BB4ER meet with Council's BBfN Officer
Last night the BB4ER group met with Karen O'Kane the County Council's officer in charge of the "Better Broadband for Norfolk" office. The office manages the local delivery of the government's scheme to get as many households as possible access to "Superfast Broadband" (This is defined as a minimum speed of 24Mbps, which by international standards is not very fast).
From her presentation, it appears that for virtually all properties the village, except for a good number on Chequers Street and a handful elsewhere, the Internet connection speed and reliability you have now is likely to be all you get - ever!
This is because the current government subsidy is one that has no ambition beyond upgrading BT's street-side cabinets so that they are connected to the local exchange by optical fibre, rather than copper wire, an arrangement is known as FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet). The possible improvements for Chequers Street arise because BT plan to install an additional cabinet that will serve these properties.
The BB4ER group feel the government's approach was misguided when conceived and totally inadequate going forward. We were given to understand that there is no replacement scheme being developed at national level and with parliament consumed with Brexit up to and well beyond our departure from the EU, we face a situation which will leave rural communities stuck with the current planned level of connectivity for the foreseeable future. In a world where adequate Internet connectivity is becoming as vital as water and electricity supplies, this can only impact negatively on both the economic and social life of the village.
The group have resolved to pursue ways of achieving an alternative to relying on BT and its copper cables for the the final run to individual properties in the village.