Superfast Broadband Is On The Way

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NPC has been working hard behind the scenes for about 5 years to try and secure superfast broadband for the whole of the village.

Almost all of the village now has the option of subscribing to a superfast broadband service. BT  brought about 150 Newbald properties online a few years ago. KCOM has been doing the engineering work to offer the properties that it serves the chance to receive superfast broadband.

[Here is the position as stated by KCOM on 15 January 2017:

“KCOM has now enabled its cabinet serving its existing customers within the Newbald Parish Council (NPC) boundary. This means that those customers now have access to its Lightstream service, which provides access to minimum speeds of 30Mbit/s. This provides a step change in the previous speeds available and as such will provide a significant improvement on the standard broadband service. KCOM also offers businesses an upgrade to its ultrafast Lightstream service, which offers speeds of up to 1Gbit/s. This is a chargeable service that varies based on network build and hence is subject to survey and estimate.”

For those customers on its network and within the NPC boundary yet to be upgraded, KCOM will ensure that those customers will have access to baseline broadband services of 30Mbit/s. Some people will have to wait until later in 2020 for this. Please visit www.kcomhome.com to find what deals are available for your postcode.]

Unfortunately some areas Of Newbald were not lucky enough to be included in either BT or KCOM’s rollout of superfast broadband. KCOM conducted on-site survey in May 2016 to understand the cost and complexity of expanding its network to include the excluded roads. However,  KCOM went on to take about 3 years to assess the feasibility of including them and, after much lobbying, only made a decision in late 2019. (See details below of how Newbald Parish Council involved the local MP to try and force a decision by KCOM).

Finally KCOM agreed to laying the necessary infrastruture for a certain number of the excluded postcodes but continued to exclude others as they were not commercially viable. The postcodes which continue to be excluded are 4TW, 4TL, 4SW and 4SR.

Until KCOM made its position clear, BT was not prepared to look into upgrading its supply to these postcodes to allow for a superfast broadband option. Now, Newbald Parish Council has been able to apply to BT for a co-funded fibre broadband solution for postcodes 4TW, 4TL, 4SW and 4SR. BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme is a way for a community of any type and size to jointly fund bringing fibre broadband to an area with BT. The first stage was to get a quote from BT for connecting all the properties in the postcodes. Unfortunately, this came back as being in the region of about £500,000. It is highly unlikely that any funding options are going to be able to cover that sort of level of financial. The Parish Council now needs to explore whether we could do a “community dig”, which is where the village digs out the trenches to accommodate the cables to keep the costs down. Because of the coronavirus situation, and the fact that the Parish Council is currently unable to meet, this matter will need to be addressed further down the line.

This web page will be updated as and when further progress is made.

Historical Information about NPC’s Superfast Broadband Campaign

On 14 July 2017, Graham Stuart MP came to Newbald to meet Councillors and residents who were adversely impacted by the lack of superfast broadband and KCOM’s lack of commitment to rolling it out to certain postcodes. A representative from KCOM was also there. The Clerk presented the results of the superfast broadband survey to KCOM which showed that there would be considerable interest among residents in purchasing a superfast broadband package, if only one was available to them. Armed with this new information, KCOM  said it would either commit to laying the infrastructure to the excluded roads or give up its expression of interest, which would open the doors to other suppliers and/or public funding.

In the morning before his visit, Graham Stuart MP and the Clerk talked on Radio Humberside about the frustration some of our residents have about the lack of availability of superfast broadband. You can listen to a couple of excerpts from Radio Humberside here:

NPC continues to campaign hard for 100% coverage and has also been speaking to suppliers of wireless superfast broadband solutions. If one of them sets up in Newbald, it would provide a superfast broadband solution to those properties not included in the KCOM and BT rollouts and also introduce an element of healthy competition for the rest of the village.