Mersham Parish Council Update on Openreach Fibre Broadband Project Jan 2021
As many villagers will be aware, Openreach are currently running a fibre broadband scheme to provide 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP technology to homes and businesses. Mersham Parish Council plan to participate in this project. To this end, the Parish Council have been in communication with Openreach seeking the best way forward to supply this fibre to as many residents in Mersham as possible.
The Parish Council has decided to pursue an online pledge scheme where residents commit to purchase the faster FTTP service once built and Openreach will cover any risk subject to pledges exceeding the build costs by circa 30%.
The steps involved for this scheme are:
- PC to apply for a project
- PC to provide list of addresses
- Openreach provide an initial estimate to the Parish Council including modifications to the requested addresses
- PC finalise addresses and Openreach provide final quote
- Openreach set up web portal for people to pledge, allowing Openreach to secure grants (this is when individual residents need to get involved)
- once enough pledges and grants secured, Openreach progresses the build project
The above process takes approximately 15 to 18 months.
Openreach will only accept a project that covers all addresses served by an exchange and with any project being limited to one exchange. As Mersham is served by two separate exchanges, Sevington and Aldington, we would need to participate in two projects to cover all the addresses in Mersham; one for those served by the Aldington exchange and one for those served by the Sevington exchange. However, a recent complication has arisen. A local resident, independent of the Parish Council, initiated a project for a subset of addresses served by the Aldington exchange which has been accepted by Openreach. This has complicated identifying the address lists required for additional projects.
Therefore, there will be three separate projects:
- Pre-existing independent project
- Adding additional addresses to the Aldington exchange addresses
- Addresses served by the Sevington exchange
Currently, the first project is at step 5 and both the second and third projects at step 4 in the process steps listed above.
A progress report will follow shortly, and further information will be provided at that time.