The build is absolutely racing on through the village, with the beginnings of the cabinet opposite the Village Hall now installed and many more fibre connection points being installed every day! Griffiths Close is almost entirely done well ahead of schedule and the main road (Church Road) is looking like it’ll be done later this week! Click on the photos below for full size versions.
The following post is a press release from West Oxfordshire District Council on the delivery of the network.
Construction work to bring one of the fastest and most up-to-date broadband networks to a West Oxfordshire village is now underway.
Driven by the local community and supported by West Oxfordshire District Council, 521 properties in Northmoor, Moreton and Bablockhythe (including the mobile home park) will soon be able to access the new high-speed communications network.
Engineers have started installing fibre optic cables and connection points throughout the village and the new ultrafast broadband technology is expected to go live this summer (2014).
Over two years ago a group of villagers who were frustrated by slow internet speeds and patchy connections, came together to look at how they could get better broadband connectivity.
Following detailed preparation work, the Northmoor Community Project has successfully obtained approval to £186,000 of funding under the Government’s Rural Community Broadband Fund, which is jointly funded by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK).
In March 2014, with help from West Oxfordshire District Council, Northmoor selected Gigaclear to build and operate their new broadband fibre network.
Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for the Local Economy and Communities at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Every credit must be given to the collective determination, hard work and tenacity of the Northmoor Project Group for making this happen. We have been behind them all the way as we are acutely aware of how important it is to have a fast, reliable internet service, particularly for rural businesses. This scheme will make a huge difference to those living and working in Northmoor and the District Council is striving to obtain high speed broadband throughout the whole of West Oxfordshire.”
Graham Shelton, Chairman of Northmoor Parish Council and leader of the Community Broadband Project, said: “This is a historic moment of national as well as local importance. Many so-called fibre broadband projects only offer fibre to the cabinet, but ours offers a fibre connection to every single house and business in the community. I can’t wait for the network to go live next month, and to a celebration of this community achievement in the Red Lion, our very own community-owned pub! It’s been a colossal amount of work, and it is a real pleasure to thank everyone at local, district, county and national levels for the enormous efforts and sheer grit and determination to navigate us through the grant process to goal”
Simon Harrison, a member of the Community Broadband Project team, said: “It is very exciting that after two and a half years of paperwork, planning and negotiations, the actual build process is now moving really fast. In a matter of months we will have a network that is not just able to meet today’s requirements, but is a long-term investment able to meet the future needs of the community as well. Many residents will be moving from the misery of no broadband at all to a service that is the equal of anything in the country. We really appreciate the financial support from Defra and BDUK that has made this possible despite the challenges of building in such a thinly-spread community, and the practical hands-on support of West Oxfordshire District Council that has made our dream a reality.”
Matthew Hare, Chief Executive of Gigaclear said, “Construction of the new pure fibre network here in Northmoor started at the end of May and the crews are making great progress building the new infrastructure. The project will run on through June, and in July we expect to be delivering symmetric Gigabit Internet access to the homes and businesses of Moreton, Northmoor and Bablock Hythe. Serving this very rural and spread out community has been made possible through the support of West Oxfordshire District Council and the Rural Community Broadband Fund. We are confident that this quiet communications revolution will transform the lives and prospects of all it serves.”
Government Minister for Communications Ed Vaizey said: “This is brilliant news for the homes and businesses of Northmoor, Moreton and Bablockhythe who will now be able to access superfast broadband speeds.”
“Taking superfast broadband to the more remote areas of the UK understandably presents us with challenges, which is why we created this fund specifically for these locations.”
Minister for Rural Affairs Dan Rogerson said: “Fast and reliable broadband is crucial in building a stronger economy and fairer society as it enables rural businesses to grow and compete.
“That is why we have given £186,000 worth of funding to support this exciting new project. We expect it will make a huge difference to those living and working in Northmoor by opening up business opportunities and access to convenient services like online banking.”
The Northmoor scheme is just one aspect of West Oxfordshire District Council’s involvement in rural broadband projects. A ‘Better Broadband’ project is under way to bring superfast broadband to at least 90 per cent of premises in the county by the end of 2015, as part of a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and service provider BT.
BDUK is managing the UK’s superfast rollout programme. For more information visit the DCMS broadband webpage.
The now closed Rural Community Broadband Fund was jointly funded by Defra and BDUK and provides grants to communities to establish superfast broadband in hard-to-reach rural areas. For more information visit Defra’s RCBF web page.
The District Council has agreed to pledge £1.6m to boost the project locally and ensure that high-speed broadband is provided to as many residential and business properties in the District, with the aim of getting as close as possible to 100% coverage. Work on this project continues.
For more information about Northmoor’s chosen service provider, Gigaclear, see http://www.gigaclear.com/
For more information on the Better Broadband countywide project, see : http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/broadband
The build is progressing well, slightly ahead of schedule!
Standlake Road is now almost entirely complete and the contractors are making great progress up towards Lynch Hill. The schedule calls for the team to start on the main road through the village (Church Road) next Monday and Thameside, Chapel Lane and Griffiths Close the week after. The main road should be finished by the 4th of July, while the rest of the village and Bablockhythe should be completed by the 11th.
Of course, this is just the network itself – installation of individual properties will start soon where orders have been placed already. Gigaclear are hoping to have the network lit and operational at the end of July, if not a little earlier!
The build process continues; the bulk of the work is now complete in Moreton and the main road through the village is now getting fibre ducting and cables installed! You may have noticed the blue canes in the verge – these indicate the location of the connection pots that Gigaclear will install next to each property. If you have any concern about the location of these pots, do get in touch with our local Gigaclear representative (Max Poole on 07436 108327); you may have already had a visit from him to discuss the build.
So far the progress brings the main dig to just outside the Church and Village Hall. Gigaclear seem to be doing a good job of keeping things tidy – most of the work has been in verges which as seen in West End bounce right back within weeks.
That’s right – there is now, at long last, a team of people with shovels and diggers installing the Northmoor, Bablockhythe and Moreton Broadband network!
The build started on Moreton lane and we anticipate that Gigaclear will have finished their work installing connection points in Moreton by around the middle of next week. Once their work in Moreton is done the cabinet and main village network will be next on their list.
The Northmoor, Bablockhythe and Moreton broadband project team are pleased to announce that after more than two years of work, the legal contract between our chosen supplier, Gigaclear, and West Oxfordshire District Council has been signed.
This follows the formal approval late last week of our State Aid application and our DEFRA funding agreement under the Rural Community Broadband Fund. These final legal steps are all now complete and Gigaclear will begin building the project very soon. These legal processes could only be finalised after the open procurement process had been completed and a supplier selected.
More information will be made available on this website as the build process starts. For local residents there will be an event today, the 7th of May, at 18:30 at the Red Lion in Northmoor, and another event next Wednesday. You can find out more here. Our local community representative can also be reached for questions, and will be visiting every property in the area as part of the build process. His contact details and answers to common questions can be found on the FAQ page.
The entire project team are very happy to have reached this point after so much work – superfast broadband is coming to Northmoor, Bablockhythe and Moreton!
There will be two information evenings hosted by Gigaclear over the next two weeks. These are informal opportunities to drop in and chat directly with the Gigaclear team. If you have any questions about the service or how to take the best advantage of the opportunities, this is a great chance to have a direct conversation. Representatives from the community broadband team will also be there to help answer your questions.
The two dates are:
Wednesday 7th May, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Red Lion, Northmoor
Wednesday 14th May, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Red Lion, Northmoor
Remember that if you have questions and can’t make those dates then you can always use the “Contact Us” page of this website to get in touch with the team.