Aug 14th 2020
With lockdown lifting I dont know about you but the summer seems to be disappearing remarkably quickly!
August has been a mixed month, while reaching the edge of Huish Champflower was a great milestone to reach, progress has been hard going with terrible ground conditions, the alternate mixture of hot and wet weather, plus the added complexity of equipment breakdowns, childcare juggles, and all our team all needing a well deserved few days holiday after the last 6 months.
We are making good progress and new live connections occur every week in various parts of the build. We thank you all for your patience and we continue to invest in more specialist equipment and resources as we add to the team on the ground. We are back to full strength next week and will accelerate progress to reach you all, particularly while we have good weather conditions.
Best news ever for the residents of Skilgate was the published road closure for the 24th August, even if it means a few days of disruption in the village and a diversion route up and down the “Ware Highway”
Wedgewood will be undertaking the Highways works and will be trenching down from the noticeboard triangle to the church field alongside the village hall.
We have been successful in gaining some top up funding from Connecting Devon & Somerset Challenge Fund, and would like to thank Francis Nicholson and the VIllage Hall Committe for their assistance in facilitating this grant, which ensure the properties in Skilgate can be connected without additional costs.
If anyone ever asks why FTTP is hard and expensive to do, this 140m section demonstrates why at £21000+VAT to connect 5 properties.
Once the highways work is complete, we will endeavour to complete the fibre blow and connections as quickly as possible, hopefully having most of you online by the end of August.
Work will continue on the connections on this side of the road w/c 17th August, with Fibre being blown and spliced and then individual properties being connected and live. Half of the drop ducts are in place and the team will continue these for the west end properties as consent is now in place for this land.
We have a bigger excavator arriving on Tuesday to progress the river crossing between Moorhouse Farm and Hayes Farm, which will allow us to start joining up the 2.5km of duct currently installed on this section, we have a further 2km to install in order to reach each cluster of properties but with Live fibre at Moorhouse, the time between build and live service will be fairly short.
Providing we can successfully cross the river without issue we should be looking at live service on this side of Upton during mid September before progressing North and West to the outlying clusters on this side of Upton over the following 4-6 weeks.
Lotley & Bittescombe Hill Area
We hit a very large underground obstacle in The Lakes while crossing from Haddon End toward Lotley which we think we now have a suitable piece of kit to work around and make progress, this should happen in the next 2-3 weeks and we need to complete another difficult terrain section while we have good weather so this will likely be done out of sequence during August.
Having had a great response to our mini community meeting (thank you all) we will be able to start build to reach you from Smiths Farm without delay – again as no road crossings are required to reach most of you, this should be a fairly fast process hopefully completed by mid / late September.
Huish Central Village
We are working to agree suitable routes to reach you and submit the Section 50 road crossings as needed. We aim to have a completed plan during August to allow us to schedule this work as soon as possible.
We have completed duct only installation between Catford and Coombe Park, and are just awaiting a start date for the road crossing between them which we had to relocate for better access. Hopefully we should have a date and contractor availability to complete this work late August and can then blow fibre to Coombe Park and progress the duct installation across to the northern area of Huish which provide a launch point toward Clatworthy VIllage.
As we complete the routes North of Huish we can start the planning and route agreements to reach the Clatworthy Project area including the village and also the Brown lane side of the reservoir.
Other Active Areas
We are awaiting a number of Road Crossings north of Sperry Barton to have start dates, but anticipate these will be good for early September which allows us to reach further North and West of Sperry Barton, which also starts the routes further North.
Projects in Approval process with DCMS
We currently have 3 projects awaiting approval from DCMS for around 215 properties covering Raddington, Petton, Venn Cross, Chipstable and Waterrow, most of which have crossed most of their approval hurdles now.
We anticipate being able to start voucher applications for these areas during mid September which then starts the maximum 12month build timeline for the funding.
We have modified our network plan for the Waterrow area, and we are looking to site a new equipment cabinet in Waterrow with a new backhaul connection to our core network in London. This cabinet will interlink with the existing cabinet near Shillingford and this provides a fully diverse connection for the entire network, eliminating any single point of failure in the core network.
We are currently identifying potential sites for this location close to the B3227 of a commercial nature with nearby power, who would be happy to host a 1m sq area Concrete Plinth and cabinet. We’ll be making contact with the owners of a few possible sites to discuss this, but if you fit the criteria please get in touch and we can discuss the details with you.
The advantage to Waterrow residents is we will be able to connect them sooner as there will be a multidirectional build from Huish heading South, from Skilgate heading East, and from Waterrow heading North and West. This also improves the feasibility of additional areas around Bathealton, Stawley and Huntsham etc.
As always, please encourage neighbours to sign up for more information
Any queries please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.