Broadband Update

Last November, the Parish Council hosted a meeting in the Village Hall in which Shaun Dale (Programme Director, Openreach) and Glenn Peacey (Hampshire Superfast Broadband, Hampshire County Council) presented the status of the County’s superfast broadband rollout in general and in Upham in particular.

The meeting was well attended and we heard how Durley Exchange Cabinet 1 (the green box at the bottom of Upham St to which most residents in Upham with 01489 860 numbers are connected) is being “fibre-enabled”.

For those close enough to this cabinet (around 1km), Superfast speeds (defined as 24Mbps or higher) should be attainable once this connection is made, provided users go onto an appropriate contract with their provider.

For those outside the superfast ‘magic circle’ there may be some improvement depending on the distance from the cabinet. Upham Parish also includes residents on the Bishops Waltham (01489 89 numbers) and Owslebury exchanges (01962), and some of those connected to Cabinet 1 may not only be too far away to get Superfast speeds, but also too far way to get any benefit from its fibre-enablement. Some Durley numbers are connected direct to the Durley exchange rather than cabinet 1, so will also not benefit from the ‘fibre-enabling’.

We then heard about the Community Matched Funding (CMF) scheme, operated by Hampshire County Council in conjunction with Openreach, under which HCC will provide half the funding (up to a maximum of £1650 per property) to match money raised by local communities to install a Superfast broadband service for those properties not able to receive Superfast speeds after the Cabinet 1 fibre-enablement has gone live.

We have asked Openreach to prepare costed proposals to provide superfast broadband to all residents who will not be able to get superfast speeds after Cabinet 1 goes live, whether in the Durley, BW or Owslebury exchange areas. This will enable us to assess the costs as a community, and apply for the CMF scheme.

This initial proposal work will not cost us anything and currently we hope for its completion by the spring. Once we receive the proposal, there will need to be time for clarification and negotiation with Openreach on the detail. We will then schedule a public meeting to go through the proposals as a community, and decide next steps.

Over the next few weeks we will need to set up a working group to take the first look at Openreach’s proposals. If you have skills which you feel would be useful in doing this assessment on behalf of us all, please contact Dermot Flaherty (who has very kindly volunteered to co-ordinate the broadband project on behalf of the Parish Council) on uphambroadband@gmail.com

As for the estimated date for Cabinet 1 “going live”, Openreach have been delayed by the need to deal with issues raised by the Environment Agency, but hope to complete the fibre-enablement by the spring. Updates about the progress of faster Broadband in Upham will be sent by email from Upham CommsHub.

If you gave your email address at the November meeting, or if you have already opted to receive updates on all Upham topics, you will automatically receive updates about Broadband. If not, please email commshub@uphamvillage.org.uk  to be added to the distribution list.

If you have any specific queries about Broadband in Upham, send them to uphambroadband@gmail.com  and we will try to answer them.

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