SuperFast Broadband

What is it?

The Superfast Broadband project will make Surrey one of the best-connected counties in Britain, with a large proportion of households able to sign up for new 'SuperFast' internet access using Fibre To The Cabinet technology. This means that OpenReach have replaced the old copper cables that run from the Phone Exchange in Mid Street to each of the four green cabinets in the village with new fibre-optic cables. These are connected to the new green cabinets located near the originals and enable broadband traffic to travel from the exchange to the cabinets much faster than over the copper. Your house is still connected to the original cabinet using the existing cables but the speed-boost given by the fibre technology is not impacted unless your property is a significant distance from the cabinet.

Here is the statement from the Superfast Project team:

"Superfast Surrey is a project funded by Surrey County Council, BT and The Department for Culture Media and Sport. This hugely complex engineering project aims to bring access to fast, reliable fibre broadband to 99% of the county’s homes and businesses in the more rural, difficult to reach areas by the end of 2014. Superfast Surrey’s  ‘programme area’ will provide fibre access to an additional 84,000 homes and businesses.

As more and more services are delivered online, having access to fast, reliable broadband is increasingly important to homes and becoming essential for businesses.

It’s not just about being able to surf, upload or download data quickly. Even when several users are on the same connection, it will be possible to upload photos, video files or complex graphics to the internet in seconds. For the family, that means more people can go online at the same time, able to stream HD movies and sport, or watch catch up services like BBC iPlayer, with fewer interruptions. If you are running a business from an office or home environment, fibre broadband means you can be productive wherever you are using online file sharing, video conferencing, with no more lags or pauses for heavy media files.

To find out more and keep up to date with the programme’s progress, visit www.superfastsurrey.org.uk and use our post code checker to find out more about your local area."

Just how Fast is Superfast?

The existing speed for most of the village is around 6Mbps. Some people get more, and some less but this is a reasonable average. Most internet providers offer two Superfast packages: one at up to 38Mbps and the other at 76Mbps. These packages will cost more than you're currently paying and you do not have to switch to one unless you want the faster speed. It's worth noting that if there is any issue with your existing cable running from your house to the cabinet it will affect the speed your line can operate at. This may mean that it is unable to support fast internet but is something the engineer will be able to check for you.

What are the timescales?

Phase 1 of the project will see the four new cabinets installed and households able to be switched over to them in early October. The Council aim to give the vast majority of Nutfield postcodes access by the end of 2014.

The latest information we have is contained in this slide from a presentation given by a member of the Superfast team.

What do I do next?

Wait  for the postcard from Surrey telling you Superfast is available. After that you can phone the various Internet Service Providers to find out which of their deals best suit you. They will know the village has Superfast available and are likely to be contacting you anyway.

In the August Link, my company (Connect and Support) offered villagers a special deal where we would help you manage the complete conversion from your existing broadband package to the installation of Superfast. We would install the equipment and be on hand to offer advice on the best location for the new connection as well as extending the internet to other parts of your house. The fee for this is a one-off £65 and we're finding it has been pretty popular already! Contact me on 01737 823272 or 0775 8368194 or Andrew on 01737 823340 or 07973 986868 and we'll book you in. If you prefer to email, I'm on pat@connectandsupport.com.

Thanks to the Link for letting us advertise this service and we hope this information has been useful!