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Community Fibre Partnerships - what if some don't take up the service?

CharmingCent

Casual Member
I'm looking at setting up a CFP here in Dorset. It looks as if vouchers could entirely cover the costs. It's 50+ properties, and I don't want to hand-hold every single one when it comes to ordering FTTP after the install. If some properties don't order, do the vouchers get clawed back?

Probably a daft question but it's the last thing nagging me before I send the 50+ letters out.
 
Last edited:

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Generally you'd only get vouchers if the property owner applies for one, so if somebody doesn't order the service then there's no voucher from them (I believe that's how it works). So you work out how many premises in the community are willing to engage (aggregated package of vouchers), gather that together, and then see if there's a shortfall of funding to resolve.

Sometimes you can find ways of tackling a funding shortfall, such as my talking with local landowners about waiving wayleave fees or helping to dig some of the trenches (where viable).
 

PianSom

Casual Member
No, that's not quite the way it worked for me. The voucher application was entirely a different process from the service order.

For my scheme the final stages were (1) Openreach produced a final estimate and applied to the governemt for the issuing of vouchers (2) each particpant confirmed to the goverment that they have agreed with Openreach to take a gigabit service and apply for a voucher (see attatched) (3) the vouchers got issued to Openreach and then formally submitted back to the government for authorisation (4) Openreach issued the delivery contract to the company signing for the community (5) in my case at least there was a payment due immediately and a payment due on completion of delivery; if there are enough vouchers then there may be no payment.

Once the invoice is paid it's a matter of waiting up to 12 months from the date of contract signing to delivery of the fibre to the neighbourhood. From that point any participant can place an order.

My scheme got derailed half way through, but I was told that if a participant did not end up placing an order then that was not a problem - it was realised that people's plans change sometimes and it was a risk that the government takes in providing the vouchers.

I did a minimal amount of hand-holding on the order process when we went live. It was FAR less of an issue than the pain of getting everyone lined up pre-contract.
 

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PianSom

Casual Member
Actually, I just checked and either my memory was wrong or I was told something different verbally. In any case, the CFP contact contains the clauses attatched.
 

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zag164

Member
No, that's not quite the way it worked for me. The voucher application was entirely a different process from the service order.

For my scheme the final stages were (1) Openreach produced a final estimate and applied to the governemt for the issuing of vouchers (2) each particpant confirmed to the goverment that they have agreed with Openreach to take a gigabit service and apply for a voucher (see attatched) (3) the vouchers got issued to Openreach and then formally submitted back to the government for authorisation (4) Openreach issued the delivery contract to the company signing for the community (5) in my case at least there was a payment due immediately and a payment due on completion of delivery; if there are enough vouchers then there may be no payment.

Once the invoice is paid it's a matter of waiting up to 12 months from the date of contract signing to delivery of the fibre to the neighbourhood. From that point any participant can place an order.

My scheme got derailed half way through, but I was told that if a participant did not end up placing an order then that was not a problem - it was realised that people's plans change sometimes and it was a risk that the government takes in providing the vouchers.

I did a minimal amount of hand-holding on the order process when we went live. It was FAR less of an issue than the pain of getting everyone lined up pre-contract.

That's interesting. I organised a CFP for 30 properties and signed the contract in early December. Our ordering process was exactly as you described. There was a long gap for planning not helped by Covid but last week Openreach were rodding ducts and as I write there are OR contractors laying more ducting and connection boxes in the street. Do you remember the approximate timeline from when there were boots on the ground to when you could place the FTTP order? I have also been told that the ducting is laid to each property at the build stage. Was that your experience? Thanks in advance.
 

PianSom

Casual Member
Hello @zag164

Yes, I do, though "boots on ground" is perhaps the wrong phrase, since in my own case all the civils work took place out in the main street away from my immediate neighbourhood, so I was not aware of it.

From signing the CFP (Dec 2018) to placing my order took a few days more than the maximum 12 month period they specified. (Of course, as I mentioned, the CFP had been abandoned by then, so the process may have been drawn out longer because of the change in direction.) OR did an on-site survey in ?Feb 2019.

I was notified that I could place an order on 23 Dec 2019, placed it the same day, had an OR person in my house pulling cable through pre-existing ducting on 27 Dec and went live on 15 Jan when my ONT was fitted. (And then I upgraded to gigabit about 6 weeks later.)

In all (I think) cases, my neighbours and I were installed using the pre-existing ducting to our houses used by BT to supply copper service.
 

Pingman777

Casual Member
hello , I am currently doing the communityfibre thing on Openreach. so far , i have 20 names but looking to get a further 10 making it 30 in total. Is 30 going to be enough for Openreach to put fibre in my village + will we also have to cough up. I know they have put Fibre in about 2 miles away in the next village and this must be coming from the same BT cabinets ?

thanks
 

sheephouse

Top Member
You will almost certainly have to pay, so the more people you have the less each will have to pay.
Nearby fibre may or may not help. If FTTP is installed it comes from an aggregation node, not a cabinet - in my case we have FTTC 1 mile away, but the aggregation node was 11 miles away so the cost made it impossible.
 
Hi,
We are a small community of 20 properties hoping to use the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme. We have made an application to Openreach and have now received a quotation indicating our "contribution" of around £25k. The Rural Engagement Manager (!) offers to discuss matters but first I would value any comments from anyone who has used this route., in particular the availability of the vouchers.

Essentially there are five properties with small businesses which would appear to meet the SME criteria. Of the remaining residential properties I expect only six to be interested and would participate. The vouchers are quoted as £3,500 for SME's and £1,500 for residential. Doing the maths this gives a figure of £26.5k (5 @ £3,500 + 6 @ £1,500), which would cover the "contribution". How certain can we be that we would receive the Vouchers, thus covering the cost? Are any changes in the Scheme anticipated?

Also what is an "aggregation node", referred to by "Sheephouse"? Existing overhead fibre to another village 3 miles away (on the same exchange) passes thro' our community. Would Openreach connect into that?

Advice on any other pitfalls in going down the Rural Gigabit route would be welcomed!
 

sheephouse

Top Member
Connections are made to a node, having fibre cables nearby doesn't help as your connection can't use those - FTTP isn't like a water main or electricity supply that you can tap into. That's why FoD bills tend to be large - the nodes tend to be some distance away, otherwise you'd probably already have FTTP.
 

zag164

Member
Hello @zag164

Yes, I do, though "boots on ground" is perhaps the wrong phrase, since in my own case all the civils work took place out in the main street away from my immediate neighbourhood, so I was not aware of it.

From signing the CFP (Dec 2018) to placing my order took a few days more than the maximum 12 month period they specified. (Of course, as I mentioned, the CFP had been abandoned by then, so the process may have been drawn out longer because of the change in direction.) OR did an on-site survey in ?Feb 2019.

I was notified that I could place an order on 23 Dec 2019, placed it the same day, had an OR person in my house pulling cable through pre-existing ducting on 27 Dec and went live on 15 Jan when my ONT was fitted. (And then I upgraded to gigabit about 6 weeks later.)

In all (I think) cases, my neighbours and I were installed using the pre-existing ducting to our houses used by BT to supply copper service.

Thanks for the information and apologies for the delay acknowledging it. Since I asked the question back in May there has been a lot of activity. The blocked ducts have been cleared, the fibre has been laid and the CBT's installed. The OR contractor is now about half way through installing the lead-ins to our properties and I have been given a go live date from OR of early October. I am hopefuly there is some contingency in this and that the service may be commissioned earlier but we shall see.
 

Noblettski

Member
No, that's not quite the way it worked for me. The voucher application was entirely a different process from the service order.

For my scheme the final stages were (1) Openreach produced a final estimate and applied to the governemt for the issuing of vouchers (2) each particpant confirmed to the goverment that they have agreed with Openreach to take a gigabit service and apply for a voucher (see attatched) (3) the vouchers got issued to Openreach and then formally submitted back to the government for authorisation (4) Openreach issued the delivery contract to the company signing for the community (5) in my case at least there was a payment due immediately and a payment due on completion of delivery; if there are enough vouchers then there may be no payment.

Once the invoice is paid it's a matter of waiting up to 12 months from the date of contract signing to delivery of the fibre to the neighbourhood. From that point any participant can place an order.

My scheme got derailed half way through, but I was told that if a participant did not end up placing an order then that was not a problem - it was realised that people's plans change sometimes and it was a risk that the government takes in providing the vouchers.

I did a minimal amount of hand-holding on the order process when we went live. It was FAR less of an issue than the pain of getting everyone lined up pre-contract.
Do you mind me asking how/why your project was derailed? We are in the process of agreeing a final costing from Openreach to supply 257 households from our village and into the next. Currently we don't have enough interest to create a healthy financial buffer, which is a main concern.
 
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