Friday, December 9, 2016

Finally Some (largely unqualified) Good News!

Colin Batchelor, Project Manager for Superfast Berkshire, has given us a very complete update in regards to the activities that will result in us getting high speed broadband.  Below is a summary of Colin's update.  We have also asked Call Flow for their validation of this status and their response will be posted once we have it.

Call Flow has been working on a number of alternatives to meet the challenges posed by the location of our village.  We are about as far away from the nearest telecoms cabinet as one can be and this does make for a challenge.  Call Flow has been able to get an agreement from BT Openreach to create a node on their network for Temple.  This means that we will be able to have a direct fibre connection into the network and is the best possible alternative for the village.  A wireless option had been considered, and while this would have been a vast improvement over the current state, it would not have been as robust and future proof as a fibre connection.

As I write this it appears that construction work has started on the FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) cabinet that Call Flow is having installed next to the telecoms cabinet that BT Openreach placed on Bradenham Lane.  This cabinet will be the destination for the new fibre run that BT Openreach will be installing.  The broadband signal from Call Flow's new cabinet will be joined with our phone lines in the new BT Openreach cabinet and we will have blazingly fast broadband speeds.

Roger Thurston is reaching out to his contact at Call Flow to confirm their commitment to dates but our understanding from Colin is that we could have service in February.  BT Openreach have committed to having the new network node online and fibre run by the end of January (ahead of when this would normally be done given that the requests were just made).  Way-leaves across private land are not needed as the fibre route will be on the side of highways and our understanding is that these permissions are at hand.  There is some provisioning work that Call Flow will need to do once things are connected but Colin has indicated that these items should not be time consuming.

So.  Pretty good news and not a lot of qualifications (assuming everyone does their bit as promised).

So how fast could our connections be?  Here is a chart from the BT website that shows what we can hope for (best case).  I estimate that the furthest property in the village from the cabinet is still less than a half kilometer away.  This means that the homes on either tip of the island could get 50mbps of download speed!  I think this is probably optimistic but as these homes are probably getting around 1.5mbps now it will be a dramatic improvement regardless!

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