Last week’s Parish Council meeting saw more than 40 residents attending in order to hear Aaron Williams’ presentation on the options available for better broadband delivery to West Bergholt. His presentation set out the options available to the village, comprising improved connectivity via the County Broadband existing supply, fibre to the cabinet via BT Openreach or a similar arrangement through Virgin Media. He also highlighted the potential offered by fibre to households direct.
There is an assumption behind all of the options, that we may not be eligible for inclusion in the Superfast Essex programme; however this has not been officially confirmed and the Parish Council awaits a meeting and response from Essex County Council in this respect. Should we not be eligible then this effectively leaves self help, self funding or altnet options.
Aaron concluded that the long term ‘best solution’ is for fibre to be delivered to every household, this would deliver download/upload speeds of up to 1000Mbps. As Aaron explained – the difference is being able to download an episode of Downton Abbey in seconds rather than minutes.
One clear outcome from the meeting was that there is clear support for establishing a ‘Community Broadband Group’ and several of those attending showed interest in joining it.
Chris Stevenson, chairing the meeting, explained that the next steps would be for the Community Broadband Group, when set up, to explore the options further with each potential supplier. Ultimately it will be for residents to express an interest directly with suppliers when opportunities arise. The Parish Council will assist by making the options, their pros and cons available to the community through the setting up of a Community Broadband Group and will contact those who left their details to see this established in the near future.
View the presentation online, or download it, from Google Docs.