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Update December 16th 2014

Install date for the houses to the west of the parish has now been put back to June 2015. OCC can't seem to give any accurate information beyond that. Quite frustrating.....

Update Oct 2014

The houses at the west of the parish (Oakley Wood, Oakley Court) were due to be upgraded by the end of Sept 2014. The estimated completion date has now been pushed back to End of March 2015 as there were problems with blocked ducks and a suitable power supply. However, we are hopeful that it will be completed by the end of November 2014.

The main Nuffield village and Huntercombe is still sitting outside of the current plans. OCC has indicated that there is additional funding but we do not yet know whether this will include Nuffield.

Check here to see if your postcode is being upgraded.

 

Public announcement in July or August 2013

June 24th 2013

We are now very close to completing our broadband investment contract. We are in the final stages of negotiation and expect things to wrap up for the end of July. We know how frustrating the wait has been for our broadband champions, but the end is in sight.

90% of premises

The Council is confident that we will meet our programme objectives that at least 90% of premises (homes and businesses) will have 24Mbps (Superfast Broadband speeds) or more and at least 2Mbps (Basic Broadband) will be available to everybody else. This £13.86 Million investment translates to an additional 65,000+ premises across the county receiving 'superfast' broadband that otherwise would not.

Starting January 2014

We are very conscious that securing this contract has taken a long time when broadband availability has become an ever more important demand for all communities. However, the negotiation for a contract of this size and complexity has to be thorough and the time taken by us in competitive dialogue is in line with the other authorities who have undertaken the same exercise. In addition, the progress of the County Council's procurement and final contract is subject to the close scrutiny and approval by the national program, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) but we anticipate that this will be completed at the end of July so as not to delay the contract announcement.  Whilst we have not been able to maintain the original timeline for our contract negotiations, we are confident that this will have no impact on the delivery timescale. We expect delivery will be carried out in defined phases i.e. geographical areas of the county, over a 2 year period commencing January 2014 although considerable ground survey work will be underway in advance of that in 2013.

Two national initiatives


As many of you are aware, there are two national broadband initiatives running currently. The first of these is operated by BDUK which provides funding for county led broadband initiatives. There is a second national initiative run by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to support rural broadband investment.

The two broadband investment funds (ours through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) at DEFRA) have been designed to run consecutively and separately.  This requires that decisions on the BDUK investment have to be completed first. Only at that point will DEFRA determine the community bids to the Rural Community Broadband fund. Throughout our contract negotiation we have sought guidance and advice from BDUK and DEFRA to support our progress. The directions given to local authorities, have meant delays in decisions for DEFRA community bids (pending the outcome of our contract), as well as delays in confirming eligibility for those communities who may wish to pursue an application.  These delays we believe are temporary and should be resolved once we have a final contract and confirmed broadband coverage for our funding from the supplier. The difficulty in coordinating these two investment schemes is a national issue.

The bottom line is that we'll be in a position for public announcements in late July or early August latest and we are confident that we'll achieve our objectives on county-wide coverage.

Announcements on the our preferred bidder

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We know that there has been speculation about a preferred bidder. At this point the process, the preferred bidder is not yet officially selected – this happens as part of the final stages of the procurement process. Therefore, we are not in a position to disclose the details surrounding the preferred bidder until the contract announcement (expected for the end of July).

Council Advises to Hold Back on Alternative Community Broadband Ventures

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We understand how frustrating it has been for all communities waiting for the final contract announcement and the details on broadband coverage. Some communities have been testing the waters on their own community investment projects.  However, because the Council is close to a final contract and announcement, we would recommend a 'wait and see approach' before a community invests time and resource developing a new project.
The "Intervention Area" the Council is contracting for will provide coverage and broadband speeds that most communities are looking for. We expect that coverage will reach more than 90% of premises county-wide and the coverage maps available from the beginning of August will provide communities with a much clearer view of the gaps that remain and at that point we will also have sequence and timeline for the county-driven roll-out. 

 

Broadband Access in Nuffield - Updated April 2013

For most of us in Nuffield Parish, broadband speeds are relativly low - around 1 or 2 Mbps. We are currently working with OCC to try to improve the service. There is funding available and OCC are currently working with a provider to come up with some options for rural parishes in Oxfordshire. Once we know what is possible from OCC Nuffield Residents will make a decision - probably in association with the Parish Council and dependant on costs, enthusiasm and using statistics from the Parish Plan - as to what the best way will be to provide sufficient bandwidth for us to work effectively from Nuffield and consume online services available to those with Super-fast broadband.

OCC are due to let us know the options in April / May 2013 and we will report them on this site and in the newsletter.

Geoff Hardwick

Oxford County Council Broadband update - March 2013

Person jumping in the airWhen we conducted our survey last year, nearly 100 per cent of Oxfordshire's residents were clamouring for faster broad band.  And no wonder, because faster broadband is vital to Oxfordshire's economy and will dramatically transform the life, work and play of each of us. It will boost business efficiency, streamline access to the council's numerous customer services and enrich our leisure and social time. In fact, almost everybody will benefit from this major investment.

That is why the Council and the government are investing nearly £14 million to improve Oxfordshire's broadband network and infrastructure.

But we want it now: Community self-help options

The Council has been working closely with communities to establish a network of 'Broadband Champions'.  Broadband champions are people who have an important role in representing their local areas' need for better broadband. We now have a network of over 300 champions covering 196 localities in Oxfordshire and we have a dedicated email for them: bbchampions@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Many of our Broadband Champions have asked whether it would be better and quicker to purchase their own broadband option for their community. They ask us whether they should wait for OCC's appointed infrastructure service provider to bring them up to speed, sometime during the next two years, or seek a more immediate solution by contracting an alternative provider to bring them up to speed sooner.

As the completion of the contract is just a couple of months away, we're currently encouraging communities to wait and see the extent of the offer from the Oxfordshire programme. Then they can determine if they believe there will be any shortfall in their local service before pursuing other options. 

At this point in the negotiation process, the intervention area for funding will have been fixed. Should communities engage providers in the intervention areas, it could well change their areas for upgrades by our appointed supplier as well as triggering legal issues or investment remodelling for our contract.

However, once the detail is announced, where gaps in local service remain, there are a number of avenues communities can pursue to enhance broadband service beyond the improvements delivered by the Council's investment.

  • Public funding
  • Self funding
  • Working with OCC's contract arrangements
  • Specialist broadband providers
  • Wireless services

More details can be found on our website

Contract negotiations progressing well

One of the first steps we needed to take was to secure a contract with a telecoms provider for the investment. The Council started a negotiation process last year with potential providers to determine which would give us the best return on our investment and the best coverage for our residents. And the good news is that we are now nearing completion.

The dialogue team has made very good progress in negotiating the £13.86 million new broadband infrastructure. Although there are still several aspects to be finalised, a Council Cabinet decision on appointing the final provider is forthcoming for a public announcement in June. 

Announcements on the roll out plan, with information on improved broadband service by postcode, are then likely to be available by mid-June. There will then be a planning stage for infrastructure works followed by the roll-out.

Champions network map

We have been working closely with communities to establish a network of Broadband Champions. Our map shows those champions.

Your questions answered

 

Since the launch of the Better Broadband campaign, we have received numerous questions about both the programme and the complexities of speeding up Oxfordshire's broadband network. Many of these questions we have now posted onto the Better Broadband webpages for quick reference and for our Champions to answer any queries that may come from your parish or community.


If you or your community have others that you would like answered (apart from the inevitable - when will faster broadband reach us?), we'll do our best to answer them.

Google group

 

You can also share your ideas on the Champions Google group set up by Broadband Champions for Broadband champions by using the following steps:

Stories from your community

We'd like to post on our website short examples of individuals, households and small businesses in your community who can demonstrate the value and contribution that better broadband will bring to them. Any news from communities who have maybe pursued other options is also welcome. So if you have any examples, together with pictures for us to consider for inclusion, email our campaign manager at broadband@oxfordshire.gov.uk.