Thursday, 27 March 2014

CSW Broadband Update

We've been asked to cascade this update out to all our Coventry & Warwickshire based contacts.


Bringing faster broadband to our rural areas

Project Update March 2014

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Topics in this edition:

Exchanges and Cabinets
NGA network coverage map on website

Exchanges and Cabinets

In order to build the fibre network the local exchange must first be upgraded, and then the cabinets that are fed from it. In many cases the exchanges were upgraded as part of the commercial rollout, but the CSW Broadband project includes the upgrade of a number of smaller exchanges.

The list below shows the exchange areas where work is to be carried out in phases over the next 12 months. An exchange area may appear in the list more than once if a number of cabinets are to be upgraded over different phases. The numbers showing against the list of Phase 1 cabinets are the actual cabinet numbers.

We are bringing you this information as quickly as possible and are also working to accelerate the programme where this is feasible. We would therefore suggest that you check the website regularly for the latest updates as now that the rollout has started it will be a rapidly changing landscape. To see the latest updates go to  

To check which cabinet you are connected to please visit which will usually tell you the Exchange and cabinet number (e.g. Address 1PCO HERTFORD ST, COVENTRY, CV1 1AD on Exchange COVENTRY is served by Cabinet 62).

If you do not have a BT telephone number you can enter your address and postcode. However, BT’s electronic records that are searched to produce the postcode and address check results are incomplete and contain errors. The accuracy is improving as the deployment progresses but the current error rate is between one in five and one in ten for the postcode checker.

Note also that the results will only tell you the current availability and will not show what is coming in the future, which is published here.

Health warning!
Please note that this information is based on current understanding and this will change. For example, if the survey finds many blocked cable ducts along the route to connect a Phase One cabinet then it may fall behind and only become Ready For Service (RFS) in a later phase even though the cabinet has been built. There are also exceptional circumstances which would result in a cabinet being removed from the programme.

There are a wide range of variables involved in the rollout of superfast broadband, and even if your local cabinet is successfully upgraded there is no guarantee that you will be able to achieve superfast speeds at your own property. These variables include (but are not limited to):

·       Distance from the cabinet. Broadband speeds can vary over copper connections so the further your distance away from the cabinet the lower the achievable speed will be
·       The quality of your copper connection back to the cabinet
·       Factors within your own property, such as electrical interference or the number of concurrent users
When you order a new broadband service your Internet Service Provider will carry out a test to establish what speeds you are likely to achieve.

Exchange Areas Phase 1
From April 2014
Cabinet Number

Stratford Road Cnr Middlefield Road behind bench, Newbold On Stour
Nuneaton Rd outside Woodcroft at Crossroads Tamworth Road, Meriden Road, Coventry Road
Warwick Rd Jnc Stratford Rd outside The Bridge House B&B
Alcester Road outside Pound Cottage Opposite Bulls Head, Junction with Stratford Rd
Inside Wotton Hall Residential Park North end of Wotton Hall by post box
Bridge Street outside library Cnr Warwick Road
Warwick Road beside Swan Hotel Cnr Banbury Road
Long Marston Road Jnc Dorsington Road CV37 8RL in Long Marston
Lower Quinton - Main Road Jnc Campden Road CV37 8LJ
Lower Quinton - The Fordway outside 1 Jnc The Fordway CV37 8QP
Snitterfield Road Jnc Church Lane Bearley CV37 0SJ
School Road outside Snitterfield Primary School
Church Road opposite Holly Lodge CV37 0LE
Bridge Street in Cooks Alley
Evesham Road SW Cnr Shottery Road
Jnc Wellesbourne Road, Alveston Lane opposite 3,Alveston Lane
Timothy's Bridge Rd Jnc Masons Rd
Ely Street between 54 (Queen's Head) and 55
Bridge Street outside 22 on roundabout Union Street
Outside Rose & Crown, Sheep Street
Welcombe Road outside St Gregory's Church
Birmingham Road opposite the junction of Western Road
Gospel Oak Lane at the junction of Birmingham Road, (opposite The Dun Cow)
Timothy Bridge Road (outside Building Profiles Ltd)
Arden Street opposite Elms Court
Alcester Road at the junction of the Station Entrance (next to Rother House)
Birmingham Road between St Peter’s Way and The Avenue
B4088 Charlecote, South end of house opposite Charlecote Road
High Street at the junction of Barton Road, Welford-on-Avon
Church Street at the junction of High Street, Welford-on-Avon

Exchange Areas Phase 2
From July 2014

Exchange Areas Phase 4
From January 2015

Leamington Spa



Bidford on Avon

Exchange Areas Phase 3
From October 2014



Bidford on Avon


Haseley Knob
Chapel End

Leamington Spa

Moreton Morrell


Henley- In-Arden





Welford- On-Avon
Moreton Morrell

Shipston on Stour


Toll Bar



NGA Network Coverage Map

The latest map on the website shows in broad terms where the CSW Broadband project will be delivering NGA services. At this early stage there is a degree of uncertainty as to where the project is ultimately likely to deploy fibre, but we are bringing you the information as quickly as we can. BT has to carry out a significant amount of planning and on-the-ground surveying work before we can be certain that a location can receive superfast broadband, so the situation shown on this map is likely to change as the rollout progresses or as additional funding becomes available. It is therefore advised that you check the map regularly.

One of the main problems we face is that the data we are given is detailed by postcode, and the maps are generated showing postcode data. However, telecoms infrastructure clearly does not follow postcodes. In fact, as the surveys progress we are finding that we have some postcodes that are served by a number of cabinets, and some cabinets that serve properties in more than one postcode. When you factor in that some properties may be served by exchanges or cabinets that are several miles away you can see the difficulties. Therefore the information on this map is indicative only.

The key to the colours on the map are:

Grey/Black/Hatched Areas: Due for upgrade to superfast speeds by a commercial provider so outside the scope of this project.

White Areas – Awaiting Funding: We are awaiting additional funding to bring these areas up to superfast speeds. In the meantime they will receive the Universal Service Commitment of a minimum 2Mbps, up to 23Mbps (after which it becomes superfast). Speed achieved will depend on geography, topography and existing infrastructure. We are actively seeking additional funding for these areas.

Amber Areas - Future Investigation: We aim to get fibre to 93% of our area, and 91% should achieve superfast speeds, which means a minimum of 24Mbps (although some areas may get much more). As the initial investigative work is completed we will update these areas on the map.

Light Blue Areas - Surveying for faster broadband: Surveys are currently taking place for the installation of fibre to these areas. However, because of the distance from the cabinet it may be that they will not yet receive superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps. As technology improves the speeds available over the fibre in these areas will be likely to increase.

Dark Blue Areas - Surveying for faster broadband and should achieve superfast: Surveys are currently taking place for the installation of fibre to these areas and it is anticipated that they will achieve superfast speeds. Please note that the actual speed achieved at any property can be affected by a number of factors, but it is likely that it will be a minimum of 25Mbps (although some areas may get much more).

It should be noted that this map is high level only as we do not yet have sufficient detail to give more information. The landscape is changing as more surveys are carried out and some areas that are currently under investigation may drop out if they are not deliverable within the timescales or the available budget. The reasons for drop out could be many, but include geography; topography; distance of the existing cabinet from properties; lack of availability of power etc. If an area drops out then another will be brought in for investigation – which is why the maps may change as the project progresses.


We are currently working to produce information about coverage by postcode. The challenge is to present this in a meaningful way that will give an indication of what might be achieved.

It should be noted that one of the main problems we face is that the data we are given is detailed by postcode, but telecoms infrastructure clearly does not follow postcodes. In fact, as the surveys progress we are finding that we have some postcodes that are served by a number of cabinets, and some cabinets that serve properties in more than one postcode. When you factor in the fact that some properties may be served by exchanges or cabinets that are several miles away you can see the difficulties

Questions and Answers

Once my cabinet is connected to the exchange, what then?

That is entirely up to you. We are installing a wholesale network, which means that any Internet Service Provider (ISP) can offer you broadband and there are a wide range of packages available. Do check though that you are able to actually achieve the speeds that are advertised as the geographic issues mentioned above will apply in all cases.

For the BT broadband availability checker visit:

So once my new cabinet is in place does that mean I can get superfast broadband?

Not immediately. Standing the cabinet is part of the story, it then has to be connected back to the exchange. Usually this is relatively straightforward, but sometimes there are issues such as blocked ducts. These are more common in the rural areas where the fibre runs back to the exchange are likely to be longer and where vehicles driving over grass verges can cause substantial damage to ducting.

Additional funding has been announced – what will it cover?

The Government has announced additional funds of £3.68m to take superfast broadband coverage up to 95% (our current project will achieve 91%), however this will have to be match funded. In the current economic climate it is not easy to see where the required match funding will come from, but we have recently made a submission through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership European Structural Investment Funds Strategy for a total of £7.85m. Unfortunately the timing of any allocation from EU funds is unlikely to meet the deadline by which we must apply for the Government funding, so we are actively investigating any and all other funding sources.

CSW Broadband will be procuring a partner to take the network to 95% superfast coverage, but are a long way from being able to say which areas will benefit. As with the first contract there will be a procurement exercise and the results of that, and the subsequent investigative works, will determine where the network will be rolled out next.

The team are still actively investigating any and all sources of funding to reach the EU 2020 targets of 100% coverage at a minimum of 30Mbps – which is higher than the current superfast speed of 24Mbps!! The Government has already said that it will launch a £10m fund on 17th March for pilot projects to test new ways of delivering high speed broadband. CSW Broadband will work with suitable local companies in developing applications to this fund and, if successful, in trialling the new technologies in our area.

How is it that some premises will get fibre but not superfast?

By the end of the project, around 93% of premises will have access to fibre, and 91% will have access to speeds of 24Mbps and above (note: both these statistics are the result of work carried out under this project, plus commercial roll-outs). Some premises will be connected to fibre but have speeds of less than 24Mbps due to factors including the distance to their street cabinet. Additionally, some premises connected to fibre will have speeds in excess of 24Mbps as FTTC delivers speeds of up to 80Mbps.

Frequently asked general broadband questions can be found on our website at:

Questions about the contract or rollout can be found at:

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CSW Broadband is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council, BT and Department for Culture Media & Sport. Logos have been removed to reduce file size for emailing.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Update Overdue...

Its been very busy for us here at Carbon3IT Ltd since our last update.
However, due, as ever, to non disclosure agreements we're not allowed to tell you what we're doing, which, to be frank, is a bit of a pain, because we feel that we'd get even more business if you knew what we're doing with some of our other clients, anyway, never mind. If you want to use us you can, just drop us a line on or ring us on 01926 843835.

But, we can tell you where we've been and what we've been doing outside our normal business activities.

John, our MD chaired the first meeting of the Data Centre Alliance's Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Group, where the delegates were treated to an update on the emerging ISO standards, updates on the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres (Energy Efficiency) and agreed to have a more formal link with the various other groups working in this field, including the BCS DCSG, Green Grid, EUDCA and techUK.

So, we met some clients at Data Centre World at Excel a few weeks ago and spoke in detail about some of our services, we hope to hear from them soon as to the result.

We also exhibited at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Business Show at the Ricoh Arena, where, once again we met up with some potential partners and made some new contacts.

Last week, John hosted a BCS Green IT SG webinar on the subject of Sustainable Enterprise Architecture and this will be followed on Thursday 13th March @ 2pm with "Data Centre Future, New Build or Legacy retrofit?" more details and registration BCS Green IT SG Webinar 2
There will be 2 more events in this series later in the year, and we'd ask you to contact John on if you have any burning issue or topic you think that the specialist group should explore in more detail.

Later this month there is another BCS Green IT SG event held in conjunction with the North London Branch and the ELITE SG entitled "Green, Lean, Mean, Green IT in 2014 where John is one of four invited speakers, you can find more information and book on this link.

That's it for now, but please check on twitter feeds for the latest updates.