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Standard User Whitehall11
(regular) Tue 09-Feb-21 19:30:09
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Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[link to this post]
 
Hi All - As i'm in the middle of my CFP at the moment, i thought i would share the following update we received today from Openreach setting out the consequences to the Rural Gigabyte Voucher scheme.


Letter begins:
As many of our communities want to utilise Government vouchers to fund their share of their Community Fibre Partnership scheme, we’re writing to make sure you are aware of important changes to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme as communicated recently by the Government.


The current scheme will close for new voucher requests on 31st March 2021. This date has been widely communicated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) via BDUK for the past two years.



BDUK have recently briefed suppliers that the current scheme will close to new projects on the 19th February. This is to enable them to prepare for the launch of a new Voucher scheme which they expect to go live in April 2021.



BDUK have also confirmed with approved suppliers of the voucher scheme that:



Whilst Projects (PRPs) funded by the Rural Gigabit Connectivity vouchers will close to new submissions on the 19th February, suppliers can continue to request vouchers against agreed projects until the 31st March, and issued vouchers retain their 12 month validity from the date of issue.
They expect the UK Gigabit Programme voucher to go live in April 2021 to provide continuity to gigabit broadband delivery via voucher projects where possible, and that they will share more details with suppliers, residents and SMEs as soon as they can.
BDUK is working with all suppliers on the scheme to transition eligible projects where possible, so that eligible residents don’t miss out on the opportunity for government funding to provide access to gigabit capable connections.
BDUK have confirmed that they are designing the new scheme to ensure that the vouchers continue to support those premises in the hardest to reach, ‘OFCOM Area 3 postcode sector’ areas. We have been advised by BDUK that currently premises within Area 2 postcode sectors, as defined by OFCOM, will not be eligible in the new scheme.


Please see the attached, provided by BDUK provides guidance at this stage on Area 2 and Area 3 postcodes, but it should be noted that this is still subject to the WFTMR Consultation and therefore subject to change once the consultation is finalised by OFCOM

We wanted to let you know as soon as we heard about these developments, so that you can begin to consider options on how you can fund your share of your partnership with us.


------

Interestingly the attached excel document we received that showed a list of postcodes that will no longer be supported by a Rural Gigabyte scheme (The new scheme will only cover section 3)
Standard User dect
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 09-Feb-21 22:25:24
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Whitehall11:
Interestingly the attached excel document we received that showed a list of postcodes that will no longer be supported by a Rural Gigabyte scheme (The new scheme will only cover section 3)
If the excel spreadsheet doesn't have anything personal to your community in it could you provide a link to it so others can see if they are in an OFCOM Area 3 postcode.

Edited by dect (Tue 09-Feb-21 22:36:06)

Standard User Whitehall11
(regular) Tue 09-Feb-21 22:58:39
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: dect] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by dect:
In reply to a post by Whitehall11:
Interestingly the attached excel document we received that showed a list of postcodes that will no longer be supported by a Rural Gigabyte scheme (The new scheme will only cover section 3)
If the excel spreadsheet doesn't have anything personal to your community in it could you provide a link to it so others can see if they are in an OFCOM Area 3 postcode.


Sure - It's attached here - It's a list of what OFCOM currently identifies as Tiers 2/3 of their classification:

https://wetransfer.com/downloads/18949231fdf75b35148...


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Standard User dect
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 09-Feb-21 23:06:20
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
Thanks very much smile
Standard User dect
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 09-Feb-21 23:16:49
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
If they do remove Area 2 postcodes from the Rural Gigabit Connectivity vouchers scheme it will mean the current 9558 part postcode areas on that CSV will go down to 3521 (e.g. 6037 will be removed from the eligibility)
Standard User LordVader
(member) Wed 10-Feb-21 08:36:28
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
Bloodyhell I'm about to start a CFP too see if any homes in our FTTC/FTTP split estate and my postcode LE67 is zone 2 🤬.

Looks like they are making it ALOT harder to get vouchers

Edited by LordVader (Wed 10-Feb-21 08:37:36)

Standard User tikka69
(member) Wed 10-Feb-21 09:23:26
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
I got that too, luckily my CFP is still classed as Area 3 just as we are starting !
Standard User slimj
(committed) Wed 10-Feb-21 09:29:09
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
Thanks. Currently in the process of doing a CFP and we're at the stage of pledging & validating vouchers (target reached). But OR have gone very quiet with no further news as yet...

But it's nice to see that our postcode is in the Area 3 part so if there are any issues with the CFP we can still receive funding via the new system (however that may work).
Standard User Whitehall11
(regular) Wed 10-Feb-21 09:41:06
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: slimj] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by slimj:
Thanks. Currently in the process of doing a CFP and we're at the stage of pledging & validating vouchers (target reached). But OR have gone very quiet with no further news as yet...

But it's nice to see that our postcode is in the Area 3 part so if there are any issues with the CFP we can still receive funding via the new system (however that may work).


Yes - We're in a fortunate position too that we're classed to be in the 'harder' to reach area as well.

My CFP is awaiting for the DCMS to approve the funding and then we can get on validating.

Potentially this new scheme may offer more money from April to Tier 3 areas? If the govt ambition is to really target the hard to reach communities, they'll need to redistribute the cash
Standard User slimj
(committed) Wed 10-Feb-21 09:56:57
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Whitehall11:
Potentially this new scheme may offer more money from April to Tier 3 areas? If the govt ambition is to really target the hard to reach communities, they'll need to redistribute the cash


That's perhaps my theory also. Less postcodes in valid areas, so more funds towards those harder to reach locations?

We have £7k vouchers here in Kent (although I was advised the funds were running low) but as you can imagine, it only takes a small handful of addresses to reach the target compared with the lowly £1500 vouchers in 30Mbps+ areas.

We reached £84,500 with 14 homes + 2 business (58 possible addresses but many are 40Mbps+) thanks to the higher value vouchers. Our target was £58k. The project would not be viable with just the £1500 per household.

Edited by slimj (Wed 10-Feb-21 09:57:31)

Standard User Whitehall11
(regular) Wed 10-Feb-21 12:05:38
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: slimj] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by slimj:
In reply to a post by Whitehall11:
Potentially this new scheme may offer more money from April to Tier 3 areas? If the govt ambition is to really target the hard to reach communities, they'll need to redistribute the cash


That's perhaps my theory also. Less postcodes in valid areas, so more funds towards those harder to reach locations?

We have £7k vouchers here in Kent (although I was advised the funds were running low) but as you can imagine, it only takes a small handful of addresses to reach the target compared with the lowly £1500 vouchers in 30Mbps+ areas.

We reached £84,500 with 14 homes + 2 business (58 possible addresses but many are 40Mbps+) thanks to the higher value vouchers. Our target was £58k. The project would not be viable with just the £1500 per household.


I'd just noted we're at the same stage - i replied back to the guy who sent this email yesterday, very helpful, who informed me our's was still waiting for the DCMS to green light it, and they had been quiet for sometime, so it sounds like it's classic government holding us both up!

We've got a mixture of £3500 SME vouchers, £7k Sub 30mpbs vouchers and some £1.5k vouchers and our target was £59k.
Standard User wifigeek
(knowledge is power) Wed 10-Feb-21 12:09:59
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: LordVader] [link to this post]
 
yeah just noticed the same thing for me. all the estates around us have FTTP already, ours is in a dead zone and long lines with 30/5 frown openreach wanted 13k for FTTPoD and unfortunately using 4G is proving to be too unstable at times

Edited by wifigeek (Wed 10-Feb-21 12:10:27)

Standard User darkages
(newbie) Mon 15-Feb-21 22:31:02
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: dect] [link to this post]
 
Has anyone seen any details regarding the replacement for the Gigabit Voucher Scheme that’s meant to start in April 21 following on from the current GVS that finishes in March?
Standard User slimj
(committed) Tue 16-Feb-21 10:21:18
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Whitehall11:
I'd just noted we're at the same stage - i replied back to the guy who sent this email yesterday, very helpful, who informed me our's was still waiting for the DCMS to green light it, and they had been quiet for sometime, so it sounds like it's classic government holding us both up!

We've got a mixture of £3500 SME vouchers, £7k Sub 30mpbs vouchers and some £1.5k vouchers and our target was £59k.


I'd imagine this could be moved to the new scheme if you are still waiting, it may be beneficial to you (if you're in 'area 3'). When we were finally able to start pledging I was advised the £7k top up funds from KCC were 'running low' so it's likely this may not be available now.

I had some great news regarding our project yesterday. We hit our target and everything has been verified, so we're now moving on to the 'Delivery' stage. I'm pretty happy to know that a little bit of leg work has paid off and that in 6-12 months time we should finally have access to the full fibre network! smile

I hope your project works out well for you! smile
Standard User slimj
(committed) Tue 16-Feb-21 10:21:56
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: darkages] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by darkages:
Has anyone seen any details regarding the replacement for the Gigabit Voucher Scheme that’s meant to start in April 21 following on from the current GVS that finishes in March?


It will likely be announced in March after the budget I would imagine.
Standard User PeterDS
(newbie) Mon 22-Feb-21 12:08:54
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: Whitehall11] [link to this post]
 
Unfortunately the link for the Excel sheet has expired, could you possibly post it again?

Thanks
Standard User slimj
(committed) Mon 22-Feb-21 15:48:56
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: PeterDS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by PeterDS:
Unfortunately the link for the Excel sheet has expired, could you possibly post it again?


I added it to ISPReview, you can find it in this post here
Standard User flagrag28
(newbie) Wed 03-Mar-21 11:05:27
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: slimj] [link to this post]
 
We have a demand led fibre community partnership project in our area and we have exceeded the amount of required pledges but have been told to try and get more people to claim the vouchers.

One of the residents has asked will Openreach claim the cost of all vouchers pledged or just up to the value of the community contribution requested ? In essence will they try to get as much money as they can from the government so that they have to contribute less ? Also if the latter is correct does this speed up the process at all as they have not got to fund it themselves
Standard User slimj
(committed) Wed 03-Mar-21 11:58:30
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Re: Openreach Update to Community Fibre Projects


[re: flagrag28] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by flagrag28:
We have a demand led fibre community partnership project in our area and we have exceeded the amount of required pledges but have been told to try and get more people to claim the vouchers.

One of the residents has asked will Openreach claim the cost of all vouchers pledged or just up to the value of the community contribution requested ? In essence will they try to get as much money as they can from the government so that they have to contribute less ? Also if the latter is correct does this speed up the process at all as they have not got to fund it themselves


I think just having more than the quoted figure just increases the chance of success of the project moving to the delivery stage. We required £58k but we're now on around £86k so there is a good buffer, it helps when it comes to ensuring enough of the vouchers are 'validated'.

You haven't indicated, but I presume you have only just gone over 100%? What was your original target and what are you up to now? I would imagine if you have only just gone over 100% then this is why they are encouraging more sign ups.

To my knowledge, Openreach will only claim up to the amount that is quoted on the proposal. The rest of the bill they will foot themselves.
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