CSW News March 2015

Bringing faster broadband to our rural areas

Project Update March 2015

Please forward this email to your contacts –  we need to spread the word!

136 cabinets live to date

Over 28,000 properties able to connect to the fibre network

Topics in this edition:

Contract 2, Part 2

Exchange-only cabinets

Broadband Connection Vouchers for Businesses

So, how far does the fibre go?

Cyber security for small businesses

Copy for your own website or newsletter

Questions and Answers


Contract 2, Part 2

Following last month’s announcement of Contract 2, Part 1 Warwickshire County Council announced, at its February budgets setting, that a further £4.17m would be made available to extend the rollout of superfast broadband. It is anticipated that this should take the coverage up to 98% of properties in Warwickshire at speeds of 24Mbps or over. We are therefore now working to develop Contract 2, Part 2 and will keep you advised on progress.


As we have stated form the start, the overall aspiration for the project is to achieve the EU 2020 targets of 100% coverage at a minimum of 30Mbps, with 50% connected to and suing 100Mbps. This is a real stretch, especially given where we started from, and we will be investigating the potential for EU funding to help us achieve this. Again, we will keep you advised on this.


Exchange only cabinets

As promised at the start of the project, we have now started to work on exchange-only lines. These are (as the name suggests) lines where the copper telephone runs directly to a local exchange. This means that the upgrade is different from the “standard” measures that we have become so used to, where a new fibre cabinet is stood close to the existing copper one.


As there is no copper cabinet with exchange-only lines, this has to be installed, which means that we have to find space to stand two cabinets in close proximity to each other, with the fibre one also requiring power. In some locations this can be tricky, to say the least!


One of the difficulties we have is knowing which properties will be connected to any new solution. Please bear with us as we try to understand the implications of this in terms of letting people know what is happening. Once an exchange-only area goes live, we hope to be able to advise those properties that are able to benefit from the new service – ideally we would like to be able to tell people in advance that it is coming.


Another issue is that, because of the more complex requirements of such installations, it is more difficult to be certain of the timescales involved. That is part of the reason why a lot of areas that are due for upgrade under Contract 1 are showing as purple on the map and have no timescales attached to them. This denotes that they are due to be connected to the NGA (fibre) network, but that we cannot give any certainty as to date or locations, and do not yet know what technology will be used. Obviously any connection would be subject to survey etc. as with the main part of the rollout. Not all of the purple areas are exchange-only connections, but in all cases there will be further work to be carried out before any degree of certainty can be given about rollout dates for the purple areas, except to say that they are due for completion before spring 2016.


Broadband Connection Vouchers for Businesses

We reported in January that we were investigating the potential for offering business connection vouchers in Warwickshire. Things have moved on and this will be happening – we just have to iron out the details. We hope to bring you more information in our next newsletter and will contact those who have registered their interest in the scheme when the details are available.


We don’t have any more information at present, so please don’t inundate us with questions! However, we will bring you more details just as soon as we can.


If you think your business might benefit from improved broadband connectivity and you would be interested in learning more about a voucher scheme, please email quoting “Voucher Scheme” in the email subject.


PLEASE NOTE: This is solely to enable us to gauge potential interest in such a scheme. Your email will not be an application, nor will it commit you to anything. We will keep you posted on progress in this matter.


So, how far does the fibre go?

CSW Broadband have installed 101Km of spine cable to date. That’s enough to reach to Reading! We have also installed a further 57.89 km of fibre from the Node to the cabinets.


Quite mind boggling when you think of it in those terms!


Cyber security for small businesses

Some very useful advice from Warwickshire Trading Standards:


Cyber-crime is estimated to cost the UK economy €27 billion a year and the average annual cost to small businesses of fraud and online crime is around 24,000, according to the Federation of Small

Businesses (FSB).


For free advice & information on how to protect your business visit:


Follow these ten tips and make a start toward protecting your business from online fraudsters:


  1. Secure your wireless network – ensure the computers you use have a firewall that is turned on and anti-virus software that is up to date. Businesses may wish to consider using software designed specifically for business, as opposed to that commonly used by consumers.


  1. Keep all your software up to date. When companies find vulnerabilities in their software, updates are used to patch these security holes. Keeping the software running on your computers up to date will help you to protect yourself from malware.


  1. Back up all your data so it can be easily restored if something goes wrong.


  1. Use strong passwords. All passwords should be at least eight characters long and should incorporate both letters and numbers. Use different passwords for each account, and change them regularly. Do not share passwords or write them down where other people could access them.


  1. Limit staff access to online accounts to only those who really need it.


  1. Train your staff. Many frauds happen because staff fall victim to phishing and similar scams, allowing fraudsters to download malware on to a business’s computers. Malware can then automatically capture passwords and credit card numbers. Have clear and concise procedures for email, internet and mobile devices. Staff should also be kept up to date on the latest scam information.


  1. Security-test your business website on a regular basis.


  1. Ensure your business has a contingency plan if it falls victim to cybercrime, and test these regularly.


  1. Keep your business computing and personal computing separate. Do not allow your staff to use business computers for personal use; for example accessing social media websites, checking personal emails or surfing the web. We are all likely to be less vigilant when using computers for personal use, increasing the threat of a successful cyber-attack.


  1. If you are using cloud services to carry out your business, check the provider’s credentials and the contract you have with them.


Report Cybercrime to Action Fraud:


Businesses: check that you are legally compliant by accessing free Trading Standards advice at:


For information and advice from Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service visit:


Copy for your own website or newsletter

We regularly produce updates of around 350 words that can be used on your own website or in newsletters. There are a selection of articles available for download and you can select the most appropriate depending on where your particular area is in the rollout pipeline. Copy can be found at:


Questions and Answers

I am on the fringes of two differently coloured areas on the map. What does this actually mean for me?

The maps are indicative only and the areas are designated by postcode (in accordance with BDUK requirements). As the telecoms infrastructure does not follow postcodes it is not possible at this stage to give any more detail, and therefore colours on the map are not definitive. As the rollout commences we will be turning specific areas of the map green to show that superfast broadband is currently available, but we are advising that subscribers should check their landline or address to ensure that they are actually connected to the upgraded cabinet.


To check if the actual cabinet that you are connected to is in the rollout you should look at the BT checker ( will tell you which cabinet you are on. For the best results you will need to be able to enter a BT landline number for your property. If you do not have this then you can use your address, but it may be less accurate. Do not use the postcode checker as that covers too wide an area to be of any use. You can then check the specific cabinet on our Rolling 12-Month Plan which can be found at:


The BT checker will also tell you when your cabinet is ready to accept orders. The access is on a wholesale basis, which means that any ISP can use the infrastructure to provide their services. It works best if you can enter a BT landline number for your property, or alternatively use the address option. Don’t use the postcode checker as it covers too wide an area to be of any meaningful use. Don’t forget that you will need to check out broadband packages carefully to get the one that is right for you. For impartial advice go to:


Please note that the map has been developed using data based on postcodes. This means that the colour coding on the map can only provide an estimated network coverage. Please use the DSL checker ( establish which cabinet your property is connected to, and then check if it is currently in the rollout plan ( ).


Why does my area show both a colour and a hatched area on top of each other?

This is simply because of the way in which different technologies work. Our rollout, together with that of WarwickNet, is currently based on upgrading cabinets. The mapping is done by postcodes, but unfortunately, this technology does not follow postcodes. For instance, one cabinet may cover properties in a number of different postcodes or one postcode may be served by a number of different cabinets. Therefore by upgrading a cabinet we may also be upgrading properties in a different postcode, which may be covered by a different supplier at the same time, which is unavoidable.


For instance, in some areas there may be providers of wireless broadband. Because wireless does not use cabinets its coverage works differently and so some properties may have a choice of technology. It should be noted that the CSW Broadband project is providing a wholesale network so that all properties using the fibre network will automatically have a choice of Internet Service Provider.


Many more frequently asked broadband questions can be found on our website at:


Send this email on to all your contacts! We need to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Please send this email to your contacts and encourage them to send it further. It’s probably best to remove the contact details above our logo at the top of the email otherwise it could get to be a very long string before the email itself appears!


CSW Broadband now on social media – come and join the conversation

We are now on the major social media channels and are already creating a buzz. Join in for up-to-date information and an opportunity to influence how the project develops:


CSW Broadband is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council, BT and Department for Culture M

CSW Broadband Warwickshire County Council Email:

CSW Broadband project – bringing faster broadband to your area

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