Overview

West Tytherley, like many villages in the Test and Dun Valley, fall into the the 5% of the country with no access to true high speed broadband. The West Tytherley Broadband Group is presently working with Virgin Media on a ‘proof of concept’ project to completely change this situation by bringing a fibre optic cable directly into homes and businesses across our rural communities.

The Campaign

The campaign continues for high speed broadband in rural Test and Dun Valleys. The virtual town (consisting of Houghton, West Tytherley, Broughton, Wherwell, Winterslow, Firsdown, Michelmersh, Timsbury, Kings Somborne, Goodworth Clatford, Chilbolton and Stockbridge) registered their interest in the project, using Virgin Media’s “Cable My Street”, which triggered Virgin Media to invest £20m 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 the network to be built, 1000 sign-ups had to be achieved across the virtual town by the end of July 2017, but also each village needed to reach their own target of 25%.

This was achieved!

The final results are below.

In Summary…

  • The build is definitely going ahead!
  • There are no more targets for us to meet or hoops to jump through as we have successfully demonstrated demand.
  • As all villages met their 25% sign-up targets all 12 villages will be in the build.
  • VM’s design and marketing team have now stood down and their implementation team have taken over.
  • A steering group has been formed consisting of the build project manager, community liaison and public affairs from VM plus representatives from WTBBG. They will meet regularly starting now until the end of the build.
  • Due to the test case nature of this project and the huge expenses involved in building a brand new network in such a rural area, residents who choose to take up the VM service will be required to pay a £300 network installation fee.

Why you may want it

What is the difference between Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Home (FTTH)

The diagram below illustrates the difference between ADSL, FTTC and FTTH.

ADSL is what most people have, with copper wiring going from the exchange to the cabinet and then to the home. Copper cables were never designed for high speed communications and they are reaching their limit in terms of the speed that they can support. Also, the further you live from the street cabinet the slower your broadband service as the signal degrades rapidly with distance. If you are really unlucky you will have aluminium cables which are even worse at transmitting data than copper cables.

Fibre optic cable transports data much more efficiently than copper and data can travel for many kilometres without the signal being degraded or even needing to be regenerated. Whilst FTTC can support high speeds to the cabinet, the system uses the existing copper cable from the cabinet to your home and will therefore suffer the same limitations as ADSL. FTTH uses optical fibre from the exchange to your home and does not re-use any of the existing copper cabling so the speed of the service from the exchange can be maintained right through to your home.

Unlike FTTC, a FTTH system is scalable (i.e. future-proofed). Data usage continues to increases at the rate of 50% every eighteen months and optical fibre will be able to sustain this increase for the next 30 years. Copper cabling will be unusable within five years, if not sooner, to carry the speeds that people will need.

What you may have already have – Broadband via FTTC

  • It only works if you are less than 800m from the cabinet as the speed reduces significantly every metre you are away from the cabinet.
  • The cabinet itself may not be built for maximum capacity so not all the properties in a village can be served.
  • Between the cabinet and your home will be old, deteriorating copper wiring which will adversely affect the speed and service.
  • The present provider has acknowledged that copper access will need to be replaced but has no plan to do so.
  • FTTC is not future proof with respect to either speed or predicted data usage as data usage is increasing by 50% every 18 months. Within 5 years the cabinets will not be able to support the speeds people will need. 

What FTTH can offer you

  • Average speeds of 155Mbit/s at peak periods with up to 200Mbit/s off peak.
  • Longevity that FTTC cannot provide; fibre has the ability to support speed increases for the next 30+ years.
  • Highly competitive pricing and services.
  • The opportunity to reduce your commute by working from home.
  • Your whole family being able to use the internet 24 x 7 without it dropping out or stalling.
  • The opportunity to access telephony over the internet rather than using a landline.
  • An investment in the future saleability of your home.
  • Opportunity for those who are elderly or who need regular care to stay in their own home for longer through rapid advances in telemedicine, telehealth and the ‘Internet of Things’ – all of which are dependent on reliable high speed broadband.