What is happening to the Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign?
Nearly 25,000 homes and businesses have supported the Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign – making it the biggest in the country and showing the high demand for better broadband across the county. This has been achieved with the fantastic support of 100 Broadband Champions, local Councillors and organisations encouraging people to register.
Active campaigning has now closed, but people can still show their support, view FAQs and get regular updates on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website.
What was the process for awarding the contract to roll-out better broadband?
During 2012, a complex procurement process involving several bidders was carried out to find a commercial partner to provide broadband infrastructure in areas that would not be able to get it otherwise.
In March 2013, Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet signed the contract with BT to roll-out better broadband across the county within the next three years.
The contract means that the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme will achieve its ambition for more than 90% of homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to be able to receive superfast broadband (at least 24Mbps) with the aim of bringing basic broadband (of 2 Mbps minimum) to very nearly 100% of premises by the end of 2015.
Why was the contract award made to BT?
During the competitive process we asked bidders to demonstrate the greatest broadband coverage and the highest speeds they could offer for a total public investment of up to £23 million.
BT submitted the highest scoring bid with a competitive broadband deal which means we will exceed our target of more than 90% of homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough being able to receive superfast broadband (of at least 24 Mbps) with the aim of providing basic broadband (2 Mbps minimum) to very nearly 100% of premises by the end of 2015.
Why can’t I see if my area is due for an upgrade on BT’s Openreach website?
BT’s Openreach website only shows BT’s commercial rollout plans. The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is separate from BT’s commercial roll-out plans.
Has the contract been signed?
The contract was signed on the Friday the 8th of March. You can read the press release here.
Where can I see a map showing broadband coverage for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough?
There are maps on this website under The Plan showing what the future levels of basic and superfast broadband access are expected to be by 2015, without the Connecting Cambridgeshire project’s intervention.
State Aid rules mean that the project can only intervene in those ‘white’ areas where broadband will not be provided by suppliers.
These are being mapped in more detail with BT now that the contract has been signed, but it is not possible to give more detailed information at this stage.
When we will get better broadband in our area?
Connecting Cambridgeshire is now working with Openreach, BT’s local network business, who will spend time carrying out surveys and developing detailed plans before beginning to install fibre in the programme area.
This will require a substantial re-design of the network across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the large-scale project will involve upgrading over 100 telephone exchanges and installing many more new cabinets across the county.
The roll-out has to be carefully planned in phases to make the best use of public money. We anticipate that the very first premises will go live by the end of 2013.
Once we have worked this through we will publicise the phased roll-out on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website. The scale of the county-wide roll out will mean some areas will be connected sooner than others, but by starting work now everyone will benefit from better broadband by the end of 2015.
When will the roll-out of better broadband begin?
See answer above
Will the recent announcement of budget cuts for European Union broadband projects affect the Connecting Cambridgeshire Programme?
No. We can confirm that BDUK funding for the broadband infrastructure roll-out across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is not affected by this decision.
Will we get left out if we live on the borders of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough?
No, The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is based on Cambridgeshire postcodes and does not depend on whether the serving exchange is within the county.
What do you mean by superfast broadband?
Superfast broadband is defined as a download access speed of at least 24Mbps.
Connecting Cambridgeshire is aiming to bring access to superfast broadband to over 90% of premises in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with better broadband connectivity of at least 2 Mbps for very nearly 100% of premises.
You can check your broadband speed at http://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/the-plan/check-your-broadband-speed/
What is a Broadband Champion and what do they do?
Our Broadband Champions have played a key part in success of the demand registration campaign by encouraging people to register and raising awareness of the benefits that better broadband will bring.
Connecting Cambridgeshire will continue to work with our Champions, communities and businesses to highlight local broadband case studies and provide opportunities to help people to access digital services.
If you are interested in getting involved please email us at: email@example.com
Will the level of registrations in my area make a difference?
Areas with higher levels of registrations have contributed significantly to the overall registration figure which helped us to get a better deal. This has meant we have been able to exceed our targets for superfast and basic broadband coverage so that more areas will benefit overall.
Nearly 25,000 homes and businesses across the county have supported the Connecting Cambridgeshire campaign – making it the largest of its kind in the country. The high registration levels have helped to show the strength of demand in communities and this information is useful to BT as they plan the roll-out of the broadband infrastructure.
If I register my details will I go on any mailing lists?
The information we ask you to give us (postcode and landline telephone number) when you register will only be used to support the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme by demonstrating to suppliers where there is demand for superfast broadband.
If you choose to give your contact details – name and email address – these will only be used to keep you updated about the campaign, and to provide further information about becoming a Broadband Champion if requested.
What about anyone who is not going to get fibre-based broadband?
BT’s modelling is telling us that a fibre based broadband service to some premises is either very expensive or unachievable through today’s technology. However there are alternative technologies being developed by BT in their labs in Ipswich which will be introduced into Cambridgeshire and Peterborough if they offer a viable alternative solution.
You say that more than 90% will get superfast speeds and 98% will get fibre based broadband. What is the difference?
By 2015, 98% of homes will be on a fibre based broadband infrastructure which is a combination of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme and commercial rollout. As a result of this more than 90% of the county will be able to receive speeds of 24Mbps and up.
Not everyone on a fibre based solution will be able to receive 24Mbps, however very nearly 100% will still be able to get significant speeds of between 2Mbps – 24Mbps – depending on their distance from the exchange.
What is the total number of homes/businesses that will be connected to fibre across both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by the end of 2015 if you take into account both the project and BT’s commercial investment in fibre broadband?
It is estimated that around 350,000 premises will be connected to a fibre based service which is 98% of the county.
How many homes and businesses will be included in the Connecting Cambridgeshire project?
Approximately 94,000 premises are within the Connecting Cambridgshire intervention area which is around one third of the whole county that would not otherwise be able to access better broadband by 2015.
Will every exchange across the county get fibre under this agreement?
Yes, although not all premises served by each exchange will be able to access a fibre based solution. However, very nearly 100% will still be able to get significant speeds of between 2 Mbps and 24 Mbps – depending on their distance from the exchange
Can you give an indication of what percentage of fibre deployment will be FTTC and how much will be FTTP?
There will be a mix of FTTC and FTTP. BT will deliver FTTP where local conditions for FTTC are not suitable (for example, where there are no cabinets, where there are very few premises served by a cabinet, or where the premises in general are long distance from the cabinet) and where it can be delivered economically within the budget for the Project.
What provision is there in the contract for alternative technologies for reaching the more remote premises?
We believe that a fibre technology offers the best solution for harder to reach premises. BT will be working closely with Connecting Cambridgeshire to extend fibre as far as possible. Where possible we will first look to fibre innovation, but we may consider any alternative technologies that deliver better broadband.
Why do people in my local area have a faster broadband connection than me?
There are numerous reasons why your connection speed might be slower than others nearby. This can range from the wiring in your home to your current internet service provider. The Which? Consumer association has a useful guide to help find out what could be wrong with your connection and potential ways to improve it. Click on the link below to find out more
What is the Local Broadband Plan?
The Government wants Britain to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe, so each region was asked to develop its own Local Broadband Plan to explore how to make it happen.
The Local Broadband Plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was developed by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Peterborough City Council and District Councils, with the support of the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership, and key partners in business, education and health.
It summarises the initial planning undertaken in 2011 to improve the broadband infrastructure in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for the benefit of businesses and communities, which was approved by the Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport.
A redacted version of the Local Broadband Plan is available here.
What is State Aid?
State Aid approves the use of public funds to intervene with funding where there is demonstrable market failure of provision. The Government body BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) have been cleared to give State Aid approval on behalf of the EU for broadband projects in rural areas.
Connecting Cambridgeshire gained State Aid exemption during the final stages of the complex procurement process before finalising the contract award for the new broadband infrastructure in March 2013.
BDUK has allocated £6.75 million of Government funding for the Connecting Cambridgeshire project together with up to £23 million from Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council to be invested in bringing better broadband connectivity for all premises by 2015.
Can I keep my existing service?
The contract award is for BT to supply the infrastructure for better broadband – but this does not necessarily mean that your existing service will change. If your current service is right for you then you don’t need to do anything.
How much will a superfast service cost me?
This will become clearer nearer the time but we expect prices to correspond to that which companies already offer for areas which can already receive superfast speeds.
Will I need new equipment for superfast broadband?
It is possible you may need new equipment. Information on this should be made available by your Internet Service Provider when superfast broadband becomes available to you.Our FAQs will be updated regularly. If your query has not been answered, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org