From 20 March 2020, Ofcom’s Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) provides people with the right to request a decent and affordable broadband service. The USO was introduced by the Government in the 2017 Digital Economy Bill.
This service is defined in law as an affordable service with a download speed of at least 10Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1Mbps. Ofcom currently define ‘affordable’ as a service costing no more than £46.10 per month.
Ofcom have appointed BT as the Universal Service Provider for most of the UK, including Shropshire.
Shropshire Council has no influence on the USO and does not administer the process.
Shropshire Council see the USO as a ‘safety net’ and remain committed to its priority of giving all premises access to superfast broadband as soon as possible.
If you have a query about the USO, please contact BT directly:
Phone: 0800 783 0223
News from Connecting Shropshire on the following topics:
- Launch of the Market Intelligence Review
- How to check superfast broadband availability
To view, please click on the following link: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200309-Connecting-Shropshire-broadband-programme-update-March-2020.pdf
News from Connecting Shropshire on the following:
- Contract 3 update – Airband
- Contract 2 update – Openreach
- How to check your broadband speed
To view, please click on the following link: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/20200217-Connecting-Shropshire-broadband-programme-update-February-2020.pdf
A small village in the heart of Shropshire has been given the gift of ultrafast speed broadband for 2020 thanks to the Connecting Shropshire programme.
Connecting Shropshire and Airband have announced that Airband’s ultrafast fibre network is now live in Neenton.
Many houses in Neenton, near Bridgnorth, have suffered with connection speeds of less than 2 Mbps making it a proper digital ‘not spot’. The new fibre optic broadband network will mean that premises can get connected to a broadband service with a download speed of up to 100 Mbps, which is enough to download an HD movie in 2.5 minutes.
The Pheasant at Neenton is a community-owned pub and Airband is providing a free connection for the pub as part of its commitment to championing community values and better connectivity for rural communities.
John Pickup, Chairman of Neenton Parish Meeting and Neenton Community Society which owns and operates the Pheasant, said he was delighted the village will be the first site for Airband’s new rural fibre deployment. “Neenton is a go-ahead, collaborative community – we work together for the common good, so we’re very excited about being able to have ultrafast broadband. Having a free connection for the pub which is our community hub is the icing on the proverbial cake! Ultrafast connectivity really will transform things round here and enable people to work remotely and make use of all kinds of software and applications that they couldn’t before.”
Airband is delivering ultrafast fibre broadband to 40 clusters across Shropshire in the final stage of its contract with Connecting Shropshire. It has already delivered superfast connectivity to 10,500 premises and this ultrafast rollout will deliver ultrafast connectivity to a further 2,200 premises.
Dave Lloyd, head of projects at Airband, said that he was delighted with how smoothly the process had gone. “Bringing ultrafast to Neenton represents everything that Airband is about – we are transforming connectivity for people and communities who deserve better. It’s so rewarding to be able to provide such a vast improvement in broadband speeds and the reaction and appreciation from the villagers here has been incredible. We have already started planning and surveying for the remaining clusters. And when we build our ultrafast networks, we use existing infrastructure wherever possible (eg existing poles and underground ducts), which means we can set up an ultrafast fibre network very rapidly. Once we start building a network in an area, the process from ordering to installation should take just a few weeks.”
Airband’s fibre roll-out in Shropshire includes premises in the following parish council and town council areas: Astley Abbotts, Barrow, Bicton, Hodnet, Llanfair Waterdine, Market Drayton, Pimhill, Prees, Sheriffhales and Tong. All clusters are expected to be live by early 2021.
Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for organisational transformation and digital infrastructure, said: “I’m really glad to see that Airband are integrating ‘full fibre’ technology into their deployment plans. Access to ultrafast broadband is something we know the Government is eager to support in rural areas. As the rollout of fibre networks progresses through 2020, we expect Airband to be able to offer more fibre connections to other premises along the way.”
The project to deliver better connectivity to Shropshire is supported by the Marches LEP, which secured more than £8m of Growth Deal funding specifically to improve access to high speed broadband in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Mandy Thorn, Chairman of the Marches LEP, said “It’s great to see this technology being rolled out in Shropshire. We know that a lack of connectivity hinders business growth and this demonstrates how the LEP is delivering real change to rural communities.”
Robert Tindall, local Shropshire Councillor for Brown Clee, said: “This is great news for Neenton, and The Pheasant in particular. 1,000 premises in my division already have access to a superfast broadband connection, thanks to Shropshire Council’s Connecting Shropshire broadband programme. Over the next 12 months, 100 homes and businesses in my division are expected to gain access to Airband’s ultrafast broadband networks.”
To find out if you’re in Airband’s current or planned coverage area, please enter your postcode at: https://home.airband.co.uk/coverage/ or Airband on call 01905 676121 during office hours.
If you’re lucky enough to moving into a new build property, you’d expect to have all the services and mod cons to enable you to live in the 21st century. That’s why Shrewsbury property developers, SY Homes, have made a policy decision to install Openreach’s Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) across each and every one of their future developments.
Wayne Sidell, Managing Director of SY Homes explains that ultrafast broadband is an essential part of every new home that they build, “we feel that ultrafast broadband is a necessity in our customers’ day-to-day lives, seemingly almost as much as the usual services such as water and electricity.”
Wayne continues, “it’s apparent that with today’s lifestyles, people are consuming more bandwidth than ever before through applications such as Netflix, YouTube and online gaming. The installation of FTTP ensures that our homes are future-proofed for generations to come.”
“If SY Homes didn’t offer FTTP, we feel that there would be a real danger of losing sales, as it’s a definite factor in the decision process when buying a new home.”
“FTTP is being installed at all properties on SY Homes’ current development at Albury Place in St Michaels Street and will also be installed in our future planned developments at Old Coleham Court and The Lord Hill Hotel in Shrewsbury.”
“All of this demonstrates the ongoing commitment of SY Homes to our customers and our vision of high specification homes with market-leading designs.”
Wayne concludes that, “SY Homes considers access to ultrafast broadband, with download speeds of more than 300mbps, as a fantastic selling point. We have a great working relationship with Openreach, but they are having to work hard to change housing developers’ views on installing Fibre To The Premises. This is perhaps surprising, especially as Openreach install FTTP for free on new developments with 30+ plots.”
Notes to Editors
SY Homes contact details:
Openreach information for developers:
Find out how to register your development with Openreach at: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fibre-for-developers/registering-your-site
Remember to talk to Openreach at least six months before you want broadband up-and-running.