Community Broadband Project
The Openreach Mortimer Fibre Project was discussed at the SMPC meeting last week. Parish councillors were positive about the opportunity the project provides and are keen to take a key role to actively support and promote it 🤩
To date 365 of 1600 eligible properties in Mortimer have opted-in to be upgraded to full fibre broadband. The 365 properties equate to a Dept Culture Media and Sports Gigabit Voucher Grant of £600,000, which isn’t enough to cover the £1.2M Openreach installation costs....yet.
There is hopeful news. Although the current version of the DCMS Gigabit Voucher Scheme is ending on the 31 March, DCMS are looking to start a new version of the scheme in mid-April, and there are rumours that the property voucher value will be increased.
So, from now, and throughout April, the opt-in list will remain open for sign ups - remember this is a community effort - you are all encouraged to get involved. Please feel free to ask any questions. The project is due to be discussed again at the April SMPC meeting. By the end of April, we should have heard about the new DCMS 2021/22 version of the Gigabit scheme, and hopefully lots more Mortimer residents and businesses will have opted in. Thank you all for your efforts, let’s give this project the final push over the line!
About the Openreach community project:
Openreach have let us know that there are 1600 households and business in the village that are eligible for a full fibre internet upgrade, who weren’t included in the Gigaclear upgrade in 2018. Full fibre not only provides faster internet speeds but provides a much upgraded and significantly more reliable infrastructure. And it increases house values by an average of £3500!! (GOV.uk, 2021)
We are hoping to cover the £1.2M cost of the upgrade from the Dept Culture, Media and Sports Gigabit Voucher Scheme. Success will require a community effort from us all.
The current task for us as individual householders and businesses is to decide whether we want to be part of the upgrade rollout and be taken forward to the site survey and contract stage. There is no contract signing yet as the site survey will provide the final costs and quote, but now is the month when we each have to make a commitment and opt in or out. If you are interested and want to opt in, we will need to take some basic details that will be passed to Openreach and the Dept of culture, media and sports to access the government grant via your broadband voucher.
There will be no direct information campaign by Openreach. The community partnership relies on the community to share the information. Please keep an eye out for updates online. Due to covid there will be no door knocking or community drop in event.
You can find more information about the community broadband upgrade partnership here: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/community-fibre-partnerships
And information about the dcms voucher scheme here: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/
And information about the installation process here: https://www.bt.com/help/broadband/full-fibre/how-is-full-fibre-installed
And information about your choice of broadband service provers here: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fttp-providers