I am busy. Can you summarise this in 3 points?
- Gigabit Kinross-shire is a community project aiming to help everyone on old slow copper broadband lines get upgraded to future-proofed full fibre broadband. Enabling you to get any broadband speed you desire from 30 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gigabit).
- Upgrades cost you nothing, thanks to government funding via the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. But requires individual households and businesses to work together as a community to pool vouchers.
- All you need to do is pledge a voucher to a Gigabit broadband supplier, then respond to an email from the government to confirm your Gigabit Voucher, and commit to taking a 12 month, or longer, broadband service from your preferred supplier.
What will this upgrade cost me?
NOTHING. The upgrade from copper to fibre is fully funded by the government. The cost of your new telephone/broadband subscription should remain the same as it is now. It is worth remembering that you will be paying the same for a telephone and broadband service that is CONSIDERABLY more reliable, consistent and faster.
Will my monthly cost go up after a full fibre upgrade?
Most likely not. You can get exactly the same type and price of packages that you can now.
I’m not too fussed about broadband, why should I care?
There’s a genuine community dependency with Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme projects. Every home is eligible for a £1,500 voucher and every business run from home (including self-employed / sole-traders) is eligible for a £3,500 voucher. Some properties cost a few hundred pounds to upgrade and some many thousands, or even tens of thousands. But with the right scale of project and combined vouchers, whole communities can be upgraded. Even if you are not that bothered about an upgrade, you would be helping homes, families and businesses in the area that desperately need better broadband.
What is full fibre?
Broadband to the vast majority of homes involves fibre to the cabinet in your street, then copper between the last stretch from the cabinet to your house. This is called “partial fibre”. Some properties have “exchange only” lines, meaning copper runs all the way from the exchange to the property.
In Kinross-shire, around 1,500 properties do not have superfast broadband. i.e. their broadband is slower than 30 Megabits per second (Mbps). With many slower than 10 Mbps or 2 Mbps.
As of December 2020, only 3.9 per cent of Kinross-shire homes and businesses have full fibre, compared with a UK average of 34%.
Full fibre is when the connection from the exchange all the way to your property is fibre. This enables you to receive any speed of broadband up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gigabits per second), and is future-proofed for and capable of much faster speeds.
For more information read our “Gigawhat?” page.
Where can I learn more about government funding for full fibre?
Am I eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme?
Yes! All Kinross-shire properties are eligible for £1,500 (residential) and £3,500 (business/self-employed) vouchers, as long as your current copper broadband is less than 100 Mbps. This is true even if you have benefitted from a £350 “Better Broadband” voucher in the past for 4G, satellite or fixed wireless services.
“Businesses” include any micro/small/medium business or organisation (e.g. charity, voluntary organisation) and any sole-trader registered at their home address. But does not include those working from home employed by large companies/organisations.
What am I committing to?
By pledging a voucher, your only commitment, once the upgrade is complete, is taking out a 12-month broadband subscription with your chosen telephone/broadband provider. The broadband package you take has to double your current broadband speed. After this initial 12-month contract you have no other commitments or tie-ins.
Can I stay with my current telephone / broadband supplier?
This depends on which supplier your community chooses for the solution.
If the community choice is Openreach, then your choice of telephone/broadband supplier is more limited than your current choice via copper lines.
If you are currently with BT, EE, Sky Broadband, AAISP, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Aquiss or Zen Internet, then YES you can stay with your current provider. There are other niche providers to choose from:
If you are with anyone else (such as Plusnet, Virgin Media, Vodafone, SSE or Post Office) then you will NOT be able to stay with them at the moment. However, these providers should become available over the coming months and years.
How does full fibre compare with other solutions?
Full fibre, also known as “Fibre to the Premises” is the ultimate broadband solution. It is not affected by weather like copper or wireless/mobile services and its speed is practically unlimited. Full fibre is faster, cheaper, more reliable, more stable and more consistent than any other broadband solution be this fixed wireless or mobile/4G. All properties should get a Full fibre upgrade in the next 5 to 15 years if government ambitions are realised.
Full fibre, unlike copper broadband (partial fibre) also enables significantly faster upload speeds. Making video calls and other upload intensive activities better.
Will my current service be disrupted during the upgrade?
No. Your current telephone/broadband service over your old telephone line will continue to work before, during and after a full fibre upgrade.
When will upgrades happen?
Your upgrade is guaranteed to take place, and your new service live, within 12 months of communities signing a contract with a supplier. The process of generating interest in the community and getting quotes and a fixed price, can take around 1 to 3 months.
What happens to my current telephone line, and once upgraded can I go back to using my old line?
Your existing copper telephone line will be left in place for up to 10 years or longer. So after your initial 12 months commitment of getting a full fibre broadband service, you could choose to go back to slow copper broadband. Though we can’t think of any reason why you would want to!
Will this involve digging up my garden?
It is unlikely, but it could do. Running new fibre optic cables to your house is likely to follow your existing route and existing ducting or overhead lines. The experience with previous upgrades in Cleish and Mawcarse, is that engineers leave no trace of having dug and ducted to your home.
Will I have to change my phones, phone number or house wiring?
No. You can continue to use your existing phone handsets, telephone number and internal wiring.