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@Connect_Cumbria

Frequently asked questions

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Got a question for us?

Hopefully we can answer it below. We've put together questions the people of Cumbria have asked most, from technical stuff to what happens next, we've got an answer for you.

Connecting Cumbria is a project to improve access to superfast broadband. It is our aspiration that between deployment under our programme and commercial deployment that 95% of homes and businesses in the county will be able to access superfast broadband by mid-2018.  

Connecting Cumbria is a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT that will boost the local economy by supporting the creation and protection of jobs over the next few years. The countyís enterprise zones are a key priority as superfast broadband will help local businesses to become more competitive but will also help spread these services much further for residential use. The project is being funded by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Cumbria County Council and BT.

Most often, public funds tend to be spent in rural areas where there is no existing superfast broadband service.

Fibre broadband is the new generation of broadband - much faster, more reliable and it uses a different technology. Whilst most traditional broadband (known as ADSL) is delivered via copper telephone lines, fibre broadband commonly uses fibre optic cable as part of the link between the customer and the exchange.

Fibre broadband can be delivered in two ways: fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP).

FTTC uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses existing copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC provides wholesale download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps, which are then offered as different service packages by retail Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

FTTP means fibre-optic cables run from the exchange right to the door of each house or business. It provides wholesale download speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds up to 30Mbps, again offered as different service packages by ISPs.


 

Superfast broadband is being rolled out across Cumbria between 2013 and mid 2018. Enter your postcode into our postcode checker to see if you can get it yet. This will also tell you which telephone exchange area you fall within.

If youíre one of the premises in Cumbria that can connect straightaway, contact your choice of Internet Service Provider to place an order. A list of suppliers can also be found here. Please note that not all of one area will go live on the same day so it's worth checking the website regularly as information is constantly updated.

Weíre planning the rollout, working closely with our partners and participating organisations, taking into account many factors including local demographics and geography, planning requirements, the existing engineering infrastructure and the availability of suitable technologies to provide a service.

Itís not possible with a programme of this size to plan every area at the same time so some areas will be enabled before others. We fully understand people's frustration and the huge importance of superfast broadband so we'll update our information regularly as plans evolve.

Once you've checked your line to confirm superfast broadband is available, it's much the same as ordering normal broadband. There are different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering the service, so you can shop around and choose the best deal for you. You can see a list of ISPs currently offering fibre broadband in Cumbria here.

If youíve got a query that your Internet Service Provider canít resolve, email info@connectingcumbria.com for local independent advice.

We are keen to ensure that broadband service providers are aware of the location of the newly built infrastructure and how to get access to it. Service providers can register with BT Openreach via the website (www.openreach.co.ukthis external link will open in a new window) to get this information

This can be due to one or more different factors.

1. Your line may be connected to a roadside cabinet that has not yet been upgraded to superfast broadband.  As we progress through the rollout more and more cabinets will be upgraded.

2. You may be served by what is known as an 'exchange only' line that is connected directly to the telephone exchange without an intervening green roadside cabinet. Please see the relevant question about exchange only lines.

3. You may be on a line that is too long to support a superfast broadband connection from your local roadside cabinet.

Weíre working hard to upgrade as many premises as possible to superfast broadband, and where fibre optic cannot be made available weíre aiming to develop solutions to bring faster broadband using alternative technologies by mid 2018.
Exchange Only (EO) lines are connected directly to the local telephone exchange rather than passing through a green cabinet that can be upgraded with a superfast broadband connection.   These lines are generally very close to the telephone exchange or very remote from it.   There are cases where some EO lines may be fibre enabled, for example where an additional cabinet is built close to the exchange.  Note that not all EO lines will be on the fibre footprint anyway (outside of the rollout plans), and in those cases alternative technologies such as wireless or satellite may be required to provide an uplift in speed.  Our Big Build film also explains.

It won't.  To get superfast broadband, you'll need to place an order with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is because superfast broadband uses a different technology and an engineer will need to visit your premise to install the necessary equipment.

There are several ISPs offering fibre broadband in Cumbria so you can shop around and choose the package thatís best for you. If you choose not to upgrade to superfast broadband, you'll be able to continue using your existing broadband service as normal.

Prices are affordable, starting from around £16.50 per month for home users and £30 per month for businesses, which may not be much more than you are currently paying for standard broadband.  Many customers take the opportunity to review their existing contract for telephone calls at the same time which may mean you end up paying only a little more, if anything at all

Check out the prices from the Broadband Providers now offering the service in Cumbria.
The time taken to install superfast broadband varies among Internet Service Providers, typically it takes about two weeks.  An engineer will call and install a new modem at your premise and you will receive a new router from your Internet Service Provider.  In most cases, your other telephone and computer equipment doesnít need to be replaced.

The exact speeds you'll be able to get will depend on how your own premises are connected.  There are two main ways in which fibre optic can be used to bring you fibre broadband:

Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP).

FTTC uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC provides wholesale download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps.

FTTP means fibre-optic cables run right to the door of each house or business. It provides wholesale download speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds up to 30Mbps.

The exact speed you get also depends on a number of additional factors like the length of your line from the telephone exchange or green roadside cabinet, the line quality and the equipment and internal wiring within your premise. The internet service provider package you select may also affect the speed available. Connecting Cumbria is working to ensure that everyone gets as fast a speed as possible given their geographical location.

Information on new areas of availability has to be released to all Internet Service Providers on an equivalent basis and that's why new areas are only announced as part of this national process when they go live.

Also, engineering plans and delivery timescales do depend on factors such as planning applications, the provision of electricity to the new roadside cabinets and even the good old British weather. 

The project is being funded by Cumbria County Council, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and BT

In areas where the commercial market does not reach we have sought funding from Europe aimed specifically at the Small to Medium size Enterprise Market (SMEís) If your business employs less than 250 people and in an area that meets the criteria we anticipate that you will benefit from the project both in terms of access to broadband and support to help your business make the most of it.

The link below is to the UK page for ERDF National Guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/erdf-national-guidance

National eligibility rules can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/15275/National_Eligiblity_Rules_V2.pdf

If youíre looking for details on eligible businesses, there is a list of ones not to be supported by ERDF on page 17 of national eligibility rules document.

The aim of the Connecting Cumbria is to achieve the best long-term superfast broadband coverage for the county.

Weíre planning the rollout, working closely with our partners and participating organisations, taking into account many factors including local demographics and geography, planning requirements, the existing engineering infrastructure and the availability of suitable technologies to provide a service.

Itís not possible with a programme of this size to plan every area at the same time so some areas will be enabled before others. We fully understand people's frustration and the huge importance of fibre broadband and we will keep you regularly updated as our plans evolve.
In areas where superfast broadband is not an option, Connecting Cumbria will make use of other technologies such as wireless, satellite and advanced copper.   Our Big Build video also explains.  These areas and technologies are not currently covered by the postcode checker but there are plans to do so in the near future so please check back regularly for information updates.
Local suppliers can benefit by making better use of the internet to serve their customers and improve their own efficiency as superfast broadband spreads across the county.

Fibre is deployed by Openreach for many different reasons, e.g. Ethernet, Private/ dedicated networks as well as broadband. Ethernet services are usually point to point because of capacity i.e. the size / speed of the link or for security (may not be able to share traffic). Private and dedicated links are often bought by public bodies and private companies as part of their private network; for example an NHS link to the doctors. For reasons of security such links would not be identified for fear of someone accessing them without authority.

The project will use spare capacity within the infrastructure where that is feasible. Because Ethernet is delivered to a property it does not mean there is necessarily spare capacity. That may be a high bandwidth circuit or it may have used all available existing ducting and was delivered before the Connecting Cumbria project commenced. As part of our detailed design, Openreach undertake a detailed survey to confirm capacity in the existing infrastructure and then cost the implementation of any extra ducting/ cabling required. That will be done for each community in due course.