I recently met with a representative from BT OpenReach representing the OpenReach Community Fibre Partnership and a Leeds City Council officer to discuss how we could all work together to take forward the issue of trying to obtain Broadband access and improve speeds in the Bramhope area. As a result of the meeting I got the following update from the OpenReach representative: 

“I hope the process is a bit clearer for you now and I’ve included the websites below which have all the information you require including links to the gigabit voucher scheme.  Our FAQ’s are extremely useful. As I explained the next stage of the process is for the community to register on our website and gather the names of the interested parties within your communities so we can provide you with an initial high level cost of a solution.  

I also explained about the Government’s voucher scheme, once we had taken the process to the estimate stage we would discuss the grant further and would make the application on your behalf. 

If you have any more questions please do come back to me.

Before I met with OpenReach I met with the Programme Manager, West Yorkshire and York Broadband, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and he sent me the following update, along with the attached PowerPoint presentation: 

“Links for Gigabit scheme and CFP, as promised.

As part of the discussion we talked about the types of businesses that would qualify for getting the vouchers are anyone who is home working, a sole trader or who runs certain charities would qualify as a business.  

Unfortunately this scheme is for Fibre Broadband and does not cover copper wired Broadband access. The key features of the scheme are set out in the presentation attached. 

In essence this scheme that is being suggested would speed up the deployment by securing funding to encourage a supplier to provider FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) to the various areas of Bramhope. There is up to £3000 per business on offer and £500 for every residential premises that could be used towards the overall funding required to implement the scheme.  

The next stage in the process would require residents to express an interest in this scheme. One method of having a governance structure in place that could drive this forward could be the development of a Community Fibre Partnership. Bramhope Parish Council will now be leading on this.This will include the application process, the best governance structure, resolving the funding needed and working with residents in the Bramhope area.

I am pleased that an alternative funding source to help residents has been found. However this solution will not get access to broadband for those residents who only want copper wire connectivity rather than the more expensive fibre connectivity, which will mean a large monthly contribution to your provider. At the end of the day it is for residents to determine the best package viable to them based on a menu of options. 

It is my understanding that it could be quarter 3 in 2019 at the earliest when the copper wire upgrade may be available.