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).
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.
Superfast Broadband Works, Welbeck Street
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).
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.
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.
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.