In October last year BPC decided to investigate the potential for improving broadband speeds within our community. We would like to thank those Parishioners who expressed an interest in this feasibility study. It was this initial interest that allowed us to get the ball rolling. We approached two suppliers from the list approved by The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for an indicative offer. The process then allows a chosen supplier to apply for grants in the form of vouchers from both Government and WSCC, greatly assisting with the cost of the upgrade. We have just received such an offer from OpenReach which gives us some cause for optimism.

Although the current voucher scheme is set to expire 31st March 2021, unfortunately the Government has stopped service providers, including OpenReach, from making any new applications to the current voucher scheme. This is disappointing, however news of a new voucher scheme is anticipated soon and once details are released, we can work with Openreach to assess how it will assist our application.

Next steps – the good news is that OpenReach have now assigned a Rural Engagement Manager to our application which should enable us to make some progress, as there is clearly a lot more work to do. Our aim is to seek clarification on certain aspects of our application and to prepare for any new voucher scheme when it goes live.

To view a Frequently Asked Questions document created by OpenReach please see here: –

As soon as we have more news, we will make a further announcement.