It is over two years since the Parish Council set up a Broadband Working Group with the goal of ensuring every property in the Parish receives at least 10Mbps broadband; preferably via OpenReach, or failing that via a wireless connection.
The Connected Counties upgrade programme is due to be completed by the end of 2019. Based on the Working Group’s understanding of the roll out, it has largely exceeded expectations by providing an improved service to most of the Parish. However, not every enhancement is yet in service such as Church End, Bledlow which is still waiting for the installed fibre to go live.
This summer we carried out a desk survey and identified five suspected not spots. On the plus side one outlying farm has been eliminated as it receives over 40Mbps, but two areas have been confirmed as ‘not spots’: the west end of North Mill Road and the area around Shimmels Farm and Callow Down Farm. We believe remaining areas will receive at least 10Mbps, but there is a note of caution: we have not been able to test the speeds being delivered to every house, so we are dependent on you.
Not acting now might hurt!
Even if you only send a few emails and don’t need a fast internet connection today, please bear in mind that property sales have fallen through owing to slow broadband connections. With the increase in people working from home good broadband will become ever more important, and the Government has declared its long term intention that many services will only be accessed via the Internet. Even parts of the NHS are beginning to offer consultations via webcam.
If you act now, the Parish Council will help you achieve 10Mbps either via your existing connection or via wireless broadband. We can also offer grants to those who will be dependent on wireless connections. But time is running out: the Parish Council has set a deadline of 31 December 2019 for applications for help which must be completed and any grants paid by 31 March 2020.
If your broadband speed is less than 10Mbps
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your broadband speed is less than 10Mbps. There are three possible outcomes:
- You might be in an area where the current upgrade programme hasn’t yet gone live, in which case you may have to wait a little longer.
- If from your house you can see one of the aerials on the tower of Holy Trinity Bledlow or just below Warren Cottage, or are near the repeater at Skittle Green we will put you in touch with Rapid Rural who supply a fast wireless broadband service. We are also planning to fund an additional repeater via a neighbour for those whose view is obstructed by trees in North Mill Road and perhaps elsewhere if there is the need.
- Unfortunately, it is impractical to extend the Rapid Rural network to the area around Shimmels Farm and Callow Down Farm because the signal would have to be repeated too many times from Aylesbury. The solution for this area will be to help people access a 4G data service, complete with an external aerial where necessary. This will deliver the best service available under current circumstances.
Please don’t delay. Email us if you would like help. The Working Group has also compiled a list of Hints and Tips to help everyone get the best they can out of their service, whether it has been upgraded or not at http://www.bledlow-cum-saundertonparishcouncil.org.uk/broadband-hints-tips/
Simon Breese Bledlow-cum-Saunderton Broadband Working Group