Community Broadband Project
Dear Fellow Roseisle Residents
Re: Options for Superfast Fibre Broadband for the Roseisle area
If like us your broadband is slow (under 2 mbps and often much less), then you may be interested in a possible solution. Even though the Hopeman exchange has been fibre-optic enabled, Roseisle village and some of the surrounding area are unable to receive the fibre-optic service, because of the distance from the Hopeman exchange.
The Roseisle Community Broadband Project have therefore been looking at the potential to improve provision of Broadband services to our immediate community, taking advantage of the Scottish Government’s commitment to faster broadband for rural communities. We believe it is possible to access substantial grant money to assist with this, by local residents applying to Digital Scotland via the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, for a £350 voucher towards funding a superfast broadband solution – there are many examples of other communities who have successfully done this. Individual vouchers can then be combined and used towards a BT Openreach community broadband partnership. This means that BT Openreach will also put funding in of up to 75% of the cost. Here is the link if you wish to read more about it: https://communityfibre.openreach.co.uk/.
The more interest we can gain from local residents and businesses, the bigger the chance we could be successful and the lower any cost to the community and residents would be. So even if you aren’t personally currently interested in receiving faster broadband, hopefully you would be willing to add your support to this for the community as a whole. Having superfast broadband is often one of the top requirements for house purchasers and will add to the attractiveness of living in the Roseisle area. As more broadband services such as Netflix, Amazon prime etc are used, this creates a bottleneck which will only slow our current broadband down even further into the future if we do nothing. And if we do nothing as a community, the current Highlands & Islands Enterprise roll out plans mean it is unlikely we will see any roll out of faster broadband before at least 2020/21.
If there is enough community support, including local businesses in the area (to whom we are also writing), we shall be able to approach BT Openreach to start putting some costings together and provide a quote to see whether the £350 voucher eligibility per household would cover the upgrade to superfast broadband. The more people who agree to apply, the more feasible the upgrade is. BT Openreach also contribute to the cost, so we are hoping that with the collective vouchers it would cover all the costs.
So, at this stage we are not asking you to do anything, other than to let us know if you would support this, and if – when the time comes – you would be happy to apply for one of the £350 vouchers – this does not commit you to anything nor commit you to taking out broadband if you don’t want to – but it would assist the whole community by adding another voucher to the “pot”.
If you are happy to add your support, could you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07532 404 249 or alternatively we will try and get around to as many of you as we can to answer any questions and check if you are prepared to add your support to this community initiative. Only if we get enough support will it then be sensible to contact BT Openreach to discuss a possible community fibre project. We hope you will add your support to this and become part of the Roseisle Community Broadband Project.
(On behalf of the Roseisle Community Broadband Project)
Superfast Broadband Information
Martin Ellis, economist at Halifax, said: “A strong broadband connection is an increasingly important factor when choosing where to live.”
Roseisle area, we’re in the 5%!
Around 5% of the UK isn’t covered in existing national fibre broadband rollout plans and the Roseisle area falls into that group. We want to work in partnership with Openreach to get superfast broadband to our homes and local businesses in 2018. We’ve set up the Roseisle Community Broadband Project to raise money to jointly fund the cost of a new fibre broadband cabinet that will be connected to the national fibre network. Openreach will fund a large chunk of the cost and we need to raise monies to cover the remainder. We are hoping that the remainder will be covered entirely by every household applying for grants from Digital Scotland, available for each eligible household, in the form of £350 voucher that can be jointly pooled and used to fund our part of the costs.
All the following devices compete for the same limited bandwidth, and basic broadband services with slow speeds is increasingly becoming a major bottleneck. Basic broadband is no longer enough!
∙ mobile phones
∙ iPads and tablets
∙ e-readers (such as Kindle)
∙ desktop PCs
∙ Sky+ boxes
∙ streamed video services, such as YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, NowTV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, BT TV and Sky Anytime Plus
∙ fast downloading of HD video content (rather than standard definition content)
∙ streamed music services, such as itunes and Spotify
∙ voice / video telephony services, such as Skype and Apple FaceTime (enabling free calls!)
∙ online backup services, such as Carbonite, Livedrive and Apple iCloud.
Superfast broadband is now almost the same price as basic broadband. The prices of superfast broadband services are falling significantly, and already there’s only a small difference between the price of superfast broadband and basic broadband services.
Superfast broadband could increase house prices
A survey carried out by ispreview.co.uk found that 68.8% of respondents would be put off from buying a “beautiful new house”, if it lacked fast broadband.
Conventional broadband services that we have in our area can be unreliable. The current ADSL broadband is carried along copper cables all the way from the exchange to our homes and business premises. Inevitably, the broadband signal suffers a reduction in strength (“attenuation”) as it travels along the copper cable from the exchange to broadband modems, reducing the speeds that can be delivered and making the broadband signal susceptible to interference. In contrast, high-speed fibre broadband utilises fibre-optic cables, which are immune to interference and do not suffer the signal attenuation experienced by copper lines. As a result, superfast broadband services deliver significantly higher speeds and are more reliable.
If anyone has tried like us, to switch to fibre-optic broadband now that the Hopeman exchange has been enabled for fibre, you will have discovered that we are too far from the exchange, resulting in no service whatsoever.