There’s Nothing For Kids To Do!

It's something we've all heard people say a thousand times, that's there's nothing for kids to do in Whitwell.

They're bored.  They've got nowhere to go

They're always hanging round on corners or outside shops

Who's to blame?

We all are!  There never will be anything for them to do unless more people are willing to help give them something to do.  As with any village there are a core group of people in Whitwell who seem to be involved in everything and unfortunately they can only be in one place at a time.

Whitwell Needs You

It needs you, it needs your friends and it needs your family.  Whitwell needs everyone to give a little back.  If everyone gave a little then a lot more would get done and there would be a lot more for everyone to do in the village, most importantly for the children of our community.

I'm Busy!

We all are.  The people who run the drama/sports/other club that your children go to, they are busy people as well.  They have families, full time jobs/run their own business(es), they're in full time education, or caring for a relative, or any combination of.  They still find the time.

I don't have any experience!

Neither did the people who currently run all the various groups and events in the village when they started out, everyone has to start somewhere.

I can't commit time every week!

For a lot of groups that won't be an issue as long as they know in advance when you aren't available to help.

People Make Communities

People are what makes a community work.  Every one of us can make a difference if we choose to.  If we choose not to then we shouldn't be surprised if everyone else does the same and nothing gets done.

Clubs and groups will close and new projects won't get built unless people choose to get involved, without volunteers eventually there won't be a Youth Club, there won't be Junior Players, <a.n.other group>.  Without community involvement there won't be new facilities in Whitwell – no one will give funding to groups that can't show people want a particular project/facility and that there are people to help make the project happen.

Please Help

Please help Whitwell.  Find out what groups need volunteers, even if you can only spare a couple of hours per month it can help.  If you get a questionnaire about facilities etc. in Whitwell then please fill it in, don't just bin it and complain when nothing changes.  Whitwell needs you.

Superfast Broadband – Now Available!

Whilst the Openreach Superfast Broadband site doesn't list Whitwell as finished, some street cabinets are now ready.  You can find out if your cabinet is enabled by going here: https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html and entering your phone number.

Remember, you don't have to order from BT – Fibre broadband is available from nearly all ISPs including TalkTalk, Sky and smaller ones such as Zen, AAISP, Goscomb etc.

If you do get connected up we'd love to hear from you about who you went with and what speeds you're seeing.

Superfast Broadband

We know there have been a few doubters on the issue of Superfast Broadband (FTTC) ariving in Whitwell, but it is happening – and we've got the pictures to prove it!  These were taken 20 minutes ago and Openreach were also here last night doing work as well, apparently the council (Bolsover we assume) will only let them do these works in an evening.

The pictures below (sorry for the quality) show Openreach putting in one of the main and final links to make it all happen.

We also spoke with the Openreach engineers who told us you'll have to be quick when it does go live as currently each street cabinet only has 100 tie pairs to it – meaning only 100 lines on each cabinet can get service to start with.  So if you do want it, then it might be a good idea to register your interest with your ISP (It doesn't have to be BT Retail).

Extreme Wheels Roadshow

Whitwell Forward and Bolsover District Council are bringing the Extreme Wheels Roadshow to Whitwell Primary School on Thursday 24th May between 6-8PM.

This is a free to attend event, although there are a few rules:

  • Helmets must be worn at all times
  • Minimum age is 7 years old, although under 9s must be accompanied by an adult
  • A parental consent form must be returned on the day
  • Consent forms can be found here: http://www.bolsover.gov.uk/extreme-wheels

Not only will this provide some much needed activity in the village for the younger members of our community but it is also a great opportunity for opinions and voices to be heard as the Extreme Wheels team will be doing video questionnaires to find out what our younger people want in the village, especially with regards to scate-parks etc. which the Parish Council is already looking in to.

Karl

Superfast Broadband – Work Begins

We spotted on the way home tonight that work has been started by BT Openreach on the new  street cabinets for Superfast Broadband (What BT Retail call Infinity, or Fibre Broadband – it isn't, but nevermind) in Whitwell.  It's finally happening!  We had to take a photo just to make sure we weren't imagining it.

Once the equipment is installed and all setup, you'll be able to get up to 80Mbit/s download speeds if you're close enough to one of the new street cabinets – It was 40Mbit/s, but by the time they have finished in Whitwell the new 80Mbit/s products will be available to ISPs – Remeber, you don't just have to use BT to get Superfast Broadband, you can pretty much use any ISP (With the exception of Sky, as we don't think they are taking part in the new scheme to allow them to do so, but we think TalkTalk are).

Half Way To Next Gen Broadband

UPDATED

It looks like that whilst we weren’t paying attention BT Openreach changed their ready-for-service (RFS) date for their 21st Century Network (21CN) for Whitwell to the end of January 2012.  What this means is that you should now be able to get up-to 24Mbit/s internet instead of just basic up-to 8Mbit/s internet from any ISP not just the likes of TalkTalk.  If you want faster access you may also have to talk to your ISP, as not all will upgrade you automatically to faster services – even though their faster services are the same price.

We’ve also noticed that the full Sky Broadband is now available on the Whitwell exchange as well – So if you’ve got Sky TV you can get their free/cheap broadband as well.

The RFS date for the much faster FTTC products (What BT Retail calls Infinity) is still set for June 2012.

Update

At the Whitwell Parish Council meetings on 8th February 2012 three planning applications for additional BT Openreach street cabinets was put before the council (They were in the conservation area, so planning consent is required) and the council raised no objections to them going ahead – So it looks like things really are moving ahead for June this time.

Next Gen Broadband Dates Set

It looks like OpenReach have set Ready For Service (RFS) dates for the Whitwell Telephone Exchange (SLWHT) for both 21CN (The national next generation network that connects telephone exchanges) and for their Fiber To The Cabinet (FTTC) products.

21CN will allow many more providers to offer services up to 24Mbit/s download speeds instead of the 8Mbit/s we have now (Unless you’re a Carphone Warehouse/TalkTalk customer – in which case in theory you get those speeds already).  The RFS date is set for 1st March 2012.

FTTC will allow providers to initially offer up to 40Mbit/s download speed.  The RFS date is set for 1st June 2011.

Although RFS dates have been set, it’s not unusual for them to drift still, so we’ll keep an eye on it and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

Next Generation Broadband Delayed

You may remember that earlier in the year we posted that the Whitwell (SLWHT) telephone exchange would be upgraded by OpenReach (The arm of BT that deals with such things) in 2011 to cope with the next generation of higher speed broadband dubbed FTTC and FTTP (Fiber To The Cabinet and Fiber To The Premises). Unfortunately it looks like this has now been pushed back to 1st March 2012 – although this date may still not be set in stone, as Whitwell (and Hodthorpe and Creswell as they use the same telephone exchange) was due to have up to 24Mbit/s services by March of 2011 but this did not happen.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation and the RFS (Ready For Service) dates for the next generation of broadband for Whitwell and will let you know if anything changes.

21st Century Communications

OpenReach (Part of the BT Group of companies) whom are responsible for telephone lines and exchanges have announced that some time in 2011 they will be equipping the Whitwell (Code: SLWHT) telephone exchange to handle their Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband products.

FTTC is where they run fibre optic cable to the green street cabinets you see dotted around and install equipment in a new cabinet next to them – your broadband is then run from the street cabinet, so the distance between your home router and the broadband equipment is much shorter, so you can get much faster speeds.  Initially this will provide for up to 40Mbit/s download speeds and up to 10Mbit/s upload speeds dependent on the quality of your telephone line and distance.

FTTP is where they run fibre optic cable all the way to your home router providing the fastest speeds and most future proof service, initially this will provide for 110Mbit/s peak download speeds and 15Mbit/s upload speeds.  In the future we could see speeds as high as 1000Mbit/s (1Gbit/s) peak download speeds or even higher.

Unfortunately we do not know which areas of the Parish will be getting FTTP (the fastest and most future proof technology) and which areas will be getting FTTC (Currently capable of up to 40Mbit/s download speeds).  Some areas may get neither.

We strongly suspect that the first areas to be equipped will be Hodthorpe and Creswell as both villages utilise the Whitwell exchange and would benefit the most from FTTC/FTTP deployment compared to what they can currently receive.