Since the last update here, much has happened; Phillip Edwards, Secretary of the West Bergholt Community Broadband Group, offers the following update:
Most significantly, suddenly, with no prior notification or information, to neither the Parish Council nor the Broadband Group, Virgin Media started digging trenches in pavements and installing connection points outside homes in Albany Road and Erle Havard Road. These are aimed at providing, at a future date, their version of Broadband Service (200Meg download, up to 20 Meg upload).
A check with the Essex Highways part of Essex County Council revealed that Virgin Media had lodged plans to install 39 street cabinets and dig cable trenches around the village.
We asked Virgin Media to tell us how many of the properties around the village will be equipped. They assured us of a response but, to date, this has not arrived.
Clearly this unexpected change in circumstances is causing County Broadband to carefully consider their commercial position. This is particularly with regards to the mutually binding contracts signed between them and almost half the village. County Broadband have stated to the Broadband Group that they strongly wish to continue with their plans. They will be writing personally to all signups no later than Friday 10th February 2017.
Points for Consideration
Some points for all in the village to consider in the meantime:
- The Virgin Media network will only allow service from Virgin, and no other operator. Their network is “closed”.
- County Broadband is an “open” network – customers may choose any supplier (except Virgin Media).
- After any introductory offer pricing, which Virgin have indicated will be available, their normal monthly pricing is significantly higher than that being offered by County Broadband.
- Virgin Media is a multinational multi-billion pound business, financed by Liberty Media (a USA Company).
- County Broadband is a small local Company with a track record of providing wireless Broadband to our village when, historically, no other provider showed any interest in doing so.
Each individual household and business will need to decide how to proceed given this new situation. We are now the point of fierce competition for our custom rather than a backwater no fibre provider was interested in, who would have thought?
Given such a fast moving picture, if any of you wish to receive more frequent updates, the Broadband Group would be happy to receive and hold an email address for you, ONLY to be used for this purpose and deleted when no longer needed – if so, please email [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] with the Subject “Broadband Update Please” as the title.