £20,000. BT also put pressure on BDUK to allow community self-funded schemes to be eligible for this funding.
We are one of (if not the) first community fibre scheme in the country to be eligible for the voucher scheme money. It means we can run our own project as planned. Also the number of eligible households (around 70) covers the total cost of the works.
I have incorporated a Community Interest Company “Connecting Ollerton” that will contract with BT to get the works done once we secure the funding.
This is where you come in. To fund it, we need every household to register for the voucher scheme as soon as possible. You can do it HERE
just click the link, fill out the form and your £350 voucher will go towards the scheme. When inputting the email address, please enter my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
so I can collect all the codes, and send them off to BDUK and keep track of who has and hasn’t completed it.
Instructions for filling in the form:
– On the first page, please make sure you fill in your full name, and enter my email address (email@example.com
) Don’t worry if you put in your email address, it will still go through OK.
– Answer No to the question “Do you already have a Satellite broadband product at this address?”
– Answer No to the question “Is Superfast Broadband available from any other supplier at this address? “
– Answer No to the question “Does BT already provide an Internet service >2Mbps to this address? “
– Answer Yes to the question “I understand the limitations of basic broadband, and I am happy to proceed with the application”