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Connected Counties Newsletter 18

Wednesday 6th March, 2019

Programme update:

The Connected Counties programme is still working hard with Openreach to roll out Superfast broadband to residents of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The partnership made nearly 2,000 new Superfast connections available since our last newsletter across the two counties.

We remain behind where we'd hoped to be at this stage, and we are still working with Openreach to catch up, however we're pleased to announce that coverage in Hertfordshire has now reached more than 97% coverage for Superfast availability (24mbps or more), compared to 95% nationally.

To see if you can upgrade your home or business to Superfast broadband, enter your landline or postcode in the checker at http://www.connectedcounties.org

If you'd like an update on the position at your address please drop us a line at info@connectedcounties.org.  

Boost Your Broadband

We’re supporting Ofcom’s major new campaign which urges consumers to see if they are getting the best broadband currently available to them through their Boost Your Broadband website. The campaign will help consumers to find out if they can upgrade to a faster service with their current provider, get a better deal for their current package, switch to a new deal with a different provider, or if they should stick with their current deal.

As part of this, we’re encouraging residents to see if they can get more from their broadband by checking the advice available for their area at https://www.boostyourbroadband.com 


Better Broadband voucher scheme re-launch

Since 2015 the Better Broadband Scheme has boosted the broadband speeds of more than 20,000 homes and businesses in some of the hardest to reach areas of the UK. The Government recently re-launched The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme which predominantly changes the way the public apply for the voucher.

If you are achieving speeds of under 2mbps and not being upgraded within the next 12 months, you can apply for a subsidised connection via a chosen supplier instead of through the Connected Counties website. The installation and hardware costs of the connection will cost no more than £400.

To find out more about the scheme and whether your premises could be eligible please visit: https://basicbroadband.culture.gov.uk/ 


Improvements in East Hertfordshire

There has been a great deal of progress made across East Hertfordshire during the second phase of the Connected Counties Programme, where Superfast coverage has increased from 75% of premises being able to access Superfast services at the beginning of 2016, up to nearly 94% now being able to access speeds of at least 24mbps. This represents more than 10,000 additional connections made available in this area, with many more planned for by the end of this year.

Check if you can access a Superfast connection here: http://www.connectedcounties.org

Gigabit voucher news

Could you and your business (and maybe local residents) benefit from full fibre (up to 1000 mbps) broadband in your area? Broadband Development UK,  a government team promoting the roll out of faster broadband, are still promoting a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which is designed to benefit small and medium sized businesses, as well as the local communities surrounding them. The scheme forms part of the government’s vision of a Full Fibre Britain by offering the fastest and most reliable speeds available (up to 1000mbps).

Businesses can form group projects with other businesses and residents before choosing a participating supplier in their area to complete the installation. The supplier will be able to claim discount vouchers from BDUK against the cost of the connection with up to £2,500 being available per business and £500 per residential premises, although if the cost of the installation is more than the value of the pooled vouchers, the businesses and residents will need to fund the difference.

Group projects will need to meet the eligibility requirements before work can begin in their area. For a full list of criteria and terms & conditions of this scheme please visithttps://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/for-businesses/b2/.

If you think your business could benefit from Ultrafast speeds (over 100mbs), we would encourage you to contact a supplier to find out more.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Connected Counties Broadband Programme

We regularly get questions about the programme and the programme and are always keen to hear feedback and provide information.

We have a selection of some of the more commonly asked questions complied on the site, so it’s always worth checking here first.

Click below to see more information: http://www.connectedcounties.org/#faqs


Useful links

BT Broadband Availability Checker

Virgin Media Post Code Checker

Gigaclear Post Code Checker

Thinkbroadband Post Code Checker




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