Superfast Broadband

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What will Superfast Broadband cost?

Answer: It really depends on the broadband provider, but you can expect to pay around £20+ per month as a home user and around £30+ per month as a business user.

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Question: Will this mean digging up roads to put new cables into my home?

Answer: Yes and No. New Fibre Optic lines will need to be installed to replace the old copper wires which will require some road works. This will be achieved in two ways: (1) from the main exchange to your local telephone cabinets. This is called Fibre to Cabinet and will increase speeds to 40Mbps. (2) from the telephone cabinet to your home or business premises. This is called Fibre to Premise and will give you speeds of 100+ Mbps. However, you will not experience disruption to your current broadband connection through your existing copper phone line. The council hopes to build these likely road works into the PFI Highways project; which will help minimise the disruption on Island roads.

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Question: Does this mean everyone across the Island will receive these speeds?

Answer: This will vary from location to location due to factors such as:
• how far your home/premises is from the exchange;
• how far your home/premises is from the telephone cabinet;
• Your current copper line quality.


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Question: Will I get better broadband automatically?

Answer: No, it does not automatically switch itself on. You will need to place an order with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Please keep up to date with developments on this website.

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Question: What is Superfast broadband?

Answer: Superfast Broadband offers vast improvements in speed and bandwidth using fibre optic cables instead of copper telephone lines, which is how the majority of broadband on the Island is delivered. You’re probably receiving a connection speed of between 2 – 8Mbps with your current broadband connection. A fast broadband connection would give you a connection speed of between 8 – 24Mbps. Superfast Broadband will deliver speeds of over 24Mbps and in most cases over 40 Mbps.

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Question: Why does the Island need Superfast Broadband?

Answer: With such a large number of rural areas on the Island, Superfast Broadband will help to ensure those rural communities are not left behind in terms of a modern Information Technology infrastructure and are at less of a risk of a digital divide forming when compared to urban areas. The benefits of Superfast Broadband are numerous, not only for rural areas but the Island as a whole.
For example:
• Increasing access to public services such as: health, employment and leisure etc;
• Running businesses from home and homeworking;
• Business start-ups will have lower costs;
• Communities can create local jobs, even in remoter rural areas;
• Environmental costs are lower – less travel, less paper;
• Individuals can connect within their communities and beyond, even if they are not mobile;
• School children can access educational material and services from home;
• Attracting new business to the Island due to a stronger IT infrastructure, creating jobs and investment on the Island.


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Question: Which supplier will install the broadband infrastructure?

Answer: Isle of Wight Council actively supported Broadband Delivery UK's (BDUK's) European Union (EU) competitive procurement exercise, required by EU law to award a national framework contract which allows the delivery of the broadband infrastructure. Fujitsu and BT Wholesale were appointed to the national framework at the end of June 2012. Following a successful procurement exercise, Isle of Wight Council's Cabinet awarded the contract to deliver infrastructure required to meet the Island's broadband needs to BT in September 2013. This followed the EU's approval of a UK wide state aid scheme covering the provision of broadband in late November 2012, following which BDUK assessed Isle of Wight's proposed contract for compliance under that scheme, allowing the Isle of Wight's contract to be signed.

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Question: How many people would benefit from the Superfast Broadband project?

Answer: It has been established that 30% of domestic and commercial premises on the Island will be at risk of having no access to superfast services well beyond the initial stages of rollout. This largely rural population is clearly one of the hardest-to-reach core groups in high need of priority action.

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Question: I keep seeing Mbps mentioned, what does this mean?

Answer: Mbps is short for megabits per second, or millions of bits per second, Mbps is a measurement used to determine the amount of data being transmitted per second. For example an average music file would be 4Mb, 100 photos would be 170Mb and a movie would be 4700Mb (4.7Gb).

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Question: Will my existing broadband provider sell me the better broadband service?

Answer: Any Internet Service Provider (ISP) can choose to use the better broadband infrastructure to provide customers with a better broadband service.

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Question: Will I need to buy new or extra equipment to receive the better broadband service?

Answer: Possibly, your Internet Service Provider will tell you what equipment you will need to receive the better broadband service (and may offer to provide it for you).

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Question: Will I be consulted by the Local Planning Authority (Council?) before its gives any approval to the siting of a new or replacement cabinet?

Answer: If an operator submits an application to the Local Planning Authority for installation of a cabinet within an SSSI, the LPA is required to consult with neighbours for a 21 day period. Members of the public would have the opportunity within this consultation period to make comment on the application.

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Question: Why can't everyone have superfast broadband?

Answer: Some locations are so geographically remote that superfast broadband will not be achievable for cost or technical reasons. This why enabling basic broadband (2 Megabits per second+) as a minimum, right across the Island is important.

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Question: Why is broadband speed so important?

Answer: Speed is an important factor as the greater speed the more advanced internet services you can enjoy such as live television and radio. if you have several members of the same household accessing the internet via laptops or smart phones, a superfast broadband connection can provide a good level of service to all of these users

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Question: Is planning permission required for a new or replacement cabinet?

Answer: Planning permission is not normally required for the installation of a new or replacement cabinet. However, the operator may require the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority if the cabinet would be located within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In such cases the operator is required to apply to the Local Planning Authority for determination as to whether or not its prior approval is required.

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Question: What benefits will I see as a householder from better broadband?

Answer: Better broadband will provide many benefits for Isle of Wight householders. Examples include having improved access to online shopping, banking and public services and being able to stay in touch with family and friends. Children will be able to do their homework and learn independently online and adults will have improved opportunities for lifelong learning.

Some people find they can work from home just as effectively as from the office - you could save time and money and reduce the impact of your car on the environment. You could also consider setting up your own business and running it from your home.

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Question: What benefits will I see as a business from better broadband?

Answer: Better broadband will provide many benefits for Isle of Wight businesses. It will provide new opportunities for businesses on the Island by enabling them to innovate and expand into different markets, it also has the potential to increase efficiency and drive down costs by enabling the use of:

Cloud computing - this means that business data and software applications are hosted remotely. Many cloud based business applications are now available ranging from basic office software (e.g. word processing and email) to more sophisticated business software such as customer relationship management systems (used to manage a company's interactions with its cutomers). Cloud solutions are highly scalable so businesses pay for it on a per user basis for what they actually need. Cloud solutions back up business data and keep it secure and data can be accessed from anywhere using an internet connection.

Voice over internet (VoIP) communication systems which enable basic call routing and voicemail through to video conferencing.

Collaborative working using shared workspaces to work together on documents and share whiteboards in a completely paperless way. Web conferencing enables businesses to meet in real time and share desktops.

Social media, using Facebook and Twitter, for example to market brands and interact with customers.

Data transfer to upload the latest content quickly and effectively to keep commerce and other websites up to date.

Remote data storage, which will back up business data automatically and regularly to a remote and secure location.

Flexible working, work from the office, from the home or on the move in a way and a time that meets your business and employee needs.

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Question: What does download and upload mean?

Answer: When you connect to the internet, the download speed is the pace at which data (websites, programmes, music etc.) is transferred from another computer to yours. Currently when it comes to home broadband, advertised download speeds range from 8Mb to 100Mb, but this is rising at a pretty quick rate.

Upload speed is the speed at which data (such as your new holiday pictures and videos) is uploaded to the internet, perhaps to put on a social networking site such as Facebook or on a file sharing site such as Flickr. Essentially the upload is going in the opposite direction to the download from your computer to someone else's.

Broadband upload speeds are generally much slower than download speeds; the reason for this is that people generally do far more downloading than they do uploading, so downloading is given priority by the internet service providers. Upload speeds become more important to someone who is going to be doing large amounts of uploading such as someone who works from home and wants to exchange files with a remote network or people who play a lot of online games.

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Question: What is state aid and why is this project subject to it?

Answer: The European Commission (EC) requires that local authorities can only use public money to invest in areas where they can demonstrate there is no current or planned (within the next three years) deployment of either standard or superfast broadband. These are the 'white areas' and are also known as the ' target intervention areas', i.e. those where it is possible to invest with public subsidy. This project will therefore be limited to the 'white areas' only, which is a legal requirement of the European Commission's state aid rules.

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