You may have noticed a number of large green metal cabinets appearing in the village this year, says Paul Wilding. These form part of a £25m project which BT and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) are working on to improve broadband access in Oxfordshire. By the end of 2015 over 90% of homes and businesses in the county will have access to fibre broadband.
Fibre broadband is described as the next generation of broadband, although it has been available for some time. It uses fibre optic cable instead of copper wire to deliver faster connection speeds to the internet.
According to the current project plan, approximately two thirds of Eynsham either already had access to fibre broadband, or has had its cabinets upgraded to fibre broadband. Of the remaining third, about a quarter of postcodes will be upgraded by the end of September 2014, mainly on and around Witney Road. The majority of remaining postcodes will be upgraded by the end of 2015. A small number of postcodes are not currently covered by the project plan, including the south end of Station Road, Stanton Harcourt Road and areas north of the A40. OCC have a map tool which allows you to see if your postcode is included in the project, although they are at pains to point out that the information in the tool is not guaranteed and that timescales may be delayed.
To find out if you are able to access faster broadband you can enter your phone number into BT’s broadband availability checker
Unfortunately, even when the infrastructure has been upgraded, you may not be able to access faster broadband straight away if there is a lot of demand in your area for the new service.
Earlier this year West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) approved funding to deliver faster broadband to areas not covered by the County Council project. WODC are partnering with Cotswold Broadband to deliver this project which is currently in its early stages. This means that all of Eynsham should eventually receive better broadband. The question that still remains though, is when?