The following is not an endorsement by the parish council; just a statement of fact. There are other providers out there but at substantially greater cost.
If you’re on fibre broadband right now you’ll be on what’s known as fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) where the connection from the exchange to the cabinet is fibre, but from there to your home you’ll be on a traditional copper wire. If there’s a weak link causing slow speeds or line drops it’ll be the copper wire. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is markedly faster and more reliable.
Being where we are the likes of BT and Virgin won’t be coming to the parish for some time as the economics (for them at least) don’t stack up. They normally charge a £250 per household survey fee, a five figure installation fee and require a two year contract with charges of around £120/month.
However, the parish council has found Airband.co.uk, a provider which is currently building a FTTP network in a number of areas including Chinnor, Lewknor and Watlington. Airband is proposing – if it gets enough support – to link those sites up via our parish… to our benefit.
If the plans get the green light there would be no installation fee and the router will be provided completely free – all under the Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme that is promoted by the government. Airband will complete all of the applications.
As an added enticement, any exit fees from a current provider up to £250 will be covered by Airband, subject to a 30 day cooling off period (30 days after connection to the fibre network) and on presentation of closing bill.
The unlimited packages on offer are either £29.99/month on a two year contract for 150Mbps download / 50Mbps upload, or £39.99/month on a two year contract for 250Mbps download / 75Mbps upload. At some point in the future, the line speed will be upgraded to true gigabit.
Householders should soon receive direct mail with a link to a community page for Aston Rowant and a separate one for Kingston Blount/Crowell where residents can register interest, place an order or track the project. The pages for Chinnor and Watlington – to see how it all works – can be seen at https://www.airband.co.uk/community. When our page is live residents can use the code OXON-DLP-24 to sign up. Airband can be contacted on 01905 676121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completion for this cluster is this Autumn, however Airband will need a significant number of orders to make the project viable.
To reiterate, the parish council is not endorsing this project; it is merely publicising it as at present there are no viable alternatives to those wanting ultrafast broadband.
Note: The Airband flyer can be downloaded below.