FAQs

What will it cost me?
Donations will be voluntary and can be as little or as much as someone is willing to give, though obviously the funding is more likely to be achieved with more people donating a small amount than relying on a minority to donate a large amount.

Will only those who contribute get fibre?
No, everyone within range will be able to benefit from super fast broadband.

Why should I contribute if others aren't?
I do not know what the funding gap will be, we may get lucky and be able to cover it entirely through grant funding etc (unlikely but not necessarily impossible), if there is a shortfall and there are very few people willing to contribute then it is likely we will fail to reach the target and no one will benefit!

How will we raise the funds?
There is no right or wrong answer to this, my expectation is that whatever we cannot cover with grants of some description we will be reliant on individual and business donations, although fund-raising events may help us reach our target.

Is there other funding available?
I believe so yes, it is just a matter of finding it. A few people have shared some good ideas already and we will explore this more when we know actual costs.
I have a general enquiry in with Connecting Devon and Somerset about funding availability for community fibre broadband from them, I hope to have had a response before the costings are provided from BT.

What happens if we cannot raise all the funds?
Unfortunately without full funding fibre will not be installed. There is a time-limit on raising the funds, but I do not know how strict this is. If the funding target is not reached, depending on how the pledge has been made, either payment will not be taken or it will be refunded.

What sort of speed will we get?
As I understand it fibre broadband can provide up to 76Mb/s download speeds (but I have not checked properly). The actual coverage and indicative speeds will be available in the detailed proposal from BT later in the process.

Will we be tied to BT?
No, when installed it will be the same as any other cabinet so commercial services from other providers will be available in the same way as they are in other locations with fibre enabled cabinets.

Can I stick with 'normal' broadband?
Yes, all existing services and options will remain available.

I do not want fibre how can I stop this?
The installation of fibre will not affect existing services, if you are happy with your existing service you can continue to have and use it. If you feel there is a reason to prevent this please contact me.

Will there be any disruption?
Yes, there is likely to be some disruption if/when we are transferred to the replacement cabinet. I do not know details yet, but the disruption should be minimal.

Chelfham have just had fibre installed and they did not have to pay, why do we?
The fibre installation at Chelfham was undertaken by Openreach, but was funded by the initial phase of Connecting Devon and Somerset. It is also worth noting that Chelfham is connected to Shirwell exchange not Barnstaple, so we have not been 'bypassed' per se.

I know some people near Bratton Fleming who have fibre broadband via overhead wires, why can't we have this?
My understanding is that some areas nearby, for example Knightacott, have a fibre system installed by Gigaclear, which is funded by Connecting Devon and Somerset.
Connecting Devon and Somerset have decided that Airband fixed wireless (the same technology that the earlier WildWestNet solution was based on) is the most appropriate for this area.