Howzat! Surrey villagers score with new high-speed fibre broadband solution

Village famed for hosting first all-women’s cricket match in 1745 now makes a name for itself with superfast broadband 

The Surrey village of Bramley has a reputation for being ahead of its time. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the first ground to host an all-women’s cricket match in 1745, Bramley is now the scene for an innovative solution for getting high-speed fibre broadband.

The village of Bramley now has access to high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to the support from the parish council, development firm Cognatum, who agreed to have the final fibre broadband cabinet located on their property, BT and the Superfast Surrey project. The final fibre broadband cabinet for Bramley is now ‘live’ and provides access to fibre broadband for more than 160 local homes and businesses in the village, bringing total coverage for the village to more than 2,800 premises.

Charles Clayton, chief executive of Cognatum, and the firm which manages Bramley Grange, said: “Cognatum puts great emphasis on the word ‘community’ and we know from our residents how important a fast internet connection can be. Therefore, we were more than happy to play our part and support Bramley’s local businesses and homes on this matter.”

Maurice Byham, Bramley parish councillor, said: “This an extremely important final link in the Bramley fibre broadband chain and we are indebted to the Bramley Grange for its support and co-operation.”

Dave Axam, BT’s South East regional director, said: “This is excellent news for the residents of Bramley and another important milestone for the Superfast Surrey partnership which is making real progress. As with all large programmes we often have engineering issues to overcome and I’m delighted by the co-operation between the parish council, BT and Cognatum to make this happen for the residents of Bramley. This popular technology can help households access on-line learning and entertainment at the click of a button, whilst businesses can become more efficient, grow and boost the local economy.”

Peter Martin, Surrey County Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “This is great news for local business and residents as we remain on track to make Surrey the UK’s best connected county.”

The Superfast Surrey team, a partnership between Surrey County Council and BT, was undeterred when it came up against a problem with siting a new fibre broadband cabinet and called on the support and local knowledge of the parish council who were able to help with a superfast solution.

The narrow footpath and road in Bramley and a listed brick wall, made it impossible to install the final fibre broadband cabinet within the 100 metres required of the existing green cabinet. There were no obvious solutions.

In an effort to resolve the issue, Superfast Surrey sent an SOS to Bramley Parish Council and Councillor Maurice Byham met with the project team to look at all the options. Various ideas were considered with BT’s local network business, Openreach, and the Highways department. It soon became clear that the only feasible solution was for the new cabinet to be sited on private land - if the relevant permission could be obtained from the landowner, Cognatum, an independent not for profit company which owns and manages the private retirement development, called Bramley Grange. Besides the development’s eighteen two-bedroom apartments and four three-bedroom cottages, there is also a small back courtyard, which leads onto the lane and is located close by the existing broadband cabinet. Charles Clayton agreed to accommodate the new cabinet within his company’s property, and planning went ahead in December 2013.

Superfast Surrey, a partnership between Surrey County Council and BT, aims to reach 84,000 premises which fall outside the private sector’s commercial plans, including those of BT, which has already made the technology available to more than 370,000 Surrey homes and businesses.

In order to deliver the roll-out the Superfast Surrey project will:
• Deploy around 391,800 metres of fibre cable - this is greater than the distance from Banstead to Blackpool!
• Upgrade more than 30 rural telephone exchanges across the county to fibre broadband which otherwise would not be covered by commercial plans.
• Install more than 620 green street-side cabinets, with more than 490 deployed to date.

Engineers for Openreach are building the new fibre broadband infrastructure. Fibre to the Cabinet will be the main technology deployed. This can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to **80Mbps, and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. Fibre to the Premises technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps – will also be deployed in certain areas.

Notes to editors:
**80Mbps and 330Mbps are wholesale speeds. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP.
@superfastsurrey has more than 52,000 Twitter followers

To find out more about the programme and access the post code checker visit www.superfastsurrey.org.uk
For more details about BT’s fibre broadband roll-out plans go to www.bt.com/furtherwithfibre

About Superfast Surrey
Superfast Surrey is a pioneering two year programme that aims to give consistent reliable broadband access to communities outside of the commercially served areas within the county.

Funded by the Surrey County Council, BT and BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK), and managed by a joint Programme team, Superfast Surrey is building a brand new fibre broadband network; it is a ‘Big Build’ that promises big wins.
Fibre broadband will change the way we use the internet, opening up new opportunities for businesses, communities and individuals. It will broaden horizons for everyone, unlocking the full potential of the internet so we can all achieve more.
Whether you’re looking to work from home, get access for your business or get reliable consistent access to the internet to ensure you can access the wide range services on online; superfast broadband could be for you.

About Openreach
Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.

About BDUK
Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

About Cognatum
Cognatum is an independent, not-for-profit company and was formed in 2010 following the merger of the English Courtyard Association and The Beechcroft Trust and is a member of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM).
The board of directors is made up of a chairman, three executive directors and five other non-executive directors including two who are Cognatum property owners. In addition there is a panel of eight owners, the Residents Advisory Panel, who meet twice a year to comment and advise on Cognatum's activities, policies and processes.