Sponsored

Community Fibre Partnership - Estimated costs !!!

candlerb

Regular Member
I have written the following guide here for anyone looking to bring FTTP to their community. It includes the business case:

Guide for Rural Communities: how to get FTTP now

In my local village - Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire - we are in the middle of a demand-led Openreach Community Partnership, and FTTP will go live in 2021. You can see all the information we've used to get sign-ups here:

Spaldwick Broadband: Openreach demand-led scheme

I am regularly updating the information and adding photos as we progress.
Nice article.

The prices for Zen FTTP have changed a bit recently: 900M has gone down to £62.99, 500M has risen to £55.99, and 300M is now available at £49.00
 

Randomcastle

Casual Member
Can I ask how long it took for OpenReach to provide a ball park figure? I applied on behalf of our little glen in Scotland (9 properties, all with businesses operated permanently from them) in early October and have received nothing since the initial emails up to the point where they said they were estimating the ball park figure and would be in touch. (Incidentally, I applied separately for the BT USO scheme in case that was a feasible alternative for me/us and was quoted £60-70K to bring fibre the 3 miles up from the village.) We don't have telegraph poles here - all the existing phone lines run underground with access hatches in the grass verge beside the road. When it rains heavily or snows, our 1MB broadband becomes virtually non-existent...
Typically 7 to 8 weeks
 

Randomcastle

Casual Member
Hi I attach some documents which I drafted and then used with our Community. Feel free to use them as you see fit. They are most probably not legally watertight - I’m not a lawyer but I hoped that they would make everyone think of the obligation they were entering into. So sorry cannot accept any liability for any legal shortcomings! For me it was important to let people know what the process was and what they would have to commit to financially. We had to guarantee a take up of a 24 month minimum 100MBps contract but I think the speed requirement might now have been reduced to 30Mbps. If so the document would need amending and bringing up to date. A legally watertight document would probably be pages long and might have put people off. We had a total of 71 properties and 41 properties eventually completed voucher scheme. Not all applications may be approved Around six applications were declined due to previous grants (apparently). Beware voucher applicants who might move during the post contract build process - once they have gone that application/voucher is probably lost.

I think that if BT Openreach realise that you have used your best endeavours to get an informed consent I cannot see them taking your CIC to Court. We required every applicant to join the CIC as a shareholder - nominal payment of £1 - thus that gave everyone a hypothetical interest in the project being financially viable.

Beware taking VOIP services - we had 7 households take up the service - none work correctly. My fibre connection was provided in Sept 20 and our phone still doesn’t work as designed.

Once the final fibre connection is made (Openreach only initially run fibre to the nearest pole/connection - the final connection is made by your chosen ISP) voucher applicants will receive an email asking for confirmation that the final qualifying connection has been made. So far (as far as I know) no other checks are undertaken. As far as I know all our successful voucher applicants took up the qualifying contract.

Our scheme did not require any capital contribution from the Community. Some people were surprised to find that those in the Community that chose not to take part were (for the most part) able to connect to the fibre infrastructure like everyone else. Information that is best not disseminated!

Double check if there any building plots/ property conversions - BT don’t like adding these to the scheme particularly once the contract is signed
If you need any other info - let me know.
About the CIC: this is a legal entity, like a limited company. It has no assets. If it fails to meet its obligations, such as paying OR the difference between grants obtained and installation cost, who can OR take action against? The CFP members have no contractual relationship with OR.
 

Randomcastle

Casual Member
Hi Mark,
I have read all your info avidly. Your website FAQs are excellent. We have just had a final quote for a large project. We were hoping you wouldn’t mind if we put your FAQs on our website as they are so good. We would of course reference you and your site. I emailed Jason a couple of days ago to ask him but as yet have not had a response.
Re the grant for businesses: OR told me you don't need to take a business connection if you take a business grant. To qualify for a business grant I was told that DCMS would ask for a UTR (unique tax reference). Presumably they then check this with HMRC and if it shows there is a self employed tax return at the address getting the connection, it qualifies as a business connection. Hope that's clear
 

Randomcastle

Casual Member
Pursuing the CFP route for 20 rural properties with OR costs of £86k, fully covered by grant funding which OR tell me is earmarked. QUESTION: has anyone who has gone down this route been hit with Excess Construction Charges (ECC) by OR? I had a long and helpful chat with a local ISP (Aquiss) and he put the fear of god into me about these - they are not covered by grant funding. Several of our properties are 100+ meters from the road, albeit with a copper landline connection by means of poles.
 

Oldpronto

Casual Member
Can I ask how long it took for OpenReach to provide a ball park figure? I applied on behalf of our little glen in Scotland (9 properties, all with businesses operated permanently from them) in early October and have received nothing since the initial emails up to the point where they said they were estimating the ball park figure and would be in touch. (Incidentally, I applied separately for the BT USO scheme in case that was a feasible alternative for me/us and was quoted £60-70K to bring fibre the 3 miles up from the village.) We don't have telegraph poles here - all the existing phone lines run underground with access hatches in the grass verge beside the road. When it rains heavily or snows, our 1MB broadband becomes virtually non-existent...
We submitted our original Community Leads Portal return to Openreach in October 2020 and had our budgetary quote just before Christmas. After a bit of to'ing and fro'ing we had our formal quote in early February. There was a significant price increase! Nevertheless we have been told that, though the scheme is ending, we are able to go forward to the next phase, hopefully without any further increase in price. The details are due to be released on gov.uk today but I guess the Budget may get in the way.
Unfortunately, I think Openreach are overwhelmed by responses and are under-manned.
 

Steevo1510

Member
I'm in the very early stages to get our town FTTP. There is a contract awarded for our area to get to installation, however my town is always overed looked, so we are looking at Openreach.

Question I have, in theory, could you completely fund the upgrade by Grant funding alone or do each household have to put some of their money in for the grant to be active?
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
Question I have, in theory, could you completely fund the upgrade by Grant funding alone or do each household have to put some of their money in for the grant to be active?
There is no answer for that without getting OR to do a survey, if the properties are widely scattered then needing a contribution is much more than if they are tightly packed. The other cost is the link from the village to the fibre backbone, distance and use of current ducting or needs new ducting apply.
 

Oldpronto

Casual Member
If you are using a Community Broadband scheme, you need to put forward a list of properties that wish to opt into the scheme. You will then get an estimate from Openreach. If the value of the funding available for the number of properties you have put forward, depending on the scheme you are in, is inadequate you have to get more properties to join.
In our case, a village community of 200 houses, the initial estimate was matched by those wanting to participate under the Governments Rural Gigabit Scheme. The next cost estimate based on a technical survey by Openreach increased by 40%, however by a local initiative we now have 60% of the community opting into the scheme and covering the cost.
As above it is very dependent on the distance from the exchange and many other factors. We already had FTTC but this does not really seem to have much effect as this is bypassed when/if FTTP arrives. The key issue is persuading your local community to join the scheme. Hope that helps.
 

Penybanc

Casual Member
If you are using a Community Broadband scheme, you need to put forward a list of properties that wish to opt into the scheme. You will then get an estimate from Openreach. If the value of the funding available for the number of properties you have put forward, depending on the scheme you are in, is inadequate you have to get more properties to join.
In our case, a village community of 200 houses, the initial estimate was matched by those wanting to participate under the Governments Rural Gigabit Scheme. The next cost estimate based on a technical survey by Openreach increased by 40%, however by a local initiative we now have 60% of the community opting into the scheme and covering the cost.
As above it is very dependent on the distance from the exchange and many other factors. We already had FTTC but this does not really seem to have much effect as this is bypassed when/if FTTP arrives. The key issue is persuading your local community to join the scheme. Hope that helps.
I'm in the very early stages to get our town FTTP. There is a contract awarded for our area to get to installation, however my town is always overed looked, so we are looking at Openreach.

Question I have, in theory, could you completely fund the upgrade by Grant funding alone or do each household have to put some of their money in for the grant to be active?
We completed our Community Fibre Scheme last year. The scheme was totally funded by UK and Welsh Government Grants. Scheme cost - £113,000 funded by grants made to 38 households. No household needed to make a financial contribution. The scheme actually financed and built out by Openreach serves 70 households (properties passed).

If you apply under the Community Fibre Scheme, Openreach will design a scheme to serve the entire community, not just those properties for which a grant is obtained. We managed to get our cost down by removing a mountain hut and derelict farm from the scheme this reduced the cost by about £5,000 as the number of new telegraph poles was significantly reduced. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread the cost eventually quoted by Openreach depends on (amongst other things) the geographical spread/density of the properties comprising the scheme. Don’t forget Openreach do not actually connect each property - they run a fibre cable to a point where ISP providers can connect their service (in our case the nearest telegraph pole). Serving 4 houses from one telegraph pole is a lot cheaper that 4 houses from 4 telegraph poles.

I managed to get a copy of OR’s engineers proposed plan. That proved helpful in highlighting properties disproportionately expensive to connect.

Finally the more businesses you can get to apply for a grant the better as the business grant is far more generous. This will for example include the self employed working from home, farms etc.

Hope that helps. Good luck.
 

Oldpronto

Casual Member
We completed our Community Fibre Scheme last year. The scheme was totally funded by UK and Welsh Government Grants. Scheme cost - £113,000 funded by grants made to 38 households. No household needed to make a financial contribution. The scheme actually financed and built out by Openreach serves 70 households (properties passed).

If you apply under the Community Fibre Scheme, Openreach will design a scheme to serve the entire community, not just those properties for which a grant is obtained. We managed to get our cost down by removing a mountain hut and derelict farm from the scheme this reduced the cost by about £5,000 as the number of new telegraph poles was significantly reduced. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread the cost eventually quoted by Openreach depends on (amongst other things) the geographical spread/density of the properties comprising the scheme. Don’t forget Openreach do not actually connect each property - they run a fibre cable to a point where ISP providers can connect their service (in our case the nearest telegraph pole). Serving 4 houses from one telegraph pole is a lot cheaper that 4 houses from 4 telegraph poles.

I managed to get a copy of OR’s engineers proposed plan. That proved helpful in highlighting properties disproportionately expensive to connect.

Finally the more businesses you can get to apply for a grant the better as the business grant is far more generous. This will for example include the self employed working from home, farms etc.

Hope that helps. Good luck.
Our scheme is progressing slowly. We had to resubmit in early April 21 due to the end of the previous scheme. My question for Penybanc. You produced excellent documentation for your community along with an application form for the resident/business to return to your CIC.
Within that you had a very clear Summary of the Application Process. Did your application and process mirror that summary when the scheme began? It is the clearest description of the process I have read anywhere. The DCMS Beneficiary and Supplier T&Cs are less than clear on the process and, so far, Openreach have not provided detail of the actual sequence. It is obviously critical to any application and installation. Grateful for your advice.
 

Penybanc

Casual Member
I agree the DCMS T&C’s are most unclear. The contract between Openreach and the CIC is very poor and, in my view, has numerous ambiguities and loopholes.

The scheme itself went without hitch although I recall a couple of instances where I could see potential problems:-
1. Once the contract cost has been set by Openreach they are very reluctant to add properties into the scheme. We had a situation where an owner wanted to add a barn conversion into the scheme after the scheme had been costed. Openreach wouldn’t add it in but fortunately the engineers on the job very helpfully ensured that the final network design incorporated a terminal for the building. Check for any building plots/barn conversions that might require a future connection. Ensure they are listed on the infrastructure plan but obviously do not make a grant application for the plot
2. Ensure everyone knows the costs of taking the qualifying contract. When our contract was signed the GBVS required a minimum 100Mbps connection - I have a feeling that requirement has since been reduced. At 100Mbps there were not many ISP’s to choose from. At say 30Mbps your choice should be greater and connection costs lower.
3. We had a couple of households that decided to move house after the contract was signed. If they do not sign up for a qualifying fibre connection Openreach will not receive the grant from DCMS for that applicant. It might be worth pointing that out to each applicant.
4. On a slightly different point 7 households/businesses took a Digital Voice contract (including me). The numbers were not ported correctly and the digital phones didn’t work for over 6 months. This seems to be a problem not easily resolved by BT. I went to the Ombudsman and secured £200 compensation for poor service. I’ve heard BT are advising consumers that there is no guarantee that they can retain their telephone telephone number on the Digital Voice service. After saying for six months that my number couldn’t be ported - it was eventually ported, successfully and without a hitch. Worth checking this point with BT.

As regards the sequence:-
1. Finalise the list of properties to be served by the infrastructure (including those that do not wish to take part by applying for the grant).
2. Obtain confirmation from the participants that they agree the terms of taking the grant. Forward that list to Openreach - I used an Excel spreadsheet - easy update during each stage of the process and add up grant totals etc.
3.BT will contact DCMS and arrange for an email to be sent to each applicant asking them to confirm their application for the GBVS grant. Each applicant has to reply in the affirmative.
4. Once each grant application has been made by the individual household/business have been made and the total grant offered by DCMS exceeds the Communities share of the cost Openreach will issue the contract to the CIC.
5. In the case of our Community BT then carried some final detail planning before works commenced (during the first lockdown). Note BT only connect to the CBT (fibre connection point), usually the nearest telegraph pole in our very rural area. The final connection to the property is made (mostly by Openreach I think), on the instructions of the chosen ISP.
6. Once the connection is made each applicant has to obtain service from their chosen ISP. DCMS contact each applicant and ask for an undertaking that the final connection has been made. Once that is given grant monies for that property are handed over to Openreach by DCMS.You’ll probably have (like us) a few stragglers slow to take up service.

Get as many grant applications in as you can. Not all grant applications. are succesful. We had a few legitimate business applications turned down for reasons only known to DCMS, so best to have a safety margin on your grant application total if at all possible.

Finally ask each applicant to decide where they want the fibre entry point - best to consider this in advance. It doesn’t necessarily have to be where the existing telephone point is but power points are required within a metre or so. Avoid doing what I did and locate the router on a landing with thick stone walls either side. The BT Home hub 2 doesn’t like stone walls! I ended up opting for the BT Whole Home Wifi mesh network (around £160).

Hope that helps. A bit of a ramble I’m afraid!

Cheers
 

bulldog

ULTIMATE Member
Alternatively you could wait to see what the Government does with their forthcoming £5bn investment in "gigabit-broadband", but that could still be years away.
I would find it hard to belive in the government £5bn investiment. They are lied. Not gonna to happen.
 
Top
Promotion
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • NOW £22.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £22.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSPRING
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*36.52)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Offer Code: SPRUCE20
  • Vodafone £26.00 (*29.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £29.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSPRING
  • TalkTalk £29.95 (*39.95)
    Speed: 145Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Promotion
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3206)
  2. BT (2920)
  3. FTTC (1849)
  4. Building Digital UK (1847)
  5. Politics (1826)
  6. Openreach (1745)
  7. Business (1588)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1371)
  9. FTTH (1355)
  10. Statistics (1346)
  11. 4G (1181)
  12. Fibre Optic (1127)
  13. Wireless Internet (1107)
  14. Virgin Media (1101)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1095)
  16. EE (785)
  17. Vodafone (777)
  18. TalkTalk (735)
  19. Sky Broadband (714)
  20. 5G (664)
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules