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.
For installation there is a flat rate of £300 per property regardless of village or value of home. In addition to that you will need to pay an activation fee of £20 plus a ‘typical’ install fee of £40. This amount will vary depending on which services you sign up for but will be capped at a maximum of £99.
The £300 community contribution, activation and install fees will only be payable when the network, in your area, has been built and you are able to receive the service – no money is required up-front. The community contribution and install costs will be payable whether you sign up now or in 5 years’ time.
For the network to be built, we need to achieve 1000 sign-ups across the virtual town by the end of July 2017, but each village much also reach their own target of 25%.
The points to note are:
- There is no legal commitment to signing up. You can later decide to not take the service.
- Sign-up is different to registering an interest as this time you are aware of the costs.
- The £300 per property being asked is a small fraction of the cost to build a fibre network (which can be as much as £10k per property in rural areas) and it is extremely unlikely you will ever get the chance to get fibre to the home at such a low price again.
- These costs are only payable once the network is built and you take the service.
- High speed internet adds to the value of your home. Homebuyers are willing to pay, on average, £23k more for a property with high speed internet.
- Not having internet affects the saleability of your home.
- You do not HAVE to have a trench dug in your front garden. The fibre from the kerb to your home can be laid on the surface in a ruggedised duct.
- Data usage increases by 50% every 18 months. This means that to maintain what you do now on the internet in three years’ time will require more than double the speed you have now. Think back to dial-up – would you be willing to go back to those speeds?
- VM will not be able to hike the prices as soon as the network is installed. They are heavily regulated by Ofcom and the only tariff they are allowed to charge is their national tariff.
- If we don’t meet the sign-up target by the end of July this opportunity, which may be the only option available to people within your own community, will disappear.
There are 2 ways of signing up:
- Online. Go here
- Through the WTBBG by completing this form. Fill it out and:
- Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- Place it in one of the boxes in your village (locations shown below), or even
- Hand it to one of your village champions.
When you sign up online you will be asked to enter your contact details into Virgin Media’s Cable My Street and confirm your understanding that the £300 sign-up charge, activation and install fees will be payable once you receive your service. Sign-up takes less than 2 minutes.
If signing up using a form, it is important you fill in ALL sections legibly or else we cannot process it. If you don’t have a mobile number then please enter your landline number instead. Boxes for collecting forms are located in various places around the virtual town. Boxes are currently located in West Tytherley Village Shop, Broughton Village Shop & Tally Ho pub, Winterslow Village Shop, Goodworth Clatford Village Shop, The Boot Inn Houghton, Chilworth Village Shop.
Virgin Media have and will be attending various village events in May, June and July. Ten have been organised:
- Broughton – School Fete, Sunday 14th May (see photo below)
- 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
- Stockbridge – Villageg Fete, Saturday 10th June
- Houghton – Coffee morning, Saturday 17th June
- Winterslow – Village Fete, Saturday 17th June
- Chilbolton – Village Fete, Saturday 24th June
- Kings Somborne – Village Fete, Saturday 22nd July
Further events may follow and all events will be publicised on this website – see upcoming events on the right hand side.
Virgin Media at Broughton Village Fete – 14th May
The Latest Sign-Up Stats
As of the 13th July.
Houghton is pretty much there. Stockbridge and Broughton have had excellent weeks, and are now well on the way to their targets. Winterslow and Firsdown are still struggling. The table indicates the number of sign-ups, the % this represents, how many more are required to hit 25%, and the increase on sign-ups compared to last week.
The target remains at 1000 sign-ups and 25% per village.
For information this is last week’s table….