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Connecting Chelford (Not)

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Our Chelford Superfast Broadband champion, Mike Grundy has been doing some sterling work on our behalf. Following the release of the latest Connecting Cheshire bulletin, Mike had some strong concerns: he explains all below.

Connecting Cheshire are currently reviewing the requirement for NGA (Next Generation Architecture) based on the requirement to deliver a minimum of 30Mbps. This new threshold represents a significant increase over the previous 15Mbps threshold that was in place when Chelford first received Superfast Fibre in October of 2014.

Connecting Cheshire's current map of in-scope areas for addressing this next level of Fibre architecture shows Chelford as "out of scope" which I believe has mistakenly been assessed on the fact that Chelford did get some enhanced Fibre capability in October 2014. Apparently there are now some 900 premises connected to Fibre, although both performance and capacity remain an ongoing issue for the Village.

There remain two significant issues still affecting Chelford :-

Firstly — my understanding, based on anecdotal evidence but not conclusively tested, is that Chelford's Fibre broadband implementation for the most part only delivers at or around 15Mbps with some exceptions where the speeds have been observed to be a little faster but also where many are slower. We are therefore receiving services well below the revised 30Mbps threshold. I am not aware of any further plans to improve Chelfords speed above and beyond the current levels so with the advent of the new 30Mbps threshold Chelford will inevitably fall behind the curve. Indeed getting any information about future plans for Chelford is difficult.

Secondly — A significant number of residents are stuck with the slower ADSL service and are not currently able to get any high speed Fibre connection at all. All of the primary capacity has been fully subscribed and there is currently a waiting list for anyone with new requirements. After inquiring with Andrew Arditti some months ago I was told that there are no publishable targets of when further capacity might be made available. BT are similarly close lipped.

Both of these issues will potentially leave Chelford in the backwaters of broadband implementation once again,, ie slower speeds and no capacity for growth and development.

As Mike points out, these are serious issue for Chelford and he and Chelford Parish Council are pursuing this actively. The next PC meeting will have an agenda item on this subject.

Mike tells us that there is something we can all do.

For those awaiting Fibre connections they should regularly be asking for updates on progress and putting pressure on their service provider

For those receiving a lesser service than promised they should be complaining to their Service provider. They will after all be charged as if they were receiving the full service. There is no "quid quo pro" price reduction for a lesser service.

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