Frequency Asked Questions
- Last Updated: Friday, 04 June 2021 13:40
What is FTTP (Full Fibre Broadband) and why should I want it?
The short answer is that it is the future of fixed line internet access, is far faster than using copper telephone cables, much more reliable and should end up cheaper to maintain and use. It will enable future applications - some of which we have yet to invent.
For the long answer see the many pages we have on FTTP.
How much will the Full Fibre Upgrade cost me?
The installation of the Fibre Optic cables should not cost you anything as, in the case of the South East Alresford scheme, this will be paid for by the DCMS Gigabit Voucher. However, you may have to pay an ongoing cost for the faster service - although increased competition appears to imply that you may end up paying less.
Given that in the South East Alresford area, all residents are typically getting 30Mbits or less, we expect the typical current broadband contact to be BT Fibre 1, or equivalent. To meet the terms of the DCMS Voucher, you need to at least double your connection speed. With a current 30Mbits/s or less, this requirement is met by an upgrade to BT Fibre 2, or equivalent.
|Vodafone||Superfast 2||63 Mbits/s||£21.95|
|Vodafone||Superfast 100||100 Mbits/s||£25.00|
|TalkTalk||Fibre 150||147 Mbits/s||£32.00|
|TalkTalk||Fibre 500||506 Mbits/s||£35.00|
|BT||Fibre 1||50 Mbits/s||£28.99|
|BT||Fibre 2||74 Mbits/s||£30.99|
The above are typically for 18 or 24 month contracts. Some may include a small setup fee to cover the cost of sending you a new modem.Not all packages include a landline. Note that prices and download speeds can change daily as this is a highly competitive market.
For more information see What does it Cost?
How can I check prices? I can't see any of these deals when I go to the supplier's website.
The problem is that if you go to an ISP website or to a price comparison website and enter your current address then it will only offer you the packages that you can get today - and that will not include Full Fibre packages if you are in the South East Alresford area. The workaround for this is to use the postcode SO24 9PP and choose an address at random from those offered. This postcode is for Shepherds Down, Alresford and they can get Full Fibre broadband today. You can then see the prices and packages available in the Alresford area for full fibre broadband. This is not ideal, but there seems to be no other way of finding out the current Full Fibre packages that are available in Alresford.
What if I rent my property?
If you are responsible for choosing your ISP and for paying them, i.e. the account is in your name, then you are entitled to a DCMS voucher and can pledge it. On the other hand, if the cost of broadband is bundled into your rent and paid for by your Landlord, then it is your Landlord who is entitled to a DCMS voucher and can pledge it.
If I am renting my property and I pay for the internet, but may have to move before the upgrade is completed, is there a problem?
We have asked Openreach for guidance on this issue and received the following response:
"if someone has to move that is fine. It is the address that DCMS want to see the connection in and not the individual. If someone moves out you [FTTP 4 Alresford] can approach the new tenant to see if they want to be involved and we can change the details on the voucher."
Who or what is FTTP 4 Alresford?
FTTP 4 Alresford is a community driven project bringing together your local councillors, volunteers from the local community and supported by New Alresford Town Council. Our current objective is to bring about a step change in broadband provision in the South East Alresford area by installing Fibre Optic cables to every property in the area. This will enable Gigabit download speeds with increased reliability compared with the old copper telephone lines, and is intended to be paid for using the UK Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Voucher Scheme.
What do the Campaign Organisers get out of this?
We are all volunteers and the only benefit we will get from a successful campaign is the same as all other residents - that is better broadband. We are not affiliated with Openreach or any ISP and receive no payments or other benefits from them.
The SME Voucher is worth £3,500, compared with £1,500 for the residential voucher. I am working from Home. Can I apply for the SME Voucher?
If possible, you should apply for the SME voucher as this increases the funding available for the upgrade. To qualify you need to have evidence that you are trading from your home address. A Business Bank Statement in the name of your business and sent to your home address should be sufficient and is probably the easiest for most to arrange.
If you are a sole trader with a UTR number then you should also provide this number. If you work through a limited company then you should also provide the registered company number. This is in addition to evidence of trading.
We know there are cases where individuals work from home and have their own limited company, but which is registered at their accountants address. We have sought clarity from the DCMS for such cases. The guidance that we have been given places the emphasis on "evidence to show that [the] business is trading from the address that they are seeking to have connected". Clause 4.3 of the DCMS T&C gives the list of appropriate evidence. In most cases this will be a "business bank account statement issued within the last three months". That is within three months of the DCMS requesting any such evidence.
If you can provide such evidence, such as a Business Bank Statement in your business' name and with your home address on it then would appear to meet the DCMS requirement. If your bank statement is currently sent to your accountant, then this may be a good time to change this and forward a copy to your accountant.
I and my business partner share the same company but work from different addresses. Can we each apply for an SME Voucher?
The DCMS T&C do cover this case. See schedule 1 at the end of the T&C and you can each apply for a DCMS voucher. The key requirement is that you are each trading at your address and can provide the DCMS with appropriate evidence that you do so. This does not have to be the same evidence. One could provide a Business Bank statement, while the other provides a utility bill. In each case, you must be genuinely working at the address and have evidence to back this up and which complies with the DCMS T&C.
My partner and I are both working from home but as separate businesses. Can we each apply for an SME Voucher?
In most cases, the answer is No. While the DCMS T&C do allow for premises occupied by more than one SME, our understanding is that there is an underlying assumption that each has a separate internet connection. If you are sharing the same connection then you should only apply for a single voucher.
If Openreach are doing the upgrade, will I have to switch to BT to use the Full Fibre Service?
No. You can use any ISP that offers a Full Fibre Service. However, you should note that some of the low end providers do not offer Full Fibre services, neither do they have the capacity to do so.
Can I just assume that I will be able to upgrade to FTTP and stick with my current ISP?
That depends on which ISP you are using. Some of the "cheap and cheerful" ISPs appear reluctant to support faster connections - perhaps because of the investment they need to make. If you are with an ISP that is only offering a basic service then you will have to switch ISPs in order to meet the terms of the DCMS Voucher. If you are still in contract when the upgrade happens, this may mean that you have to cancel your current contract and pay a cancellation fee. It is understandable that you will be reluctant to do this, but it is easy to be penny wise and pound foolish given the benefits of Full Fibre internet, its greater reliability and the lower cost per megabit.
See Upgrading your Internet Contract for an in depth discussion of this issue.
Will the upgrade happen automatically?
Openreach will advise you when the Fibre Optic Cables are installed and it is then up to you to order the upgraded service from your ISP. An Engineer's visit will be necessary to complete the connection.
How soon after the upgrade takes place do I have to upgrade my internet connection?
DCMS say that they will be in contact with you within 28 days of Openreach completing the work in order to verify that you have been upgraded and are satisfied with the new service (see clause 3.1 of the DCMS T&Cs). On the other hand, Openreach give you two months.
What "works" have to be done to get the Fibre Cable to my property?
In most cases, our understanding is that the Fibre will follow the same route as the current telephone cable.
- If it's an overhead cable then you get a replacement overhead cable.
- If you have a plastic pipe (cable duct) all the way from your house to the nearest BT Openreach manhole, then the Fibre will be threaded through it alongside or replacing the current cable.
- If it is an armoured underground cable buried in the ground, they will probably have to dig a small trench along the same line as the current cable, if possible, and put in a plastic pipe to contain the fibre. This pipe will be smaller than the one used for copper cables.
An Engineer's visit will be required to make the final connection and they may have to drill a hole through the wall of your house if they cannot re-use the existing cable entry point. A date for the final connection should be agreed when you order the upgrade from your chosen ISP.
Can I pledge my voucher to your scheme and then decide not to proceed when the upgrade is done?
You should not do this. Openreach demand that more vouchers are pledged than are needed to cover the costs, if only because some residents do pull out for unexpected but otherwise reasonable reasons. However, if there is a shortfall because too many pull out then Openreach do have a right to demand compensation from you if you are one of those that failed to proceed with the upgrade. The bottom line is, do not pledge your voucher unless you fully intend to proceed with the upgrade. See also, above question on renters and moving house, as the voucher can be transferred to a new occupier.
When should I Pledge my Voucher?
The Openreach quote for the South East Alresford Scheme is valid for 60 days, which means that we can take until early July before responding. However, we need to have the figures much earlier if we are to get support from Hampshire County Council. We are pressing ahead to get as many as possible to commit by the end of May/early June 2021 and hence to demonstrate the level of interest when it comes to HCC decision making.
How do I Pledge My Voucher?
Please pledge your voucher using our online form.
How many residents need to sign up to fund the upgrade?
If we get 85% or more residents to commit then we will be home and dry. However, that is a tough target to meet. Even the COVID vaccination campaign is only just getting up to that level.
Anything over 65% gives us enough vouchers to meet the funding target. It then becomes an issue as to how much risk Openreach want to take that some vouchers may not be redeemable. HCC may underwrite that risk, but we would need time to get them to decide, hence the desire to get the numbers in quickly.
We don't yet know whether the new council will continue the previous year's broadband top up grant. If they do then we only need to get 45% of vouchers.
When do you expect to have FTTP Installed?
Once we have the funding for the South East Alresford Scheme in place, Openreach last told us that their target is to install within 10 months. The DCMS require completion in a year. This is a big scheme so we would expect Openreach to want to get on with it. Hence our expectation of early 2022 for completion.
After the upgrade, can I keep my landline telephone number?
If you are using BT, the answer is currently yes - but not all ISPs provide a landline service. You can keep your landline telephone number even when a landline service is not provided by switching to Voice Over IP (VoIP). From 2025 onwards the landline service will anyway be discontinued and any remaining users will have to switch to VoIP.
Can I really get 1000Mbits/s after the upgrade?
In principle, yes - but you have to order a service that delivers this speed from your ISP. Currently, BT offer a 900Mbits/s service for £59.99 a month.
Will I need a new router after the upgrade?
This depends on what you already have. Most modern routers can use either copper or fibre lines. Your ISP provider can advise you and, if necessary, should supply a suitable router after the upgrade.