Wiltshire On-line Explained
How to use the Wiltshire Online Website
The Wiltshire Online website does not provide real time deployment information; it has been designed to signpost to the relevant information depending on where you live, if a premises has already been upgraded, or if a premises is in future build plans.
We currently have several phases of broadband deployment operating with two different suppliers. We recommend you first check your postcode using our seven-digit postcode checker and follow the signpost information provided. You can visit our seven-digit postcode checker here.
If you would like more information on the BT Plc rollout you can visit their “Where and When” fibre checker here.
Similarly, if you would like more information on the Gigaclear Plc rollout, you can visit their dedicated Wiltshire webpage here.
We have created a series of maps that provide a high-level overview of the existing and current build areas. You can view the maps here.
We have an extensive FAQ area we update regularly which can be found here
Wiltshire Online, a quick overview.
The Wiltshire Online programme is designed to provide a fibre broadband service to those premises that commercial providers consider to be financially non-viable. Without Wiltshire Council’s considerable investment, approximately 40% of Wiltshire would not today have access to superfast broadband. The council’s approach is designed to deliver fibre broadband to the greatest number of premises, given the finite budget available.
The Intervention Area – Where Wiltshire Online Can and Cannot Invest
The Wiltshire Online programme must comply with EU State Aid law to ensure that public money is invested appropriately. As a first step to ensure compliance, Wiltshire Online conducted an Open Market Review with the communications’ industry, to establish the current broadband infrastructure (basic broadband and Next Generation Access (NGA)) already in place in Wiltshire and where there were also plans for investment in such infrastructure in the coming three years. The areas that were not going to be targeted commercially formed what is known as our ‘Intervention Area’ and it is where, according to EU State Aid law, we are allowed to invest public money.
The Build Plans – How Do We Decide Which Premises Get Upgraded?
Once the Intervention Area had been defined, we looked to our commercial delivery partner to design the rollout. When we embarked on the programme in 2012 the broadband gap in Wiltshire was significant and we were aware that unfortunately our investment could not benefit all premises. With this in mind, and knowing Wiltshire Council needed to do something to reduce the gap, the rollout was designed on a ‘Best Value for Money’ basis - in summary to bring fibre broadband to as many premises as possible with the funds available. Other roll-out designs were considered such as prioritising specific communities or the most rural areas, but the roll-out then becomes less efficient, more costly and ultimately reduces the number of premises we can provide a service to.
To date over 85,000 homes and businesses have been provided access to a fibre broadband service, due to Wiltshire Council’s Wiltshire Online investment.
There have been three phases of deployment to date, which are detailed below:
Phase 1 – Update on progress
Wiltshire Council signed a contract with British Telecom Plc (BT) in January 2013. Phase 1 is now ‘build’ complete and reached over 80,000 premises with fibre broadband.
Phase 2 – Update on progress
Wiltshire Council signed Contract 2 with BT; build commenced in March 2016 and will bring a superfast fibre service to more than 5,000 premises.
Also, there is a gain share clause in the broadband contract that brings additional funds back into the contract investment fund, to allow the council to further extend its build footprint. More than a third of those able to access the new technology, as a result of the Wiltshire Online roll-out, have already opted for an upgrade. This high demand has helped to trigger further reinvestment through the county's partnership and an additional 5000 premises are being delivered under the Contact 2 build programme. The build of the additional premises will begin in July 2017, with completion anticipated in September 2018.
Phase 3 - Ultrafast Broadband
Wiltshire Council recently secured £2m from BDUK’s South West Ultrafast Fund and £1m match funding has also been secured from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP). As previously explained, the Intervention Area for Ultrafast was defined as per EU State Aid Law, to ensure that only currently unserved premises not in any future build plans were considered.
Following a robust, competitive procurement process, which saw an Invitation to Tender (ITT) launched in November 2016, the contract to deliver Ultrafast broadband in the north of the county was awarded to Gigaclear Plc and the contract to deliver the service in the south of the county was awarded to British Telecommunications Plc.
Both contracts will start to see delivery in earnest in 2018 / 2019 and collectively will deliver an Ultrafast broadband service to over 7,500 premises across Wiltshire.
Self Help Options
If your community is not currently in Wiltshire Online's build programme, you may want to explore self help options. BT offers support to communities via their Community Fibre Partnership Scheme. More information about the scheme can be found here.
Goverment has also written an Introduction to Community Led Schemes which can be found here.