Broadband Update July 2016 – What Options?

Broadband Update July 2016 – What Options?


First of all, the Parish Council held an extended Parish Council meeting at the end of April to review all the options open to us. Aaron Williams gave an excellent presentation and consequently meetings have been held with many ‘players’. These meetings with County Broadband, Voneus, BT Openreach and Essex County Council means the position about better broadband in the village is becoming a little clearer.

Here is a snapshot of the current position:

Essex County Council

Essex County Council held a meeting with the Parish Council and explained the superfast Essex position with regard to the village.  In short, we do not qualify for a grant that would enable BT Openreach to install a fibre to the cabinet solution.  Click the link below to find out more if you are interested:


Voneus presented its ideas covered in a previous news item.  All households have received a mailshot and can contact the company if they wish to express interest.

County Broadband

County Broadband presented to a packed Orpen Hall and have sent out information to all customers and those who registered interest.   They need a good response to this otherwise the service will not be commercially viable.  Given that response, you can expect Fibre to the Home Broadband within 18 months for those signing contracts now.

BT Openreach

The company held a meeting at the end of June in the Orpen Hall, Colin Brooks represented BT Openreach.  Openreach can install fibre to the cabinet (we have four in the village), within a year to 18 months.  This will cost the community between £30,000-£50,000  (see below).  Individuals wishing to take the BT service will need to fund it collectively because funding is not available for it.   A grant to reduce the costs may be available if Heathland School apply to BT.

Colin clarified the position regarding the distance to our exchange in Fordham. This is irrelevant since fibre would be “blown” through existing ducts from the Cowdray Avenue/Braiswick direction to our cabinets.

Click the link below to view Colin’s presentation:

Community Broadband Group

As mentioned at the April PC meeting and on subsequent news items, a group is now in operation.  The purpose of the group is to appraise the suppliers open the village and to provide a short summary of options.  At the time of writing this summary is being delivered to all households.  Contact details are via [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Where does this leave us?

  • Provision of broadband is a commercial activity.  Neither Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council nor the Parish Council can fund this via a grant.
  • Residents can place an order for existing opportunities that County Broadband are marketing.
  • There is an offer from BT Openreach which residents can take up.  However, this would require a member of the community arranging with individuals to fund the costs.  Should anyone wish to do this they may contact Colin Brooks direct at [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] or on 01977 596054. 

We hope residents will seize one of these opportunities and see service implemented with 18 months or so.


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