We are pleased to say that the fibre broadband scheme for Henbury has now moved into the planning stage, and that work on the scheme is progressing well. This community scheme is the largest that Openreach have ever undertaken to date, and does involve some challenges. The village will be split into 9 jobs to allow different teams to progress the work in stages. The anticipated finish date is likely to be 6 – 9 months from now.
Initial planning works have identified that those houses with telegraph pole connections will be relatively straightforward to connect with minimal disruption. Those houses that are currently served by conduit and are on Henbury Rise, Hightree Drive, Williams Way, Worthington Close and Edgeway will require new conduits running into the property. Openreach had hoped that the existing conduits could be used, but it appears that when installed they were actually made of paper, as no thought was given in the early 70's to possibly running new cables through them at a later date. The alternative and cheaper option would be to erect new telephone poles approximately every 50 – 60 metres and run new cables to each property. This option is discounted due to the intention to leave the state of the street as it is.
It will therefore be necessary to excavate new fibre cabling outside the addresses above, and from that run a branch to each individual house. The cabling will be in the road/pavement and will where possible use 'moles' to reduce this disruption. Some residents may recall the gas pipes being renewed a few years ago using similar tunnelling techniques. The branch from the pavement to your property will be laid by lifting part of lawn to lay the new conduit. Openreach assure us that there will be minimal disruption and that they will consult with each property owner in advance. They do not envisage any crossing of driveways or paths at this stage. It should be noted that there is no cost to any resident for the works, as this is covered by the community funding we have received.
During the course of the next 48 hours or so the project manager from Openreach will be knocking on the door of each house that will require new conduits to explain what will happen, and ask you to sign a consent form. If you do not sign it then, or need any additional information then please contact either David Nuttall or Mike Wood from the Parish Council who will be happy to explain the details. Their contact information is below.
If you decide you do not wish to be connected to the new fibre network at this time, should you or any future owner of your property wish to have fibre, then you would have to pay the full cost of any works to lay new conduit to your property and excavation in the street as required. This is why the funding we have achieved and the scheme represents excellent value. As a reminder you are only required to avail yourself of fibre from a recognised provider for 12 months at a minimum speed of 30mbps. As many new fibre plans are actually cheaper than existing broadband, it does seem exceptional value as in recent months we have seen the existing broadband network put under pressure nobody expected.
Parish Councillor Mike Wood
14 Worthington Close
Phone: 01625 432561
Parish Council Chairman David Nuttall
Phone: 01625 426924