Thank you to those of you that have signed up already (60 of us). If you haven’t yet …….please support our village application for a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) project by pledging your interest and entering your address (residential or business) in the on-line form linked below. Your data will then be collated and sent to Openreach to register your property and intent.
GU23 6 postcodes with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use “vouchers” to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group scheme. Completing this form (which takes less than a minute) will allow us to claim the value of a virtual government-funded voucher to be offset against the cost of deploying Gigabit Fibre Broadband in Ockham.
What is Gigabit Fibre or FTTP?
Gigabit fibre or FTTP (fibre to the premise) is a fibre optic connection from the telephone exchange to your home. This is not to be confused with “BT fibre” which is in fact FTTC (fibre to the cabinet). This then uses the copper telephone lines from the cabinet to your home. Of the properties registered in Ockham so far, current download speeds range from 16.5Mb/s to 80Mb/s (according to Openreach). FTTP is much faster reaching speeds of 330Mb and in some cases even 1Gbps.
What is this voucher?
Each of our properties can claim a virtual “voucher” that may be pledged towards improving broadband for a rural area. The voucher cannot be used anywhere else. At this stage, it is just a commitment to show interest for ultrafast broadband in Ockham.
Do you run your business from home?
For any residents who also run their business from home, if you are eligible (see below), please register as a business property (not residential) to benefit from the higher value voucher. To qualify for a business voucher, you will be asked to self-certify that you meet the European Commission definition of an SME whereby your business has:
- Up to 249 employees (in total in the organisation) and turnover no greater than €50m per annum, and/or A balance sheet of no more than €43m
- You will also have to self-certify that you have received less than €200k in public grants in the last 3 years – the de minimis limit.
- You will be asked to provide evidence of your status as a SME or sole trader.
- Everyone – Why do I need Gigabit?You may think your current broadband speed is fine – but …There are numerous benefits to upgrading to FTTP; many home devices are now connected online and with live streaming services, working from home and increasing online education – more so than ever, a reliable ultrafast connection is paramount. We believe that every property in Ockham should have the opportunity of being upgraded and having high speed broadband, like everywhere else. It is probably key to emphasise that this is a potential one-off program for our village as providers will not individually upgrade properties outside of the scheme. Importantly, having Gigabit broadband has been shown to add approximately 2% value to your property and makes it much more marketable.
- Timescales We need to act quickly to ensure our eligibility. Many of you will have heard already that East and West Horsley already have their Gigabit schemes approved – unfortunately we can’t piggyback onto their schemes as these projects were already well under way and costed out by the provider.
- What Next? Please encourage your neighbours to sign up with you as the higher take-up will make the scheme more cost-effective and viable for Openreach and consequently better for us.We welcome any ideas for how to broaden the appeal for sign-up in Ockham.
- Questions? Please send any questions regarding any of the above to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- who has kindly agreed to update any further news.