This page will contain more questions as they are asked.
Applying for FTTP/Ultrafast/Gigabit broadband voucher and the benefits
Question: Do I need to do anything right now?
Answer: Make sure you are on the distribution for eNews emails or are a member of the Astons Facebook community. We’ll use both to communicated project updates.
Question: What are the benefits of FTTP?
Answer: FTTP will provide broadband speeds up to 1 Gigabit, depending on the premises’ contract with their internet service provider (ISP). Higher speeds mean wider bandwidth for higher usage and greater reliability.
Question: My broadband speed is pretty good now, why would I want to upgrade?
Answer: Technology evolves at a great rate and the speed requirements to use online services is ever increasing, from streaming services and video conferencing to internet connected appliances, the demand for bandwidth will get greater over time. Installation of gigabit capable broadband (FTTP) will immediately enable you to improve the speed and reliability of your broadband service and lay the foundation for future improvements. This Which? article is useful.
Question: I didn’t express an interest at first, is it now too late?
Answer: No, it isn’t too late. You can apply for a voucher now by going to : https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity and filling in the application. All premises in Aston Tirrold and Aston Upthorpe will be able to have FTTP from this project except:
• Carrimers, Upper Hill, Lower Hill farms and associated premise s which will receive FTTP through another Oxfordshire programme which is currently being rolled out:
• Five Aston Tirrold residences near South Moreton which are connected to Didcot telephone exchange not the Blewbury exchange like the rest of us; however, we understand that the Moretons may well start a similar FTTP project and we’ve already asked for these five premises to be included.
Question: How much will FTTP cost?
Answer: Installation will be free of charge if enough premises apply for Gigabit Broadband Vouchers. Premises applying for a voucher have to take out a 12-month contract with a FTTP capable internet service provider which may involve additional cost. Click here for our latest ISP costs summary.
Internet service providers (ISP)
Question: Will I have to change my internet service provider (ISP)?
Answer: Not necessarily. There are many ISPs that provide FTTP and the number is growing all the time. See answer below for a list of current FTTP providers. Click here for our latest ISP costs summary.
Question: Which ISPs work with FTTP?
Answer: These are currently: Andrew & Arnold, Aquiss, BT, Cerberus Network, Fibre Net, Giganet Home, Sky, Structured Communications, Talk Talk, Utility Warehouse and Zen. This list will increase over time as more ISPs get on board with this new technology. Click here for our latest ISP costs summary.
Question: My ISP contract is due for renewal, what should I do if I want to apply for FTTP?
Answer: It would be a good idea to go for a contract with one of the FTTP providers listed above. If you are already with one of these providers, then try to get a rolling contract. Most will allow you to upgrade once FTTP becomes available.
Installation and delivery
Question: How will FTTP be installed? Will it be very disruptive?
Answer: Openreach have told us that they will use the existing routes to premises by replacing the current copper only cables with fibre and copper cables. They will do this using existing underground ducts to premises and the overhead cable routes from poles to premises.
Question: When will we get FTTP in the Astons?
Answer: Openreach say that it will take about nine months to deliver the project once they have the necessary approval from DCMS. They use the first six months to obtain all the necessary planning permissions and regulatory approvals before taking about three months to deliver the infrastructure on the ground.
Question: Do I keep my existing phone line?
Answer: FTTP does not need a normal phone line so keeping a landline is optional. The current copper wire PSTN phone service is due to be retired in 2025 so there is a push towards voice over IP services (VOIP) and this is included with some service providers but others charge an additional fee for the service.
Question: What is VOIP?
Answer: VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol which is a technology that allows the telephone service to be delivered over your internet connection rather than via a phone company. The technology has improved vastly over the past few years, and VOIP calls are now usually crystal-clear negating the need for a separate phone line.
Question: If I choose VOIP can I keep my phone number?
Answer: Yes, most FTTP providers that offer a phone service will also allow you to keep your existing phone number but please check with the FTTP provider that you are considering.