The campaign continues for high speed broadband in rural Test and Dun Valleys. To date the virtual town (consisting of Houghton, West Tytherley, Broughton, Wherwell, Winterslow, Firsdown, Michelmersh, Timsbury, Kings Somborne, Goodworth Clatford, Chilbolton and Stockbridge) has been registering their interest in the project, using Cable My Street, which has triggered Virgin Media to invest in designing a brand new fibre to the home (FTTH) optical fibre network for the area. This is a ‘proof of concept’ project for Virgin Media who have, to date, only deployed their networks in urban environments.
What’s New on the Website?
21st April 2017
- VM have confirmed that sign-ups will be open on the 12th May.
- Further village sign-up sessions have now been organised.
19th April 2017
- Updated to make it clear that the Community Contribution will be payable regardless of when you sign up, i.e. day 1 or 5 years later.
- Clarified that if you pay your Community Contribution by monthly installments you will know by the end of July 2017 whether the 1000 sign-up target has been met. If it hasn’t then you will have paid no more than 3 installments before getting your money back.
- Clarified that only homes in the Phase 1 build will be able to sign-up. It will therefore be impossible to sign-up, start paying the Community Contribution and later find out that you cannot get the service.
11th April 2017
- Updated latest news regarding recent activity with incumbent supplier.
9th April 2017
- Added a picture on the overview paging showing the differences between ADSL, FTTC and FTTH.
- Added a post for an article describing what FTTH could offer your community.
The Latest Progress
There have been some recent rumours that this project has stalled and, in some cases, the rumours go as far as to say that it has died completely. We are unclear as to how this rumour started but we can state that it is untrue. Sign-ups are due to start in May as reported a while back and this situation remains unchanged. Virgin Media have now confirmed that sign-ups will start on the 12th May.
The incumbent supplier has been busy recently making claims that the service we have been denied for so long will suddenly materialise. We have not yet been able to substantiate any of these claims but we will keep you posted if we hear more. If they do spring into action then that is a good thing, as competition is always healthy, but it is worth checking exactly WHAT is going to be supplied and WHEN. The Virgin Media community project is all about securing our future needs for over 4000 homes in the virtual town (and that is just Phase 1) rather than a piecemeal, short-term fix from which only a few households may benefit.
Virgin Media will be attending various village events in May, June and July to support the sign-up process. Six have now been organised:
- Broughton – School Fete, Sunday 14th May
- Goodworth Clatford – Parish Council meeting, Thursday 25th May
- Chilbolton – Village meeting, Saturday 27th May
- Wherwell – Village Fete, Saturday 10th June
- West Tytherley – Village Fete, Saturday 10th June
- Kings Somborne – Village Fete, Saturday 22nd July
Further events will follow and all events will be publicised on this website – see upcoming events on the right hand side.
The next target to meet is 1000 sign-ups across the Virtual Town. A sign-up will involve entering into a contract with Virgin Media and making a Community Contribution payment, which will be a one-off or one of twelve monthly payments depending on your payment option. The window in which we need to meet the sign-up target is small so please don’t leave it until the last minute. Sign-ups will start on the 12th May and close on the 31st July and will take a variety of forms including online, telephone, and village sign-up sessions.
When sign-ups start we will keep you informed on progress as we do with registrations.
The latest Cable My Street league table is as below.
To those of you unfamiliar with the table, it indicates the total number of households, plus the % of each village, who have registered their interest using Cable My Street.