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Community Broadband Scheme in South Thurston

28 May 2021

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Openreach is offering to upgrade the broadband for some premises in South Thurston) as part of a Community Broadband Initiative, funded by government grants to bring fibre broadband to rural areas.

Last summer a group of about 30 neighbours in Thedwastre Road got together to see if we could persuade Openreach (the only broadband infrastructure provider in our area) to improve our broadband.  With our current FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) connections many of us experience significant problems with online access and TV streaming when the internet goes slow or cuts out, particular at peak times of use. Better Broadband for Suffolk who are committed to improving internet connections for rural areas in the County helped with the application and now we are starting to firm up a final plan.

Openreach have confirmed that over 100 premises off Thedwastre Road, Beyton Road and Hollow Lane, which are served from one of their distribution points, are eligible under the Government Gigabit Voucher Scheme, for vouchers or grants of £1500 per domestic premises or £3000 for business premises to offset the cost of bringing superfast fibre (FTTP- Fibre To The Premises) broadband connections to our homes.  It is hoped that the grants will cover the community’s share of the cost.

Under the proposed scheme Openreach will undertake to install a new fast fibre connection (FTTP) to each of the premises in their list.  Broadband speeds available after upgrade are much more reliable and can be much faster depending on which contract is chosen with an ISP (Internet Service Provider - eg Sky, BT, Plusnet). Contract costs are often about the same as a standard service over a FTTC connection.

Properties on the list will be receiving a flyer with more information about how to opt into the scheme.  Look out for further updates in the Newsletter too.