Community Broadband

Information and advice to help communities get connected with good quality broadband.

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Scam alert

Please be aware of scam calls being made to residential phone lines declaring that you have a connection issue / speed. They ask for details that have no reflection of your connection and even in most cases are not with the supplier they are talking about.

Please be vigilant: If in doubt hang up and contact your service provider.

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Contents

Introduction

We know that good quality internet connectivity is vital for communities, residents and businesses across our district. In a large rural district providing internet at the right quality and speeds can be a challenge. We are working with partners and providers to try and get the best possible connections for communities.

Our Community Broadband Programme includes a range of support measures to help communities and businesses. As part of our Communities Service we have a Community Broadband Officer to provide advice and guidance. We also provide Wi-Fi Hotspots in community buildings across the district.

The Governments vision is that by 2025 there will be fifteen million homes passed for full fibre connection and by 2033 most of the country will have access to full fibre to the premises. Through our Community Broadband Programme we will support rural communities to access advice, funding and other national schemes to improve connectivity.

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Digital Switch Over Telecoms

BT (EE) has announced a revision to its timetable for moving all customers off the old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN, copper network) and onto digital landlines (Digital Voice), which follows last week’s confirmation that the deadline for migration had been extended from December 2025 to 31 January 2027.

The new approach is designed to align more closely with Openreach (infrastructure builders) national roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband using fibre to the premises technology, which is expected to cover 25 million premises by the end of 2026 (80%+ of the UK), before rising to 30m by 2030 (nearly universal coverage). 

The new revised approach will result in a single switch for the majority of customers (businesses and consumers) – from copper to fibre – with all customers now expected to have moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027. Copper broadband and phone (IP-based phone) services will continue to be available in areas not covered by their new FTTP network.

From early 2025, BT Consumer will contact customers who identify as vulnerable or with additional needs about the switch in areas where data sharing agreements with Local Authorities or Telecare companies are in place and in-home support for telecare users is available.

All customers will be contacted at least four weeks in advance before making the switch, to ensure they are ready to move to a digital landline. Engineering appointments will be made ahead of the switch and additional support will be provided on the day to ensure that customers are left with a working telecare device.

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Community Wi-Fi Hotspot Scheme

Since 2014 we have provided Wi-Fi hotspots in village halls and community buildings across the district. We are currently reviewing this scheme to ensure it meets the needs of communities and looking at the latest technology we can use.

If you are a community building and interested in this scheme please contact us below and we will keep you informed about any developments and opportunities to join.

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Voucher Schemes

Residents may be eligible for the Superfast Voucher Scheme either individually or as part of a wider group. The type of scheme can help fund some or all of the installation costs to improve speeds in your area.

Small to medium sized business (SME) may also be eligible for a voucher to support the cost of gigabit-capable broadband.

For advice and to check if your area is eligible please contact us and we can research what is available for you.

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Rural Gigabit Scheme 2021

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has the aim of increasing gigabit-capable coverage across the UK.  

The first voucher was launched in March 2018, designed to encourage broadband service providers to build full-fibre networks in the UK for small to medium-sized businesses and nearby residents when part of a group in the local area. The £67m fund was successfully used over two years. 

In May 2019, the programme launched its second wave of funding to support the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK when part of a local group. With over £73m successfully committed, the Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) Voucher has now closed for new applications.  

A new wave of funding has been made available from the UK Gigabit Programme to support the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband for homes and businesses in harder to reach rural areas. The UK Gigabit Voucher will be launched on Thursday 8 April 2021

The suppliers working in the West Lindsey area can be found by inputting your area post code on the Gigabit Voucher website.

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button | Gigabit Voucher website
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Building Digital UK

In July 2018 the Government published ‘The Future Telecoms Review’. This document set clear ambitious targets for the availability of full fibre and 5G networks. The aim is to see 15 million premises connected to full fibre by 2025, with coverage across all part of the country by 2033 and that the majority of the population will have 5G coverage by 2027.

The review addressed key questions about the evolution of the UK’s digital infrastructure such as the convergence between fixed and mobile technologies, and the transition from copper to full fibre (gigabit-capable) networks. The review also identified that approximately 10% of UK premises, largely in rural and remote locations, would be unlikely to receive gigabit-capable connections by 2033.

An ‘Outside-In’ approach was proposed in the review to ensure that gigabit-capable broadband to premises in the final 10% can be delivered along with the rest of the UK. Since then, the scope of this scheme for the hardest-to-reach premises has increased from the final 10% to 20%. In May 2019, the Chancellor announced a £5 billion commitment to fund gigabit-capable deployment in the hardest to reach 20% through the ‘Outside-In’ approach.

More information on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport vision for a connected country can be found on the Building Digital UK webpages.

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Online Lincolnshire

Building Digital UK (BDUK) is no longer looking at fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) delivery but will now go for the fibre to the premises (FTTP) network, which will result in the planned work for West Lindsey being pushed into Phase 3. The tender for this contract was sent out on 3 September 2019 with the contract to be agreed on 3 March 2020.

At this time the tender process has been extended to April 2020 and split into two geographical areas for delivery based on postcodes:

  • Area 1: DN and LN postcodes
  • Area 2: NG and PE postcodes

There will be areas within West Lindsey which unfortunately will be unable to receive fibre to the premises (FTTP) due to network and costing restraints so other ways of giving a better service will be explored.

button | Connected Lincolnshire
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Quickline information

Quickline communications have updated their build plan which include the following areas within West Lindsey and some areas are live now for changeover:

  • June 2023 – Upton, Willingham by Stow, Kexby
  • August 2023 – Tealby, North Willingham, Knaith Park
  • October 2023 – Keelby
  • November 2023 – Goulceby, Northope
  • January 2024 – Burton, Riseholme

Sean Royce, Quickline's CEO said:

We don’t believe any customer should suffer with a poor broadband service. Broadband is so important to daily life, from work to socialising, and choosing to live in a rural area shouldn’t be at the expense of having great internet

access.

That’s why we’ve launched this new initiative, which we believe is unique in the industry.

For too long, many rural customers have been locked into lengthy contracts while receiving an unreliable, slow service. We think our new offer will change that and give customers a high-quality alternative.

Quickline are now giving new customers the chance to join them for free "until their existing contract runs out". The terms for this deal state that the "maximum value of this offer is in line with the maximum residential contract term allowed by OFCOM, which is 24 months". In a separate offer, new customers can alternatively choose to join Quickline for 90 days for free, with no hidden costs and no contract.

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Contact

If you would like a Community Broadband Consult please contact us. We will arrange to speak or meet with you and discuss your local needs and then try to best match you to support and funding available.

Email: community@west-lindsey.gov.uk

If district communities seek further information regarding broadband updates, please see Lincolnshire County Council's letter to Lincolnshire Parish Councils [PDF / 172 KB].

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