Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Elevator Pitch

If one were to find oneself in an elevator with someone that could help us with our Internet connectivity speed dilema then the following talking points are just what you would need:
  • Our Internet speeds are atrocious with downloads running at less than 2Mbps making it impossible to do many things that others on the Internet take for granted (like streaming a movie or making a video call with Skype).
  • Nearly 80% of Temple residents have now used the SFB website to register their interest in improving Internet speeds for our village.
  • Superfast Berkshire (SFB) has solicited bids for Phase II of improvements for Internet speeds with proposals coming in the Spring and a decision thereafter. 
  • We are hoping to be prioritized for a solution given that our speeds are below 2Mbps which was the first of two goals set out by SFB. 
  • Local influence is particularly important in getting us prioritized as Phase II includes £326K of funding for Windsor & Maidenhead with half of that provided by the council and the other half being matching funds from SFB. 
  • There is a chance that Temple might not be included in a vendor bid in which case we could still get relief by having the phone cabinet that supports us upgraded under the contract that already exists between SFB and BT Openreach but using the new funding. 
Note that the last point is crucial in my mind as I fear we will be too small to capture vendor attention for a bid on our behalf.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A New Year and a New Call for Action

The decision of how to invest the remaining funds available for Superfast Berkshire as to how and where to improve Internet connectivity in our area is to be made this spring.   In light of this there is still time, and a distinct need, for letters and emails to be written asking for help from our local representatives.   Below are the addresses for our Councillor and for the leader of the Windsor Maidenhead Burough as well as a template letter.


Councillor Richard Kellaway

Somerley, Startins Lane, Cookham Dean, SL6 9TS

By Tel: 01628 482605

Councillor David Burbage MBE

The Leader's Office, Town Hall, St Ives Road
Maidenhead, SL6 1RF

By Tel:  01628 796322

Our local parish is led by Mrs Mandy Robson Brown and she is supportive of our campaign.  You may want to copy her on correspondence to the above so she is aware of your feelings.

Mrs A.M.Robson Brown
Bisham Parish Council
Hocket Hill, Cookham Dean, Maidenhead, SL6 9UF
Email: mandy@robsonbrown.com
Tel: 01628 628485

January 20th, 2015

Councillor Richard Kellaway
Somerley, Startins Lane,
Cookham Dean, SL6 9TS

Subject:   Broadband Speeds in Temple and the Superfast Berkshire Initiative

Dear Sir:

I am a resident of Temple and am hoping that you can help us improve the state of our Internet connectivity with the assistance of Superfast Berkshire.
I struggle to get 1.5-2Mpbs of download speeds from my Internet connection.   This is truly poor performance and gets me a grade of “F” from Speedtest.net (the de facto standard for Internet speed testing).   At these speeds much of what other people take for granted from the Internet, such as the ability to stream a movie or to hold a Skype video call, become challenging if not impossible.  This can also makes working from home problematic.  These factors are also leading me to fear that our poor connectivity could have an impact on home sales as Internet connection quality becomes an increasingly important criterion for buyers.
My hope is that Phase II of the Superfast Berkshire improvement program can help us.   My understanding is that a decision will be made this spring in regards to how best to invest the funds available.   As you likely know, the first of two stated aims for Superfast Berkshire is to “Ensure all Berkshire premises could access basic broadband, at speeds of 2Mbps or faster”.  The second aim is that “At least 90% of Berkshire premises could access superfast broadband, at speeds of 24Mbps or faster”.   Temple is clearly standing in the way of Superfast Berkshire achieving the first aim of the program.
I hope that you will help to support our campaign to see improvements implemented for the residents of Temple.   In an ideal world we would be assigned a priority that would see our situation addressed ahead of implementing a 24Mbps solution for an area that is already better served than Temple!
Thank you in advance for anything that you can do for us.   

D. Burbage MBE
A.M.Robson Brown