This site has been created by residents to share information and gather support for improving broadband speeds and competition for those of us served by BT Openreach cabinet 151.

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How it affects us

Residents in the area off Chargrove Lane (including those off Sedgewick Gardens and the newly built houses at Manor Farm) use this telephone cabinet for telephone and internet access.

Unfortunately, our internet connection speeds are very slow and will remain so until the super-fast fibre optic broadband is added to the cabinet; this is currently not on BT Openreach’s plans to add the fibre broadband to our cabinet.

Whilst many residents choose to have Virgin Media’s broadband, some residents are unable to have Virgin Media. This means that they are stuck with the internet provided through the telephone wires.

Should fibre optic broadband be added, the number of suppliers of super-fast broadband would increase immediately; as the Openreach network is used by many ISPs allowing you to choose the supplier you want (e.g. BT Infinity, Sky, PlusNet, TalkTalk, etc). This means you could take advantage of bundle packages and the benefits that come from having multiple suppliers to choose from.

How cabinets get upgraded

There are two ways a cabinet can get upgraded:

  • Openreach’s commercial rollout, covering 66% of the population. This is assessed case-by-case on a purely commercial basis.
  • Taxpayer funded BDUK rollout covering mainly rural areas, bringing coverage up to 95%. For Gloucestershire, this is managed by Fastershire

Where it’s gone wrong for us

Openreach have told us: Cabinet 151 was deemed to be not commercially viable as part of the Openreach rollout programme… Where cabinets are not commercially viable Government funding is available to country and borough councils via the BDUK initiatives.

We have yet to find out the rationale for this decision given that neighbouring cabinets already have been upgraded.

Fastershire have told us: As your area is within the Openreach commercial rollout of fibre broadband … it cannot currently be included within the Fastershire project.
However, an additional £10.98m has been allocated … the Herefordshire Council & Gloucestershire County Council will hold an Open Market Review. Any areas that are within the Openreach commercial project that haven’t been upgraded as not deemed commercially viable will be considered. The procurement process is expected to start in 2015 with deployment expected to finish by 2018.

This means that currently, we’ve managed to fall down the cracks between the commercial roll-out and the tax payer funded roll out until the Open Market Review for BDUK funding.

What you can do

We need to show that there is sufficient demand for the fibre optic broadband being installed either by Openreach or for the next wave of BDUK investment.

Please Register with us and Openreach. This will show there’s demand for faster broadband in the area and help get us included in either the commercial or tax payer funded roll-out.

Note: The information you provide to us will only be used for the purposes of this campaign and we will never share your personal details with anyone.

If you’d like to get involved then contact us at cheltenham151@gmail.com

What we have been doing

We have already been gathering the relevant information from BT Openreach and Fastershire.

We have gained support from Cheltenham’s MP Mr Martin Horwood who will be bringing the matter to BT’s representatives attention, with the hope that we will receive information to help speed up investment in fibre optic broadband in our area.

Any updates on our campaign will be shared through these pages and our email distribution list.