Full-fibre gigabit broadband will arrive in Spaldwick during 2021, to complete our 18-year broadband journey to better broadband. We entered the ‘build phase’ in February 2021 and we are currently on course for a ‘go live’ date by August 2021.
We were one of the first rural villages in the UK to get standard ADSL broadband, in July 2004, following a successful local demand registration scheme. Following a subsequent local village registration campaign, Spaldwick was one of the first rural villages in the UK to get ‘superfast’ fibre broadband, and received significant national attention. Fibre broadband was switched on in July 2014, and take-up in the village quickly exceeded 80% – with one of the highest take-ups in Cambridgeshire and the UK. The ultimate broadband technology – called Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) – will arrive during 2021, ahead of most of the UK. It will offer improved reliability and download speeds up to 910 Mbps.
Latest FTTP news: currently on track for switch-on by August 2021
More work is scheduled to start between the 12th and 16th April 2021 in High Street. Work is scheduled in Mount Pleasant and Stow Road between 13th to 26th April. Work is scheduled in Thrapston Road between the 28th and 30th April.
Thu 11 March 2021. Engineers returned to check the ducts between the road inspection chambers and the individual properties for which fibre had been laid. We are still awaiting information from Openreach on likely project timescales. We understand that the main fibre cable from the exchange has not yet been connected.
Wed 3 March 2021. Fibre cables laid to inspection chambers on High Street near the Service Station.
Tue 2 March 2021. Fibre cable installation is now complete in Ivy Way – with connectorised blocks in place. The photo above shows an engineer (situated in High Street) pulling the fibre cable through the underground duct while it is being fed through by another engineer (top photo) in Ivy Way. View all the photos.
Fri 19 February 2021. Cable installation has commenced for FTTP! Engineers were spotted in Ivy Way. They said there were two blockages in Spaldwick to clear and they would be back in a few weeks to “join all the cables together”.
Early February 2021. Openreach said, “As we near completion of the survey stage, we’ll soon be releasing work instructions to our contractors to commence the ‘build’ phase. You may be interested to know that, during the build stage of an FTTP installation, the fibre cable is run from a head end in the exchange to an aggregation node that takes capacity to a local area. It then connects to a splitter node using a tree-and-branch approach. From the splitter nodes, fibre cables are fed to the new connectorised blocks, which can be located overhead on telegraph poles or installed in underground footway boxes. The connectorised block then feeds individual premises.”
FTTP will arrive in Spaldwick during 2021
In partnership with Openreach, we are about to become one of the best-connected rural communities in the UK – fully funded by Government Gigabit Vouchers and top-ups from Connecting Cambridgeshire. Later in 2021, every home and business in Spaldwick (including remote farms) will have access to ultra-reliable, ultrafast Gigabit Broadband, giving them all access to speeds up to 910 Mbps – over 180 times faster than standard ADSL broadband. The local contact for our Openreach Community Fibre Partnership is villager Jason Patel. His email is email@example.com.
Unlike some other villages, people in Spaldwick will be able to subscribe to a comprehensive range of popular broadband providers (including those shown below) and pay similar prices to current fibre broadband services.
Regular updates are provided on progress in our Spaldwick News magazine.
For more in-depth information, visit the following article produced by Mark Heath:
- Question and Answers (FAQs) About FTTP and Openreach Community Partnerships (includes pricing)
Coming soon! We will shortly be providing a guide comparing all the FTTP service options and their pricing to help you choose the best service for your needs. We will also answer your top questions including:
- what to expect with an FTTP installation (with photos)
- how to connect your new FTTP modem to your own router.
As the FTTP build phase progresses, you can view the latest photos here:
We would love to see your photos of the FTTP build. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include them.
Are you looking to bring FTTP to your own community?
Here are some guides written by Mark Heath and Jason Patel that may help you with your own community campaign.
- Guide For Rural Communities: how to get Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) now! (Mark Heath)
- Ultrafast Broadband: the Spaldwick method (Jason Patel)
- FTTP Questions and Answers (FAQs) For an Openreach Community Partnership (Mark Heath)
- Government Cuts Gigabit Broadband Investment and Targets. So Why Not Do It Yourself? (Mark Heath)
These will be developed over time. Good luck!
Arriving in July 2014, over 80% of households in the village subscribe to superfast broadband
Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) fibre broadband arrived in July 2014. Since then, households in Spaldwick have been able to access high-speed fibre broadband, offering connection speeds of up to 80 Mbps (download) and up to 20 Mbps (upload). Over 80% of households subscribe to fibre broadband, with Spaldwick having one of the highest take-up rates of fibre broadband in Cambridgeshire and the UK.
Compared with conventional broadband, fibre broadband delivers much higher speeds so that you can reliably access the full range of Internet services now on offer, including TV services such as BBC iPlayer, Sky Online and Netflix. Fibre broadband is perfect for households with multiple users and devices as it will not slow down in the same way. Given that pricing can be lower than conventional broadband services, there seems little point staying with super-slow conventional broadband.
What do villagers think of superfast broadband?
Since the arrival of superfast broadband in Spaldwick, we’ve received promising feedback on the impact it is having on villagers and on businesses within the village. You don’t need to take our word for how good superfast broadband is! Because of the sheer volume of feedback, we have created a dedicated page. Click on the following page to see feedback from villagers:
Having problems with fibre broadband?
If you are having any problems with your broadband service, don’t hesitate to visit Mark Heath’s guide:
The majority of residents moving over to fibre broadband have been pleased with their enhanced speeds. However, some people have found that speeds have not been as good as expected, principally due to Wi-Fi interference. The good news is that Wi-Fi interference issues can usually be addressed quickly.
Over the last few years, the use of Wi-Fi has become widespread and nearly every home in the village now uses Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi sends signals through the airwaves using frequencies that are shared by other Wi-Fi users in the vicinity. Your speeds can be severely reduced if a neighbouring property is using the same frequency.
A number of villagers have suffered from erratic speeds due to Wi-Fi set-up issues, which are generally very easy to fix.
To get the most from your superfast broadband connection you should optimise your Wi-Fi network. The following guide may help you:
40% take-up of superfast broadband in the first month!
Spaldwick hit the headlines by achieving amazing take-up of superfast broadband. The village was visited by Ed Vaizey – the Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy – and other VIPs, including:
- Kim Mears, Managing Director of Infrastructure Delivery at Openreach
- Bill Murphy, who was Managing Director of Next Generation Access for BT Group (and who sadly passed away in 2019)
- Chris Townsend, who was CEO for Broadband Delivery UK.
You can read about it by clicking on the following link:
The first fibre broadband installation took place at 10am on Tuesday 1st July 2014. After only two days, port 29 had been connected at the cabinet, meaning that fibre broadband penetration had reached about 12% of premises in 48 hours! Within only three weeks, at least one third of households in Spaldwick had subscribed to fibre broadband. By the end of July, take-up had reached 40% – about three times the national take-up of fibre broadband in just one month. Now, over 80% of households in the village subscribe to high-speed fibre broadband – with one of the highest take-up rates in Cambridgeshire.