FAQs

Programme Information

What is Superfast Surrey?

Superfast Surrey is a pioneering multi-million pound partnership between Surrey County Council and BT that builds on the existing commercial rollouts of the fibre broadband network across the county – and the faster broadband speeds they provide – and focuses on providing services to Surrey homes and businesses not currently included in these plans. The increased broadband penetration will boost Surrey’s economy and benefit the whole county.

What are the timescales of the programme

Superfast Surrey’s main deployment of fibre broadband has now ended. As a result of the Superfast Surrey programme, in conjunction with existing commercial deployment, more than 96% premises in Surrey can now access fibre broadband download speeds of 15mbps and many can access much more.

Surrey County Council is currently seeking State Aid approval to further extend broadband coverage across the County within the constraints of available funding following a process laid down by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) .

In late April 2016, SCC undertook a one-month State Aid Public Consultation which provided the opportunity for residents, businesses as well as infrastructure providers to comment on SCC’s mapping of Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure by postcode.

SCC is finalising the review of feedback received during the public consultation prior to sending the proposed Intervention Area to BDUK for assurance. However, even if areas are cleared by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) as eligible for State Aid, any decisions as to whether they will benefit from any publicly funded deployment will not be made until later this year when BT’s deployment modelling has been assessed.

If residents or businesses are unwilling to wait for the outcome of the deployment modelling, they could investigate options for satellite, wireless and mobile services or register with Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet) or contact Openreach (www.communityfibre.bt.com) or another service provider directly and collectively fund a community initiative.

The Government has also taken steps to try and improve broadband provision:

Universal Service Commitment (USC) – The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mb per second. This scheme, which is being funded and managed directly by BDUK, provides support towards the cost of equipment and installation. A number of additional suppliers are now participating in the scheme including BT, via its Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. The subsidy can be used to support coverage delivered through a Community Fibre Partnerships project, but the project has to be ready to go live at the time when the eligibility code is claimed. For more information, please see Better Broadband Scheme

Universal Service Obligation (USO) – this will give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with download speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. However, there is no clarity on how this will be funded and administered.

What is State Aid funding?

State Aid refers to forms of assistance (including funding) given by a public body to any undertaking or business which is providing goods and services in a particular market and where such assistance has the potential to distort competition and affect trade between member states of the European Union. The European Commission monitors and controls State Aid in the EU. The UK Government is obliged to notify and seek approval from the Commission before granting State aid. This gives the Commission the opportunity to approve or refuse to approve the proposed measure. The Government has secured approval from the Commission for its national Rural Broadband (infrastructure funding) Programme being managed through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). The County Council has had to notify BDUK (the National Competency Centre) of its intention to invest public funds through the Superfast Surrey Broadband Programme and to secure approval to provide such ‘aid’ to its procured private sector partner.

What are the benefits of BT's Open Access network?

BT’s network is open access, which means that any Internet Service Provider (ISP) will be able to offer a service over it. ISPs will put together different packages at different costs. This encourages a high level of competition and will mean that the end user will be able to buy fibre based broadband at a competitive rate, no matter where they are located in the county

I live in Surrey but cannot access a fibre service, what are my options?

We are aware that there are still a small percentage of premises still unable to access a fibre broadband service.

Surrey County Council is currently seeking State Aid approval to further extend broadband coverage across the County within the constraints of available funding following a process laid down by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) .

In late April 2016, SCC undertook a one-month State Aid Public Consultation which provided the opportunity for residents, businesses as well as infrastructure providers to comment on SCC’s mapping of Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure by postcode.

SCC is finalising the review of feedback received during the public consultation prior to sending the proposed Intervention Area to BDUK for assurance. However, even if areas are cleared by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) as eligible for State Aid, any decisions as to whether they will benefit from any publicly funded deployment will not be made until later this year when BT’s deployment modelling has been assessed.

If residents or businesses are unwilling to wait for the outcome of the deployment modelling, they could investigate options for satellite, wireless and mobile services or register with Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet) or contact Openreach (www.communityfibre.bt.com) or another service provider directly and collectively fund a community initiative.

The Government has also taken steps to try and improve broadband provision:

Universal Service Commitment (USC) – The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mb per second. This scheme, which is being funded and managed directly by BDUK, provides support towards the cost of equipment and installation. A number of additional suppliers are now participating in the scheme including BT, via its Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. The subsidy can be used to support coverage delivered through a Community Fibre Partnerships project, but the project has to be ready to go live at the time when the eligibility code is claimed. For more information, please see Better Broadband Scheme

Universal Service Obligation (USO) – this will give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with download speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. However, there is no clarity on how this will be funded and administered.

We are interested in organising a community funded initiative. Can you assist in helping to fund this?

SCC is aware of several Surrey community initiatives that are in progress / under discussion with Service Providers to bring high speed broadband to areas that were not included within or not addressed by the Superfast Surrey deployment plan. These initiatives are being funded between the community and the service provider. There is currently no funding provided by the Superfast Surrey Programme to support these initiatives.

SCC will not consider the use of funding in support of community initiatives or further procurement until modelled deployment options in the new Intervention Area have been assessed against available funding.

I am in an area where the only supplier is Virgin Media, which is closed access, so I can't use any other ISP. Will I be excluded from getting access to BT's Open Access network?

As part of the state aid funding requirements, Surrey County Council is only able to deploy fibre into those areas of Surrey where no deployment of fibre has taken place or will take place as part of the planned roll-outs by BT or Virgin Media.

What is Fibre Broadband, and why are you using this technology?

Fibre broadband is the new generation of broadband – much faster, more reliable and it uses a different technology. Whilst traditional broadband (known as ADSL) is delivered via copper telephone lines, fibre broadband commonly uses fibre cable to provide links between the exchange and new cabinets and in some cases provides the link between the customer and the exchange.

Fibre broadband can be delivered in two ways: fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP).

FTTC uses fibre cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. The exact speed you can get will depend on a number of factors including the length of your line from the green roadside cabinet, the line quality and the equipment and internal wiring within your premises.

FTTP means fibre cables run right to the door of each house or business and provides access to faster download and upload speeds.

We will be deploying a mix of both FTTC and FTTP technologies, but we expect the vast majority of customers will receive FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet).   FTTC is the standard method of fibre deployment and is cost effective in increasing the fibre footprint across the county. For the resident or business, it is also the most cost-effective way of buying a fibre-based broadband service. More than 620 new cabinets and fibre structures will be stood across the county.

What kind of speeds can I expect in this roll out?

The speeds will vary at different premises, and will depend on time of day and the variation between the services that different broadband suppliers offer. The speed will also depend on how your own premises are connected to the fibre network i.e. by FTTC (fibre to the cabinet), or FTTP (fibre to the premise) etc., as well as other factors like the length of your line from the green roadside cabinet, the line quality and the equipment and internal wiring within your premise.

We are on copper lines a long way from the green cabinet and will therefore very likely get download speeds of less than 15 Mbps. What speed can we expect and are we not being discriminated against because no Internet Service Provider will offer us a service?

The fibre broadband speed that can be access via a cabinet that has been upgraded to the fibre network is primarily influenced by the length of the telephone line between the home and the cabinet. The longer the telephone line, the slower the speed that can be accessed.

We believe that a crucial aspect of our project is to push the fibre network as close as possible to homes and businesses in Surrey.  This is a technology which will continue to evolve over the coming years, and by extending the fibre network as far as possible into the county we are ensuring that our residents will have access to new technologies and services as they become available.

Surrey County Council is currently seeking State Aid approval to further extend broadband coverage across the County within the constraints of available funding following a process laid down by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) .

In late April 2016, SCC undertook a one-month State Aid Public Consultation which provided the opportunity for residents, businesses as well as infrastructure providers to comment on SCC’s mapping of Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure by postcode.

SCC is finalising the review of feedback received during the public consultation prior to sending the proposed Intervention Area to BDUK for assurance. However, even if areas are cleared by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) as eligible for State Aid, any decisions as to whether they will benefit from any publicly funded deployment will not be made until later this year when BT’s deployment modelling has been assessed.

If residents or businesses are unwilling to wait for the outcome of the deployment modelling, they could investigate options for satellite, wireless and mobile services or register with Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet) or contact Openreach (www.communityfibre.bt.com) or another service provider directly and collectively fund a community initiative.

The Government has also taken steps to try and improve broadband provision:

Universal Service Commitment (USC) – The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mb per second. This scheme, which is being funded and managed directly by BDUK, provides support towards the cost of equipment and installation. A number of additional suppliers are now participating in the scheme including BT, via its Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. The subsidy can be used to support coverage delivered through a Community Fibre Partnerships project, but the project has to be ready to go live at the time when the eligibility code is claimed. For more information, please see Better Broadband Scheme

Universal Service Obligation (USO) – this will give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with download speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. However, there is no clarity on how this will be funded and administered.

I live in an exchange area or am served by a cabinet which covers premises in more than one county. How does this affect me?

Some homes and businesses within Surrey may be supplied by cabinets or exchanges which are located in surrounding counties. We have undertaken dialogue with surrounding counties to ensure that delivery to these premises is done as quickly and effectively as possible.

How did you determine the exact location of the new cabinet?

The siting of a new green fibre cabinet is determined by a number of factors. Openreach assess the location of the existing green cabinet and then determine a suitable location for the new cabinet which takes into account existing infrastructure (such as gas and water mains), access to power, width of footpath and distance from the existing cabinet.  The proposed location is then forwarded to the Highways Authority for their review and if there is no objection, it is then sent to the District or Borough Planning office for their information.

Getting Access to the Fibre Network

How can I find out if I can access the fibre network?

Fibre broadband is being rolled out across Surrey. Residents can check, using their post code, when the fibre broadband infrastructure has been deployed to their area as well as find out more about the project and the benefits of fibre broadband. If the postcode checker indicates that your home or business is one of the premises in Surrey that is already covered by the fibre network, contact your choice of Internet Service Provider to check if you can place an order. A list of suppliers can also be found here.

To find out if you can access the fibre network please visit Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s (BDUK) postcode checker. Lots of service providers offer fibre broadband for homes and businesses. Check out the deals they have available and choose the one that best meets your needs. For an up to date list of more superfast broadband providers including business providers Click here

What can I do if I have been advised by BDUK's postcode checker that Superfast broadband is currently not available?

Superfast Surrey’s main deployment of fibre broadband has now ended. As a result of the Superfast Surrey programme, in conjunction with existing commercial deployment, more than 96% premises in Surrey can now access fibre broadband download speeds of 15mbps and many can access much more.

Surrey County Council is currently seeking State Aid approval to further extend broadband coverage across the County within the constraints of available funding following a process laid down by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) .

In late April 2016, SCC undertook a one-month State Aid Public Consultation which provided the opportunity for residents, businesses as well as infrastructure providers to comment on SCC’s mapping of Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure by postcode.

SCC is finalising the review of feedback received during the public consultation prior to sending the proposed Intervention Area to BDUK for assurance. However, even if areas are cleared by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) as eligible for State Aid, any decisions as to whether they will benefit from any publicly funded deployment will not be made until later this year when BT’s deployment modelling has been assessed.

If residents or businesses are unwilling to wait for the outcome of the deployment modelling, they could investigate options for satellite, wireless and mobile services or register with Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet) or contact Openreach (www.communityfibre.bt.com) or another service provider directly and collectively fund a community initiative.

The Government has also taken steps to try and improve broadband provision:

Universal Service Commitment (USC) – The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mb per second. This scheme, which is being funded and managed directly by BDUK, provides support towards the cost of equipment and installation. A number of additional suppliers are now participating in the scheme including BT, via its Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. The subsidy can be used to support coverage delivered through a Community Fibre Partnerships project, but the project has to be ready to go live at the time when the eligibility code is claimed. For more information, please see Better Broadband Scheme

Universal Service Obligation (USO) – this will give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with download speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. However, there is no clarity on how this will be funded and administered.

How do I order fibre broadband?

You will need to contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP) even if you already have an existing broadband service to find what fibre services are available to you. There are different ISPs offering a fibre based service, so you can shop around and choose the best deal for you. You can see a list of ISPs currently offering fibre broadband in Surrey here.

If I already have broadband will I be automatically upgraded to the fibre network?

No, to get access to a fibre broadband service, you need to place an order with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to be upgraded to the new service. Fibre broadband uses a different technology and an engineer may need to visit your premises to install the necessary equipment. There are several ISPs offering fibre broadband in Surrey so you can shop around and choose the package that’s best for you. If you choose not to upgrade to fibre broadband, you do not need to take any action and you’ll continue using your existing broadband service as normal.

I have been told that access to the fibre is now available in my area but I can’t get a fibre broadband service. Why not?

This can be due to one or more different factors.

Your line may be connected to a roadside cabinet or another structure that has not yet been connected to the fibre broadband network. You may be on a line that is too long to support a fibre broadband connection from your local roadside cabinet.

Surrey County Council is currently seeking State Aid approval to further extend broadband coverage across the County within the constraints of available funding following a process laid down by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) .

In late April 2016, SCC undertook a one-month State Aid Public Consultation which provided the opportunity for residents, businesses as well as infrastructure providers to comment on SCC’s mapping of Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure by postcode.

SCC is finalising the review of feedback received during the public consultation prior to sending the proposed Intervention Area to BDUK for assurance. However, even if areas are cleared by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) as eligible for State Aid, any decisions as to whether they will benefit from any publicly funded deployment will not be made until later this year when BT’s deployment modelling has been assessed.

If residents or businesses are unwilling to wait for the outcome of the deployment modelling, they could investigate options for satellite, wireless and mobile services or register with Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet) or contact Openreach (www.communityfibre.bt.com) or another service provider directly and collectively fund a community initiative.

The Government has also taken steps to try and improve broadband provision:

Universal Service Commitment (USC) – The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mb per second. This scheme, which is being funded and managed directly by BDUK, provides support towards the cost of equipment and installation. A number of additional suppliers are now participating in the scheme including BT, via its Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. The subsidy can be used to support coverage delivered through a Community Fibre Partnerships project, but the project has to be ready to go live at the time when the eligibility code is claimed. For more information, please see Better Broadband Scheme

Universal Service Obligation (USO) – this will give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with download speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. However, there is no clarity on how this will be funded and administered.

How much does fibre broadband cost?

Prices are dependent on the Internet Service Provider (ISP) who provides you with a service, so you need to do your own research to identify who can provide you with a service that meets your requirements and how much it will cost.

How long does it take to be installed after I place my order and what does the installation involve? Can I keep my router?

The time before installation of fibre broadband varies among Internet Service Providers (ISPs); typically it takes about two weeks. An engineer may call and install a new modem at your premises and you may receive a new router from your ISP. In most cases, your other telephone and computer equipment will not need to be replaced.

I have wireless internet from an Internet Service Provider, why would I want a fibre based service?

It would depend on whether or not you are satisfied with the broadband speed and reliability that you currently receive. If you require additional speed, you may wish to consider upgrading to the fibre network as you will still be able to run it wirelessly in your home and usually achieve faster more reliable broadband speeds.

Will my Internet Service Provider definitely offer me this service?

You will need to contact your ISP to confirm if they are able to a fibre broadband service to your premises.

ISP Links are available here

I am a Service Provider, what do I do?

We are keen to ensure that broadband service providers are aware of the location of the newly built infrastructure and how to get access to it. Service providers can register with BT Openreach via the website (www.openreach.co.uk)

Will I be able to order an adsl broadband package or will I have to buy fibre broadband?

Basic ADSL broadband services will still be available.