27 October 2018
Grants, Cefn Mably Park, Constuction, Splice Bullets, Fibre Blowing, Volunteers, SEIS, TheHub,
Construction and Progress
Trenching has now been completed from the road crossing at Druidstone House, along the drive and around the house by Christina Louise Warne of SparkyChick who has been very efficient. Ducting has been laid in this trench for the 8 residents of Druidstone House and the nearby properties which allows us to connect 11 properties in total. Thanks to Jan Sainsbury and Barry Dixon for kindly keeping everyone going with tea, coffee, water and snacks
Trenching has also been completed at Cae Gwyn over the last few days by Chris Walford. About 200 meters of core route and numerous sub ducts which facilitate access to the bottom village and beyond. Many thanks to Alison and Theo for allowing access over their lawns and for all the drinks they provided to volunteers. Chris has done such a great job that in a few weeks the lawns should make a full recovery.
In total over the last week about 7000 meters of duct has been laid by Jim Dunk, Brin Richards, Nigel Hallett, Dave Schofield, and Gareth Davies. They cannot continue by themselves at this rate so please volunteer to help so that the rollout can progress quickly and the current core group of volunteers can take a much needed break.
Thank you everyone, this has been a large chunk of work completed in good time. It won’t be long until the routers can be installed and fibres blown in readiness for connections.
Trenching by Thomas Bros has come to a temporary halt due to a machine part that needs replacing. The stony ground through which they have been trenching has taken its toll on the chain (akin to an extra-large chain on a chainsaw!), but this will resume shortly and judging by the weather forecast, with much improved temperatures and ground conditions.
Update on Grants
As previously stated, any new connections will no longer benefit from the first 12 months free, which was originally offered as an incentive.
The Grant Scheme has now been extended until March 31st 2019. This does mean that grants can still be applied for, but as the network is now fully planned and any changes to accommodate additional customers will prove costly to us, we will now charge £ 30.00 per month from the date of installation for all new applications.
All applications that we have received to date will still benefit from 12 months free service.
An additional 7 applications were made prior to the deadline and these will be incorporated within the current plan.
Should anyone be interested in connecting to Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC 1000Mbs FTTP broadband, please register your interest on the website and you will be contacted either by email or telephone.
Cefn Mably Park
After a thorough investigation by Phil Grant (a resident at Cefn Mably Park) who has investigated a number of access chambers for the old gate entry intercom system, he has discovered that there already exists a network of ducting from the gate to each of the properties
Within this network of cables and ducts there are several pull cords which will enable us to test the ducts to see if it is feasible to pull our ducts through their old duct system
If this is successful, then it means we can install our fibre to each property with little disruption. This sounds very promising for both Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC and for the residents of Cefn Mably Park. Further investigations will be carried out when permission is obtained from the park management.
Openreach have an appointment at our data centre on 10th May 2018 to install a PSTN Monitoring line and a pole will be installed near to The Hub at the village hall on 21st May. The pole will enable high speed internet to be bought via fibre directly into The Hub.
Unfortunately, we are not able to trench and install it underground across The Village Hall car park, because this part of the fibre belongs to Openreach.
We do not yet have a date when our connection will be complete, but it is getting closer!
Mark Graveston very kindly carried out some training with some eager and enthusiastic volunteers on Wednesday afternoon. A delicate operation with the need for nimble and dextrous fingers. Carina and Jim Dunk are now champing at the bit to get the first real splice bullet under their belts. This is likely to be in the chamber at Fairwater Farm entrance within the next 10 days. As a result of this training, we now have a list of requirements for a toolkit that will be purchased and then we are ready to go. Thank you Mark, we could not have done this without you.
Following on from the Splice Bullet training, Mark had bought with him a very portable fibre blowing machine that runs on batteries, in the space of 3 mins we had blown the fibre from The Hub to a nearby property, a mere 45 metres away, which is now ready for connection when Openreach have been and installed fibre to The Hub.
Since the original creation of Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC website, the project has progressed quickly, and it was time for some changes to the website to reflect the progress and maturing of the project. Together, Barry Dixon and Carina Dunk have made some slight changes to the look of the website, and added some additional pages: ~
Progress ~this currently holds the videos of the drone footage taken by Ollie Cohen of which there are 2, and another one on its way. We will also add to this with video footage of various activities being carried out throughout the stages of the project.
Acknowledgements ~ we felt that it is extremely important to acknowledge contractors and suppliers of product and services, whether they are at cost price, RRP, preferential rates or even free of charge. Hence, this is reflected in this page with an introduction and a summary of text about each supplier / contractor as and when I have their permission to include them on the website.
We hope you like the changes. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or ideas that you would like to see featured on the website and we will see if it is practical and feasible.
Volunteers are very generously giving their time and effort freely to carry out a variety of tasks in this project to enable residents to get their 1000Mbs Fibre to the Property connection to you. If you see volunteers working in your area, which you will at one time or another, I am sure they will hugely appreciate the offer of a drink, whether tea, coffee or simply water, particularly now the weather is getting warmer. I have worked helping to lay out ducting for just half a day ( 5 ½ hours) and not only is it hugely rewarding knowing that you are supporting a community project that is going to benefit so many people, it is also dehydrating and being offered a cup of tea as we were by Allison Huckle recently was very gratefully accepted and much needed
To date volunteers have installed 4 chambers, only 16 more to go! There is a chamber to be dug shortly in the horse field, which is going to be done by Thomas Bros. 6 bags of gravel have been placed alongside ready for the installation.
After a very busy week at Druidstone House, Jim is continuing to put together a team of volunteers to be Router Installers. Training /guidance will be given on an actual installation which is being organised.
Good DIY skills are necessary, you will not be required to configure the Routers Software which is being purchased and will be configured prior to installation by a different team
This is an activity that may take place during both the week and weekends and so if anyone that hasn’t volunteered yet can find some time and wants to put his/her skills to good use for the community please contact email@example.com
Jim continues to seek out volunteers who will lay ducting either at weekends or during the week. We have a drum trailer, which makes the job easier. This is to try to speed up the process enabling Thomas Bros to continue trenching and cover more ground in a shorter time. It also means that the following stages of fibre blowing, fusion and splicing can be done in readiness for connections
It has been established that a further 28 slabs are required to give a good pathway around The Hub. If you have any spare, we would be very grateful and could put them to good use. 450mm ones are preferable as they are easier to handle and lay.
Jim Dunk, Brin Richards and Richard Raybould are kindly going to lay them in the coming weeks. This will now have to be after the ground has been excavated and the pole for Openreach fibre into The Hub has been installed.
Russell Cope received a letter from HMRC on Friday 04.05.2018 stating that our application for SEIS has been approved.
Russ will now prepare a form SEIS 3 for each individual investor to enable them to claim the 50% tax deduction.
This is fantastic news for those investors who put their faith and money into Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC to enable us to get this project running.
If anyone has taken or takes photographs in the coming months, of activities involving volunteers, please email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will publish a selection of them in the newsletters. I can’t be in all places all of the time and I am sure that everyone would like to see the progress around various parts of the village and your photographs on the website newsletter.
The Hub IT
The Genexis Routers which everyone will have installed in their homes requires customisation which we are now in the final stages of specifying. The programme for this is written especially for Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC. The plan is to customise the router before it is installed into your home, thereby making the actual connection to the internet a simpler process when the time comes.
I recently sent out an email about GDPR. (General Data Protection Regulations) For the purposes of this project it is important that we are able to contact you by email both to update you in the progress of the project and also to inform you when the ducting is at your boundary and when we need to install a router in your home.
We need you to opt in to the emails and to be able to continue to contact you by email. Under the updated General Data Protection Regulations, if you do not opt into the email, we have to comply which means that on 25th May 2018, we will have to remove anyone who has not opted in to the emails from our database.
I will send out another reminder before 25th May 2018, if you have already opted in, please ignore, but if you have not done anything, please opt in to the emails by following the instructions in the email.
Thank you .
European Broadband Commission Awards 2018
It has been suggested that we should put ourselves forward for the European Broadband Commission Awards 2018. With the support of the Directors and technical brains in the Village I will be preparing a submission for the European Broadband Commission Awards 2018.
“The European Broadband Awards is an annual event where the European Commission recognizes outstanding broadband deployment projects in Europe. It highlights the successful establishment of broadband infrastructures through these awards.
The European Broadband Awards are open to all types of projects irrespective of the size, location, or technologies used. The competition targets national, regional, and local public authorities (e.g. municipalities, regions and administrations) as well as large and small privately funded projects that adopt innovative models of investment, business or financing.”
We meet all the criteria that they are looking for and it is just a matter of putting pen to paper!
What an achievement it would be if we were to get to finalist stage? or even to win! The 2018 Awards have not yet been launched, but I have been researching past submissions, finalists and winners in preparation.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 17th May 2018 in The Village Hall at 7.30pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend