November 2016 Broadband Project Overview Report
On 14th December it will be exactly one year since we started delivering the Broadband Packs, thereby inviting the Community to join in and help us make it a reality. The support we received in the ensuing 4 weeks was quite astounding and it allowed us to forge ahead with Openreach. Details and Price were agreed by the end of March so we placed the order and paid our 50% deposit. The contract period was set at 12 months, so we should be expecting the release of all the new fibre-enabled cabinets by the end of March 2017.
What have you been up to for the best part off 12 months, I hear you ask - after all, apart from a few white lines here and there, nothing much seems to be on the go? Are we on track? Fair question!
Even if the the pond looks entirely unruffled, I can assure you that the various ducks floating thereon have been paddling furiously on your behalf! Nevertheless, we are now at the sharp end and I can honestly say that at this stage of any complex project the strengths of the project team become sorely tested. We are more than fortunate to have two absolutely superb project managers in David Whitehead and Roly Errington. Without their individual skill sets and attention to detail we would be languishing; with them we can feel confident that any slippage will not be through omissions on our part and we are quietly hopeful that all will be well.
Our current focus is on three areas:
Cabinet siting and approvals. Living where we do, this was never going to be easy, but Openreach engineers have received a lot of support from us in locating sites for our 5 cabinets that will be acceptable to the NPA, Natural England and the Verderers; that do not infringe on SSSI’s and that meet all the other sensitive rules that apply in the Forest. In two locations our proposed cabinets will be placed on private land through the generous support of the landowners, thereby ensuring that protected and sensitive areas are avoided. In all proposed locations Openreach have agreed to our request that an “all-in-one” cabinet should be used, rather than the 2 cabinets originally specified. The Openreach submissions to the authorities will be complete within the next 10 days. Please see the attached map.
Post delivery direct service support. Under the BDUK model, once installation is complete and the new fibre-enabled cabinets are released to the network, service faults and problems have to be dealt with through the users Service Provider - e.g. Talktalk, Vodafone etc - rather than through Openreach. Ever since we started the project we have been determined that Openreach should provide direct support to our Community in the event of any service delivery or speed issues for a defined period of time; so that if, for example, a number of users in one area experience a slower than expected speed, then this can be reported direct by HCP to Openreach, who will then intervene in support.
This has never been achieved before, but Openreach have agreed to provide this support to us. We are now in the final stages of agreeing the finer details.
Balance of Funding. As you may recall, when initial fund raising was complete we still had a small shortfall of just over £12,000 to make up. Since April we have been steadily working at ways to overcome that shortfall without needing further recourse to the Community. In order to preserve confidentiality, we have had to resist the temptation to give you more detail; but we are now approaching the point where the negotiations will be determined, one way or the other, and we will bring the full picture before you very shortly.
on behalf of Hyde Community Projects Ltd