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Connected Counties Newsletter 19

Monday 17th June, 2019

Update on coverage

The Connected Counties programme is still working hard with Openreach to rollout superfast broadband to residents of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The partnership has made close to 3,000 more new superfast connections available since the beginning of 2019 across the two counties, and the current rollout is targeting many more by the end of the year.

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.  

Take Up Success

Current figures show a growing number of homes and businesses are taking advantage of the faster connections created in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire by the Connected Counties programme.

The broadband take-up figures for the Connected Counties partnership are on the increase, with the report for April 2019 showing a joint take up figure of 67% across the two counties. This is well above the national average, and the second highest in the country. The second contract is well underway and take-up is following a similar trajectory to the first part of the programme.

This is good news because the contract with suppliers includes a clawback mechanism which generates additional funding over the term of the contract when take-up of fibre broadband services by homes and businesses in the main phase of the programme is higher than originally expected.

This high take-up has already led to more than 6,000 additional premises being included in the current programme and we will continue to explore options to re-invest this additional funding to improve coverage further.


Getting the most out of your existing broadband connection

Are you getting the most out of the broadband connection that currently comes into your home?

Wi-Fi is easily disrupted by environmental factors, such as home wiring, walls and other electrical devices in the home (such as Sky Boxes and Consoles) and as a result you may be able to boost current speeds by making a few simple changes (such as moving your router) or by speaking to your Internet Service Provider.

Environmental factors may well be stopping you from enjoying the full Superfast speeds in your area, and even if you cannot already receive Superfast broadband, reviewing the way your equipment is set up could still be hugely beneficial in getting the most out of your existing service.

We would always recommend speaking to your current Internet Service Provider before making any major changes, however we have provided a link below to a useful guide from Which? magazine, which includes a number of simple options for improving current speeds.


Boost Your Broadband

We are continuing to support Ofcom's 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 is helping consumers 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’ve been 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/


National News

£200 million rollout of full fibre broadband begins

Last summer, Government identified that approximately 10 per cent of UK premises, largely in rural and remote areas, would be unlikely to receive gigabit-capable connections commercially by 2033, so they have launched a national £200 million fund to make sure rural areas are not missed out of the drive to full fibre broadband

The approach is being described as “outside In” to try ensure that the identified 10 per cent of premises affected by this are reached at the same time as the commercial programme rolls out across the UK.

Although, this doesn’t immediately affect Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire, we will be working with Government to try and ensure that premises in these areas will benefit from this national programme and funding.


Watch this space:

We are hoping to bring you news soon of national plans for the rollout Universal Service Obligation (USO) on premises with access to speeds below 10mbps.

This will give people in the UK the right to request a decent broadband connection. Under the USO, eligible homes and businesses will be able to request a connection, where the cost of building it is no more than £3,400.

This amounts to a very small proportion of premises in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire (less than 2% in Buckinghamshire and around 1% in Hertfordshire, currently), however we will be looking to share details of this for affected residents as soon as more details have been made available.

For more information click here.


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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& businesses across Bucks and Herts