We’ve been working hard behind the scenes on the campaign, but haven’t posted an update in a while, so here’s what we’ve been up to recently:
- Emailing Fastershire
- Approaching ISPs to fund the cabinet
- Fundraising to pay Openreach ourselves
- Looking into Broadband Connection Vouchers – a potential funding source
We’ve been sending frequent emails to Fastershire to try to find out if they’re making decisions based on up-to-date and accurate information. We’re also trying to find out when they plan to reconsider cabinets in Cheltenham. So far it would seem the information they hold isn’t accurate and they don’t care about Cheltenham.
We sent an email to the main ISPs asking if they’d consider funding the cabinet in exchange for good publicity and pledges from the community to switch to use them as their ISP. Only one ISP replied and they turned down our request.
The local community responded very positively to the fundraising efforts. So far we’ve had pledges of £3,140 from 14 households. Whilst this is an impressive amount, it’s still short of the £9k + VAT required. If everyone connected to 151 donated then the average donation required would be around £60 per house
There’s a government scheme to provide businesses with super-fast broadband. We had several replies to our call for businesses in the area to get in touch and it looks like two of them may be eligible for funding. We’re currently focusing on trying to find an approved supplier that will provide a solution that benefits us all, rather than providing something only for the businesses.
If you’d like to get in touch then email us at Cheltenham151@gmail.com
After a long investigation, we believe that if we want super fast broadband then the community need to fund the BT Openreach project.
We’ll update this post with more details soon, but an early insight is offered in the following news story about us: http://www.cable.co.uk/news/cheltenham-residents-facing-9000-bill-for-superfast-broadband-upgrade-700000515/
You can now watch Martin’s speech to parliament and listen to the BBC Radio Gloucestershire interviews with us on our YouTube Channel:
- Martin Horwood MP raises the issue of missed cabinets in parliament. View Video
- BBC Radio Gloucestershire interviews Cheltenham 151 and Marin Horwood ahead of his speech to Parliament. Includes an interview with a representative from Fastershire. Listen Here
- BBC Radio Gloucestershire interview Cheltenham 151 and Marin Horwood about missed cabinets in Cheltenham. Listen Here
- Clark from Cheltenham 151 on Sunday Politics West
The issue of broadband not-spots and slow spots in Cheltenham has been mentioned by Martin Horwood MP in his column in the Gloucestershire Echo. You can read a copy here
We’ve had a positive meeting with Martin Horwood MP.
We provided him with copies of emails from Openreach and Fastershire, where both claim the other would be responsible for upgrading our cabinet to provide super-fast broadband.
Mr Horwood is going to raise the issue with representatives from BT, but to present a stronger case it would help if he could show there is demand from local residents for the cabinet to be upgraded. This is where we need your help. By registering with us and Openreach you can help us show there is demand there.
Since the meeting Mr Horwood has provided us with the photo and message of support on the right hand side of this site.