Our fibre cabinet did not arrive this month as initially expected and fellow Holwell resident Colin Wild has shared on Facebook his discussion with contractors on Holwell Lane about problems digging our cable to us.
So I’ve been in touch with my BT and LCC contacts in the Leicestershire rural broadband programme for an update and this is the latest:
“We had expected that we would complete the delivery of this cab this quarter…but unfortunately our contractors have found 1800 meters of duct missing when surveying the infrastructure. This will need to be factored into the workload/timescales. …the backstop date for delivery is by end of March 2016 so in the worst case scenario we are looking at March 2016.”
March next year is significant because that’s when the whole Leicestershire programme finishes *. So I asked if there is any risk of us dropping off the ‘end’ of the programme, so to speak, and not getting connected. This is what I heard back, which is probably the best assurance we can get in this situation:
“You are in the plan for sure, and unless something extremely unexpected occurs, Holwell will be enabled by March 2016.”
I’m disappointed we probably now won’t get connected for Christmas, but in the bigger scheme of things a few additional months won’t make much difference. I’m conscious of the work BT has to do to bring fibre to us – we might not feel like we’re in the deepest countryside, but in telecommunications terms our existing 4.7kms of copper cable to Scalford means we do appear to be at the very limits of the rural superfast broadband envelope. There are many settlements our size which aren’t getting fibre at all.
* there is an extension programme in the pipeline, but it’s much smaller in scope and still being negotiated, I believe.