9 August 2018
Progress, Grants, Construction, Splice Bullets, Fibre Blowing, Volunteers, Chambers, Routers, Duct, SEIS
WE NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS PLEASE ~ BOTH WEEKENDS AND WEEKDAYS
We have now completed about 37% of the digging and duct laying required for the project, that is nearly 10Km of digging carried out so far. This allows us to connect 95 properties. These lucky people now only need to lay the duct from their boundary to their home so we can connect their router for them. As soon as this is completed and we receive our connection they will then have 1000Mbs internet.
Please let us know as soon as you have dug your trench ready for the duct to be laid to your home so we can come along, install your router and connect you.
Update on Grants
To date 143 Grant Offer Forms have been returned to The Welsh Government.
Currently we have 179 properties connecting to our 1000 Mbs fibre broadband. We have recently had an additional 10 applications that are waiting for their Grant Offers to arrive, this means that 26 Grant Offer Forms have not yet been returned to The Welsh Government and are being chased up as the grant will not be paid without the appropriate forms in place.
Openreach are due at HNS this week to install the relevant equipment for our connection (STN Monitoring.)
We are expecting the pole to be erected next week and fibre connection along with equipment in The Hub soon after. Fingers crossed, we will get our connection very soon and we in turn can begin to start connecting the properties that have their duct, fibre and routers in place.
Construction and Progress
Trenching by Thomas Bros continues using their mini digger, due to waiting for parts for the trenching machine. This takes a little longer but they are making good progress down from the Fairwater Farm Chamber and along Began Road and towards Haygrove. Thank you everyone, it is all coming together with the groundworks
Rhys Edwards has trenched across the bottom of his field by the woods and across the Home Farm Lane. Great job Rhys.
Chris and David Walford have finished the trenching in Chris Bolton’s field which is now finished and seeded. This along with the 300 metres along David Schofield’s lane enabling new water pipes and ducting to be installed at the same time. Tidy job boys
Chris Walford has neatly trenched along Cae Gwyn and surrounding properties allowing 8 ducts to be laid, by Jim, Brin, Carina, Gareth and Nigel, everything has been raked back in and within a couple of months you will never know the ground has been disturbed ! At the same time a chamber was put in at the bottom of Theo’s drive ready for a splice bullet to be installed.
Chris has also trenched around the horsefield that belongs to Morgan Edwards and inset a chamber at the same time. Ducting has been laid by Brin, Jim and Gareth and again tidied up. Great job guys.
The new mini trencher called a GeoRipper (more about this later) had its first run at Ollie’s at Daintree House and with the exception of a few teething problems we managed to dig a 1.5” wide trench around Ollie’s garden and down alongside the field to the gate at the bottom. This was all done by Jim, Brin, Nigel, Jason and Ollie himself. Thank you to Ollie’s wife Louise for the Tea and Cake, much enjoyed by everyone and very welcome. A big thank you also to Dave Schofileld who took all of us to lunch ( including the guys who were laying ducting in the Horsefield) at the Cefn Mably Arms before returning to finish the jobs.
The mini trencher was also used to access the church in which ducting has been laid and a router installed inside the church by Jim and Brin. Michaelston-y-Fedw Church will be the only church in Wales to have 1000 Mbs Fibre Broadband.
Just over 2.5 Kms of ducting has been laid over the past 10 days. This has indeed been a very busy 2 weeks with various activities taking place all around the village. With the Trenching and ducting continuing it now enables the next phase of the work to begin in earnest. Installing Splice Bullets, Routers, blowing fibre and fusion and splicing.
Splice Bullets and Fibre Blowing
Mark Graveston kindly supported the splice bullet installation at Druidstone Road Thursday 17th May, bringing along his tools and equipment and guided Jim and Carina Dunk, Dave Schofield, Lawrence, Russell and Brin Richards through the installing of 23 ducts into the splice bullet. We even had time to blow a couple of fibres. Barry Dixon whose duct is fully installed into his property had the first fibre blown right through to the router and is now ready for connection. It was certainly harder than we thought inserting rubber closures and feeding 36 fibres from the 72 fibre cable around the tray inserts, but it looks very smart, neat and the following day Mark, Jim Dave and Brin managed to blow all the fibres required within this splice bullet. This just leaves the fusion and splicing which hopefully can be done next week.
23 fibres have been blown from the splice bullet in the Druidstone Road chamber to all the properties that are being connected from that chamber. With minor exceptions all went well and successful with 100% achieved. Well done everyone another first, only 19 more splice bullets to connect, hopefully the others will be a little less complicated and take less time. Thank you Barry for bringing out a tray of tea for everyone, even if it was after we had blown the fibre through to your router ! !
Note on Volunteers and Insurance
Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC does not carry liability insurance for the work of our volunteers so we need to limit our liability to reflect this fact.
There are 2 aspects to this;
- Our volunteers
- Our customers
Recently some volunteers were learning about bullet splicing in the village hall, (Mark once again giving freely of his valuable time and materials - he is a star).
Before the tuition began Phil Middleton explained to all present that Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC does not hold any Liability Insurance, (having no employees we are not obliged to), and that all volunteers must understand that they undertake volunteering work at their own risk.
No one was at all perturbed and all present accepted they had always known this was the case.
In the same manner, when we are to attend a customer’s home for installation, we must advise that MyFi is a not for profit, Community Interest Company and our installers are unpaid volunteers, who do not carry liability insurance.
In this way Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC has demonstrated complete transparency and honesty in our dealings with volunteers and customers.
To date 5 chambers have been installed either by Thomas Bros, Chris Walford or volunteers.
The Router Installation Team is being organised by Jim Dunk,
Barry Dixon has kindly said that he will happily install all the routers to the properties in Druidstone House.
Where ducting has been trenched and laid up to your property you are now able to have a router installed.
Please contact Jim.firstname.lastname@example.org to make the necessary arrangements.
The duct laying continues in the major trenches up to the boundary of properties.
Please remember it is the householders responsibility to dig a narrow trench across their own property to enable ducting to be laid and a router to be subsequently installed. If you have done this please contact Jim Dunk as above to follow this up. For those who are unable to dig their own trench please see the paragraph on the GeoRipper further down.
I feel that I should mention that just last week we laid around 2.5 kms of ducting to a number of properties and I was made aware that if BT Openreach or similar organisation had done this for us, it would have cost around £16,000 ~ so you can appreciate why we are doing as much as we can ourselves ~ to enable this project to be feasible and come in on budget without the need for additional costs to you.
Glynn Williams has been promised additional slabs which he will be collecting this week.
The slabs will be laid after the ground has been excavated and the pole for Openreach fibre into The Hub has been installed.
Russell Cope has prepared the SEIS 3 Certificates for each individual investor enabling them to claim personal tax relief of 50% of their investment.
These certificates will be hand delivered in the following few days.
Russell also informed us that we have received our first VAT refund, which is great news as the initial outlay for materials has now put some money back into the bank account.
The Hub IT
This is work in progress, technical meetings are now being held every Tuesday with Duncan Law, Mark Sainsbury and Lawrence Russell to ensure the equipment for The Hub is relevant and best suited for our requirements.
Genexis are in the process of writing the software for our routers and this will be installed prior to being installed in your property. Please note this does not stop the back plate and external fittings from being installed in your property ready for the router to slide on and be connected.
It is the householders’ responsibility to dig a narrow trench across their garden from the boundary up to their property to enable ducting to be laid.
We simply do not have enough volunteers to do this and as a community project there is an obligation for each and every one to contribute something. However, there are always going to be situations where it is impossible for a householder to perform this task.
It is important that householder let us know if they have a preferential route across their garden for ducting to access their property, because once the ducting is laid to the boundary it is not easily moved.
At the end of the day we are all volunteers and would appreciate some guidance particularly if you have a strong preference. All our volunteers give up precious time of their own to make this community project a success, so we want to make best use of their time and availability.
Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC have given this a lot of thought and come up with a solution. It is not free but, given the cost of parts, fuel and time it has been priced very reasonably.
Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC have purchased The GeoRipper, portable trenching machine which will dig a trench around 1.5” wide and 12 -18 “ deep with very little spoil using a chainsaw type action. After the duct has been laid the spoil can be simply raked back in and in around a couple of weeks it will have grown over.
This can be carried out on your property at a cost of £30.00 + £1.50 per metre( including VAT). If you require this to be done, please contact email@example.com and he will try to organise a mutually suitable date and time along with one of the trained volunteers.
If you do not need the service of The GeoRipper, please can you organise a suitable way across your garden for your ducting to be laid, whether it is underground or on top and as soon as we are at your boundary we can lay the ducting into the trench at the same time. If you are not sure what to do for the best please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
If anyone has taken or takes photographs in the coming months, of activities involving volunteers, please email them through to email@example.com 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 photo graphs on the website newsletter.
I will be sending out another reminder for GDPR ~ General Data Protection Regulations ~ relating to a piece of EU legislation. As a Not For Profit Company we do not have to register for GDPR ~but we have to comply with the emails that are sent out and we rely on these to be able to contact you firstly to update you on the progress of the project and to inform you of any important activities or events happening in your area. For example we will soon be informing everyone about the official opening of Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC by an AM from The Welsh Government.
By law if you do not update your details and continue subscribing we will have to remove your details from our system, which then makes it extremely difficult to notify specific groups of people when we are connecting you for example.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 31st May 2018 in The Village Hall at 7.30pm.
Come along and get involved, ask questions, or simply get to know the people who are actually installing your broadband.
Everyone is welcome to attend