Latest News on Superfast Broadband Options
(Following the latest meeting of the Badgworth, Biddisham and Allertons Group)
As you are aware, there is now a potential alternative provider called Gigaclear, who won the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) Phase 2 competition to bring FTTP to areas (like ours) with poor broadband coverage up to now. Gigaclear is a bigger company than Truespeed, with over 20,000 properties already connected across 13 counties in eastern England and the Midlands. They have a substantial (£40M?) subsidy from CDS, and they have recently announced that they have raised a further £111M from the City. Gigaclear has not yet announced its programme, but the Allertons/Ashton/Top Road are part of the Gigaclear “Lot 2 - Rooksbridge, Lympsham, Brean, Weare & Crickham”, area which is a priority for them. We should know more when Gigaclear produce their full rollout programme, which is due in late June.
Gigaclear’s monthly contract prices are similar to Truespeed’s but, unlike Truespeed, they will charge a connection fee (between £130 and £300, depending on how far your house is from the Gigaclear cable). You can check out the details on their website www.gigaclear.com. You can also check here if your property falls within their rollout plan (under the “Get Gigaclear” tab), and you can register your interest with Gigaclear without any commitment.
The Truespeed and Gigaclear projects are completely separate and may mean that we potentially have competition to supply us with FTTP, which is a happy change from a year or so ago! We are awaiting more details of the two projects, particularly on timings, and will communicate them to you as soon as we can.
If you know of someone who has recently moved into the area and wants to be involved in the superfast broadband programme, please ask them to get in touch with me. Be assured that we are doing our best to ensure that we have FTTP as soon as possible.
Latest from Truespeed!
Including the latest news of our 4 village collective - go to http://www.truespeed.com and scroll down the page
Latest update from Truespeed regarding status of highspeed broadband installation
Latest News: some outstanding questions and installation start date
Truespeed update: they intend to complete the planning phase of our project by 10 February. Based on this date, network build (installations) should start in March.
We have further questions for Truespeed which we will discuss with them this week. We have stressed that villagers need information so that they can make decisions about contracts with other internet suppliers.
I will post an update as soon as we have more information.
(Latest Broadband Update from Wendy)
Latest news from Truespeed:
they have completed the survey of Badgworth, Biddisham and the Allertons. Our project is now in the deployment planning phase.
Hopefully, customers should start to be contacted by Truespeed soon. If you hear from Truespeed, please share your news with the whole group.
(Latest update from Wendy!)
Fantastic news from Truespeed!!!
They have decided to GO AHEAD with the fibre to premises superfast broadband for Biddisham, Badgworth and the Allertons (see www.truespeed.com). As expected, all connections are subject to survey and the final network configuration, but the company is determined to connect the vast majority of premises.
At least 170 applications have been received from our area. You can still apply to be connected; please request a form from Truespeed and send it in asap.
We will send out updates on the project when we have further information from Truespeed.
(latest from Wendy)
Broadband: latest update from Wendy
Truespeed has told us that they have received 170 applications to date: 25% more than our target number. You can still send your service order form in, so don't delay if you find it on your desk/kitchen table.
The survey is ongoing and the report is now expected in the New Year. We have a call booked with Truespeed on 9 January 2017 and will update the villages afterwards.
In the meanwhile, thank you for your incredible support for this important community project. Here's to a super fast 2017!
We had a call with Truespeed last night. They are clarifying a few of the submitted forms so if they contact you about your service form, please reply asap.
The survey is in progress and they hope to have the report by end of this week/early next week. They will share the information with our group as soon as they can.
(Update from Wendy)
Latest Update from Wendy re TrueSpeed
Further update from Truespeed: they now have 151 accepted contracts and 8 sales orders that require further work.
The survey is ongoing so if you see any Truespeed engineers in our villages, please give them a cup of tea!
Once the survey is completed, we will have more information to share with you.
Update from TrueSpeed
The goal we agreed with TrueSpeed was to achieve 135 broadband applications by 30th November 2016.
The good news is that as of 30th our 4 villages had submitted 160 Service Order Forms to TrueSpeed; BUT the 160 applications do include some issues that need to be resolved.
Of the 160 broadband applications 116 have been accepted, with 44 having issues associated with their Service Order Form documentation.
The issues are mainly application details where the form has not been fully/correctly completed. There are also a few applications that are out of scope – these are applications from premises which are not in the area TrueSpeed defined to cover our 4 villages.
Over the coming days TrueSpeed will be contacting the applicants with documentations issues to ensure that their Service Order Forms reflect their needs. You may receive an email or telephone call from Kevin Rudman, who is responsible for Community Engagement at TrueSpeed. Please regularly check your email folder, including your Spam folder, to see if you have an email from Kevin and respond as quickly as possible.
This week TrueSpeed started a detailed survey of our area, including a review of the premises that are outside the scope of the original proposal. This survey will take about two weeks to complete.
TrueSpeed remain committed to completing our ultra fast broadband installations by the end of March 2017, subject to us quickly responding to the documentation issues and subject to the results of detailed survey.
More information will follow in the near future.
John Klinker on behalf of the Badgworth, Biddisham and The Allertons Broadband Teams.
Further Update from Wendy: Having problems getting a CDS Voucher?
Don't forget the application process closes TOMORROW: 30.11.16
From Wendy, adds some additional info to the post below:
We had a call with Truespeed last night. Should have some news by the end of this week. Hold on - not long now.
In the meanwhile, don't forget to apply for CDS vouchers if you have not done so (keep the proof that you applied by 30 November). If you need help with your voucher, message me - we have a good relationship with CDS.
If you have sent your signed contract to Truespeed, please check your inboxes/spam email for their acknowledgement email.
Some forms have not been filled in correctly so they might contact you to check issues. Please respond promptly.
Status update expected soon for superfast broadband!
In the meantime, remember you have only 2 days until the end of November to apply for CDS vouchers. (See links below and on the village website). Don't worry if you don't receive them immediately, as long as you have a confirmation email.
Also, don't forget, you can send in your service contract even if awaiting your voucher, just mark your form as 'awaiting voucher'.
Finally don't forget to tick all the relevant boxes on the form. If you haven't done this, and receive an email notification from Truespeed, you can phone them to confirm.
Breaking news: now up to 131 signed contracts (Thanks Wendy for the update)
Now 123 signed contracts with Truespeed, and several more in the post. Don't miss out. Let's do this!!!!
Also, see below for contact details and other relevant information
CDS Vouchers and deadline
Don't forget, you can still submit your contract to Truespeed, just mark it as awaiting voucher.
Latest update from Truespeed: they have received 115 signed contracts. Yippee!
We need to get 135 for the project to go ahead. I am sure that there are lots of signed contracts sitting on people's desks/kitchen tables. Please dig them out and post or email them.
Speak to your neighbours and friends in Badgworth, Biddisham & the Allertons about the project and the advantages of 100 Mbs internet - the gold standard of domestic broadband according to the Times this morning. Encourage them to contact us for any assistance in getting a free CDS voucher to cover installation costs up to £500 and to sign up with Truespeed. Many thanks.
(Update provided by Wendy: thanks Wendy!)
Superfast Broadband for Allerton: What is the status and what to do next
The Allerton Broadband Committee considers that TRUESPEED offers the best option with fibre to property at 100Mbs and has no hesitation in recommending it to the Allerton residents.
1 If you have not yet applied for a Connecting Devon and Somerset Connection Voucher you should do so immediately as the closing date is 30 Novermber.
2. You need to complete a Service Order Form with your voucher number and send it to TRUESPEED.
If you do not have a TRUESPEED Pack with the Service Order Form and reply paid envelope, contact:
Update: latest email and documents as sent to interested villagers
Addressing the concerns around broadband contract termination penalties.
It seems that thanks to Ofcom, one may indeed be able to terminate a an existing broadband contract without penalties. I have included an except from Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert website.
How to beat the hikes 1 – escape your contract penalty-free
The good news is, you CAN escape your contract penalty-free.
Under regulator Ofcom's rules, those who've taken out a line rental, broadband or mobile contract from 23 January 2014 onwards can cancel their contract penalty-free if a provider ups its monthly prices mid-term and it didn't warn you about the rise when you bought the contract. And in fact, BT says it'll let you cancel penalty-free regardless of when you signed up.
To ensure you can leave penalty-free, you must let BT know you're leaving within 30 days of it giving you official notification of the price rises (which should arrive in the form of a letter). If you want to switch to another provider, you'll then have a 14-day notice period. If you just want to leave without switching to a new provider, your notice period will be 30 days.
If you've paid upfront for a BT package, eg, if you've bought the line rental saver package, you won't be able to get a refund for the rest of the year though.
For convenience we have linked to the Truespeed Terms & Conditions here:
Latest Update on Superfast Broadband
Please register at www.truespeed.com and request a brochure from your village representative.
We need 135 people signed up by end of November to make this project happen.
Latest information from Villages online survey
Thank you for voting - supplier chosen for community superfast broadband project & next steps
We are delighted to announce the results of the community broadband survey. By an overwhelming margin, the community has chosen Truespeed as the preferred superfast broadband provider for the Badgworth, Biddisham, Chapel Allerton and Stone Allerton community scheme. Thank you to everyone who took part.
89% of survey respondents voted for Truespeed as their first choice provider. We have 130 people in our villages who want Truespeed to supply their broadband. Truespeed are very excited about working with us and are already making detailed plans.
We still need to reach our target of 135 villagers to ensure that the project goes ahead but are confident that this can be achieved. Please speak to your friends and neighbours about the project and encourage them to sign up if they want better broadband.
Remember that installation is free if you have a CDS voucher (apply at https://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/cds-broadband-voucher-scheme/).
Next steps are:
1. Register your interest with Truespeed at www.truespeed.com.
2. We will deliver Truespeed brochures to everyone who is interested in getting faster broadband. Please contact a village representative (Badgworth: Wendy Kemshead; Biddisham: James Brazier; the Allertons and Ashton: Johnny Torrens-Spence) if you wish to receive a brochure.
3. Complete the contract form inside the Truespeed brochure and return to Truespeed. Please let us know when you send the contract form so we can keep track of progress.
4. If 135 people sign contracts by the end of November, Truespeed are committed to completing the installation by end of March 2017.
Many thanks for your support for this exciting project,
On behalf of the Badgworth, Biddisham, Chapel Allerton and Stone Allerton SFBB Group
Latest Information from the Village Meeting on 21st October
The report on the Superfast Broadband (SFBB) Community Meeting that was held last Friday is available for download here.
A more detailed explanation and comparison is also available here, kindly supplied by Chris Perry
Original Meeting Report: (main details)
Urgent apply for your CDS voucher now
We will post the latest information here, as we receive it
Following the public meeting on the 21st October, at Badgworth Arena we have some slides supplied by Paul Hipwell
Connecting Devon and Somerset voucher scheme
Urgent apply for your CDS voucher now, it is free of charge, worth up to £500 and covers the connection and installation to superfast with no commitment. You can apply until the 30th November, but we suggest you do this as soon as possible.