Good News on the Valley Broadband situation for most !
The good news comes from a few directions.
BT / OpenReach
This is the most likely route to SuperFast Broadband for the majority of Valley residents.
BT has given us a date for when most (BUT SADLY NOT ALL) will receive SuperFast broadband from BT.
The Digital Scotland Broadband website now says :-
Work under the Digital Scotland programme means that the first premises in this area are currently expected to receive fibre broadband in the period January to June 2017.
This applies to MOST people served off the Borthwickbrae Exchange. It goes on to say that this is an estimated delivery schedule. To see the exact coverage of the map, you can go to http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/
For those served off the Hawick or Selkirk exchanges, then check out the above website for the latest BT plans for your situation.
The Community Broadband Solution
(For those NOT going to be covered by BT / OpenReach)
BT have provided a list of all postcodes in our area to Community Broadband Scotland to help establish how much of our Valley will be part of this route to SuperFast Broadband.
Those postcodes that are covered by BT’s future plans CAN NOT be part of this initiative as organisations are NOT eligible for state funding if there is a commercial solution planned (eg BT / OpenReach).
The PostCode list is split into what is referred to as “White PostCodes” and “Partial Coverage PostCodes”.
“White PostCodes” – Zero plans by BT to provide superfast broadband before 2018.
“Partial PostCodes” – Some residences will get SuperFast, some won’t.
“White PostCodes” can join the Community Broadband Solution. “Partial PostCodes” probably can too, but we are awaiting confirmation of this.
So, what is the latest for the Community Broadband Solution?
There was a meeting on Thursday 28th January 2016 at which there were representatives from some of the 11 valleys, Hawick County Council and Community Broadband Scotland.
It was agreed to proceed to the next stage of “Open Market Review”, whereby we will be submitting all postcodes for the whole of the Borders, South Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway and asking any commercial organisation if they have plans to provide SuperFast Broadband.
With this information we will proceed to a Public Consultation Report. Both of these stages take a month each to complete.
After they are complete, we will be setting up a registered company / charity to take the project through to procurement of SuperFast Broadband services for all Post Codes that are NOT covered by A.N.OTHER provider (most likely BT).
For more details of the Aggregation process including an image that shows the whole (lengthy) process, go to :- http://www.borthwickwater.co.uk/content/superfast-broadband-update
Two last bits of related news.
The government have set a date of 2020 for a minimum speed of 10Mbps (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34753331)
And for those who currently have less than ½ Mbps (MOST OF US), you may be able to get free satellite installation where you pay only the ongoing monthly costs. (http://goo.gl/Bixcwb)
I have spoken to Tooway who confirmed they are also doing this scheme but that it is going to be accessible through local councils. So keep your eyes on the local press as that seems to be how it is going to be rolled out.