For immediate release:
NEWTON FARM BROADBAND UPGRADE TO GO AHEAD WITH BETTER TECHNOLOGY THAN EXPECTED
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has won assurances from Openreach that the upgrade of a broadband cabinet in Newton Farm will ensure the fastest available broadband speeds.
As we reported last month, the local MSP has been working closely with Openreach and housing developers to ensure the newer section of Newton Farm becomes superfast broadband enabled. Such streets affected by the upgrade to Cabinet 48 include Poppy Gardens and Bramble Wynd.
Through her campaigning on the issue, Miller Homes had committed to paying the full upgrade costing approximately between £5,000 and £6,000.
A number of residents were previously in the process of obtaining their own quote from Openreach to upgrade the cabinet themselves, using their own funds and that of external sources, in order to ensure any upgrade was of the newer Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology.
It is understood that a number of these residents were concerned the Miller Homes upgrade would be to the slightly slower Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology. Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has since been working with a number of these residents, Miller Homes, and Openreach – who she met last month – to discuss the way forward.
Now, Openreach have confirmed they will upgrade the cabinet through an FTTP solution, and through a different deployment method than they normally use.
Commenting, the local MSP said:
“I am very grateful for the work of the local community, Miller Homes and Openreach, particularly over the last few months. It’s a great relief that a solution has now been found and one which ultimately has the backing of affected residents.
“I met with the Chair of Openreach Scotland’s Board last month and stressed to him that any solution must have the support of residents whose homes are serviced by Cabinet 48. I am delighted that is now the case.
“The upgrade work will be deployed using new methods, showing the priority Openreach are now giving to this section of Newton Farm.
“I am set to meet with the engineers on site when the work begins, so I will keep my constituents updated throughout this process.”
Openreach expect to carry out the upgrade work in the next few months.
Below is the text of a letter sent from Clare Haughey MSP to affected Newton Farm constituents on the 17th April:
Newton Farm – Cabinet 48
I am writing to provide an update regarding my involvement, and work with stakeholders, to improve your broadband provision.
As you may be aware, for nearly two years, I have been liaising closely with Openreach, housing developers and local residents about the poor broadband speeds locally. In particular over the last few months, I have been working with Miller Homes and Openreach to see if a solution could be found – and one which wouldn’t necessarily cost local residents.
Within my last update to constituents, I advised that Miller Homes had confirmed to me that they would fund the upgrade of Cabinet 48. However, this upgrade would have been Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) not Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).
Although FTTC is defined as superfast broadband, I was contacted by some of the Newton Farm community who were also in early discussions with Openreach for FTTP – a faster version of fibre broadband – through Openreach’s ‘community fibre partnership’ (CFP) scheme. With this, Openreach would work with the community to get fibre to an area through a joint funding arrangement between residents, Openreach, and others – for example, the local authority and government.
Therefore, over the last two months, my efforts have been focussed on bringing together the housing developers, Openreach and the local residents involved in the CFP process to establish the best way forward.
As part of this, I had a meeting with Openreach representatives, including the Chair of the Openreach Board in Scotland, Brendan Dick, to ensure that the local community were consulted with for any upgrade.
I am therefore very pleased to announce that Openreach, following discussions with developers and the community, will upgrade Cabinet 48 and through the faster FTTP solution. Openreach expect to carry out the upgrade work in the next few months.
Brendan Dick has advised me that this upgrade will be through a new process, and one which isn’t widely used across the UK, so they are clearly now treating this as a priority.
Once this work has been completed, you will then be required to speak with your communications provider, or indeed another (dependent on your contract), to order the service for your individual home, as standard.
Rest assured, I will be in close contact with Openreach throughout this process, and they have actually invited me to meet with their engineers on site when the work takes place. As such, I will keep you updated.
In the meantime, should you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me using my details overleaf.
Thanks for your time.
Clare Haughey MSP
Date published: 18th April 2019