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Noodleman
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Community fibre based schemes

It was recommended by Virgin support that I bring this topic to the community.

I represent a community of several hundred properties in rural mid-devon location and am heading up a project with our local council to improve our area by working with providers to try and deliver fibre connectivity. 

I read that Virgin has started exploring the use of vouchers and working with communities in the west sussex which has prompted me to see if Virgin has any interest in working with our community to deliver fibre services?

I am currently working with Openreach who are dragging their feet (5 months in with little progress). I have just shy of 100 properties who have all opted-in to the local scheme with potential to rapidly increase that number up to around 550 (all local properties). every property in our area is eligible for gigabit vouchers. I am working with our local parish council and have been coordinating with CDS. 

Is there a suitable contact/resource within Virgin who would be able to review, and confirm if there is any interest in working with our community to bring us out of the stone age? (most are still on classic ADSL1, 0.2 - 3Mb connections). We've essentially got grant money sat waiting to be used.

Cheers for any replies.  

Alec. 

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newapollo
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Re: Community fibre based schemes

Hi Alex,

There's an article virgin-media-o2-use-gigabit-broadband-vouchers-to-cover-rural-areas on <<< ispreview >>> 

At the end of the article it suggests people can visit www.virginmedia.com/gbvs  to register their interest and request a voucher.

That link leads to the business site but the page also includes a link for residential services.

Group projects are when two or more residents and/or eligible businesses get together to combine their vouchers towards the shared cost of installation. Single connections are not eligible for the scheme.

 

Rob Evans, MD of Fixed Network Expansion at VMO2, said:

“We’re spearheading the UK’s broadband charge with the nation’s largest gigabit network that is expanding to new areas each day.

Our mission is to upgrade the UK and this voucher scheme, combined with our continued private investment, will help to bring the benefits of next-generation digital infrastructure to harder-to-reach areas. We urge residents in West Sussex to get involved and register their interest so that Virgin Media O2 can bring gigabit connectivity to West Sussex communities as quickly as possible.”

Dave

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Noodleman
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Re: Community fibre based schemes

Hi NewApollo,

Thanks for your feedback. I did come across the same article and link earlier today which is what prompted me to reach out to Virgin. It appears the Virgin process wants you to apply for the voucher as part of the register interest process. I don't want to apply with Virgin at this stage as it may potentially impact Openreach (if they ever make any progress).

If Virgin are interested in working with us, then we may be able to provide all of our vouchers to Virgin rather than Openreach, but I am looking for a coordinated, project based approach. If we know Virgin are interested and would provide services for our area then I can have everybody apply for their voucher and commit it to the project. 

What I would really like is to have a conversation with somebody within Virgin about the project to see if it is of interest so we can work together.  It would be nice to ditch Openreach entirely which we are open to doing if we can partner with another provider.

nodrogd
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Re: Community fibre based schemes

One thing that is worthy of note is that all the areas Virgin is targeting are directly adjacent to existing Virgin cabled areas. As far as Devon is concerned, Virgin has a presence in a strip from Exeter through Torbay down to Plymouth. The rest of Devon has no Virgin infrastructure at all. It will be interesting to hear what any response is.

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