Superfast Fibre Broadband for Stilton?
The internet service in/around Stilton is currently limited to Fibre-to-Cabinet with the gap between premises and house using the copper cables. This limits the capacity and speed available to local residents. This has been challenging during lockdown where many have had adults working from home and school-age children engaged in on-line learning. The solution is a full fibre connection to the premises) or FTP. FTP offers up to 1Gigabit (1000 Mbps) but would likely be circa 300 Mpbs, approximately 10 times the current speed we can currently get) but it is not yet available in Stilton, nor are there an published plans to improve the infrastructure.
Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) are a way of bringing FTP which is supported by Openreach and part-funded by the Government’s £210M Gigabit Voucher Scheme for rural communities. Vouchers worth up to £1500 for a household and £3500 for businesses can be put towards the costs of FTP. An initial study indicates that a CFP covering Caldecote Road and Church Street, all of the costs of the infrastructure could be met from a combination of vouchers and Openreach funding. Dependent upon the numbers of people from the village participating and the funding from vouchers, it could be fibre for free!
Stilton Parish Council is supporting the Stilton CFP and we now need to understand the level of interest in FTP among local residents and businesses so that we can work out the size of the scheme or schemes, whether it could be delivered as a single project or in Phases and also the costs. We will also need some help from residents to make this a reality and mobilise support from neighbours – at the moment the CFP is a one-man band!