Broadband – Superfast Berkshire
The first Superfast Berkshire cabinets are now live (in Burghfield Common, Mortimer and Tilehurst) with more to follow later in the year. So at least there is some progress to report, even though there’s nothing affecting Padworth just yet.
The Superfast Extension Programme, which is expected to provide an investment pot of around £4.7m to spend on the further expansion of broadband for the contributing districts, is also moving along. It will also, we hope, force BT to come clean on the areas they are covering under their commercial programme and recognise some smaller independent networks that are also beginning to emerge.
The Rural Communities Broadband Fund (RCBF) initiative managed to secure some additional funding for 9 communities in West Berkshire back in April. Unfortunately, the contractual paperwork is taking longer than expected, but once agreed, the cabinets will be brought into the current activity and schedules. These 15 additional cabinets are not expected to be included in the plans until quarter 1 (or possibly quarter 2) in 2015 and these cabinets are still subject to survey, so not guaranteed. It is possible that some properties in Padworth will benefit from this initiative.
The latest information that I have is that updated and improved Superfast Broadband coverage maps will be available sometime this month, so it’s worth visiting the website (www.superfastberkshire.org.uk) to check.
At the moment there is only one cabinet connected to Woolhampton exchange that is scheduled to be upgraded to superfast broadband – and that is cabinet 8, which serves a number of properties in Padworth, mainly along the Bath Road. We still don’t know when the work is due to be done, though: “survey and discussion still ongoing”.
You can check which BT Openreach cabinet you are connected to and its broadband status by visiting https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html and entering your phone number.