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Connecting your community to fast fibre broadband

If you're in part of the UK that's not included in any fibre rollout plans, we can help

Wherever you are, and whatever you need faster broadband for, our community fibre partnerships model can bring fibre broadband to homes and businesses by building a customised solution to meet your needs.

Whether you live in a rural location, a block of flats in a city centre, or you may represent a group of businesses in an industrial park that's suffering from slow internet speeds, we'll work with you to find a way to bring fast fibre broadband to your area.

Where possible we bring together funding from Local Authorities, Government voucher schemes and other grants to help make things affordable - we contribute toward the cost in line with our own commercial model too.

Thousands of people have already benefited from faster broadband after their communities have partnered with us for a community fibre partnership.

Where do I start? Enter your landline or postcode in the section further down this page. If you're not part of current fibre plans register your interest and we'll be in touch.

 

We're here for you 

Our team provides friendly management and support for you, and your community, through the journey to bringing fibre broadband to an area.

We'll help identify ways to help co-fund your fibre, and give you advice to make things go as smoothly as possible. For example, several communities have used crowdfunding as a way of fundraising for their fibre with us.  There are various crowdfunding organisations, but many communities have successfully used Spacehive to raise their share of the cost of a new fibre infrastructure.

Faster broadband for your community

  • The first step is to see if we’re coming to your area by using the line checker at www.communityfibre.openreach.co.uk
  • The checker will let you know if you can get fibre broadband already, or if your cabinet’s in scope or being built.
  • If that’s happening, you don’t need to do anything as the infrastructure serving your home or business will be enabled in due course.
  • If your premises show as ‘exploring solutions’ that means there’s no current plan to deliver fibre in your area.

^ Back to the process steps

  • If the line checker shows ‘exploring solutions’ then investigate a partnered approach with us to get fibre.
  • Use the simple form at www.communityfibre.openreach.co.uk to let us know you’re interested in having a community fibre partnership.

^ Back to the process steps

  • We’ll send you an email with confirmation of your enquiry and will give you a reference number.
  • In that email we’ll attach a template for you to complete with the addresses, postcodes and landline numbers of the other interested parties in your community.

^ Back to the process steps

  • This is the point you’ll need to start drumming up interest in your area.
  • Talk to your neighbours about getting fibre broadband and the benefits it will bring.
  • We can help you go about engaging your community.

^ Back to the process steps

  • We work with Openreach to get a ballpark cost to bring fibre to your area.
  • The cost we quote will be the money you need to pay on top of the Openreach contribution to the solution.

^ Back to the process steps

  • At this stage you’ll need to share the estimate with other members of your community and reach out to other premises (whether business or residential) that would also be set to benefit.
  • If you’re still keen to proceed, we’d love to know - there’s no obligation at this time.
  • Also please let us know if you’ve decided not to take things further.

^ Back to the process steps

  • We’ll give you a firm cost (subject to survey), and will let you know exactly which premises would be covered by the infrastructure upgrade.
  • We’ll start the modelling work to deliver you a more accurate cost and create a proposal that you can contract for.
  • We’ll send you that full proposal, outlining the proposed solution, and exactly which areas would be covered by fibre broadband.

^ Back to the process steps

  • Now it’s time to get the community together to raise the money for your solution.
  • You’ll need to pay 50% upon contract signature, and the balance when the infrastructure is delivered - around a year after you’ve signed.
  • We can give guidance and material to help with engaging your community, and fundraising.

^ Back to the process steps

  • Once you’ve signed the contract it’s over to Openreach to build the infrastructure.
  • Deploying fibre can be a complex job, so it won’t happen overnight. Once work has begun, you’ll be able to track the progress of your project through the interactive map on our website.
  • As soon as the infrastructure is live, you’ll need to contact your preferred internet service provider (ISP) to upgrade to fibre. Because our fibre solution is part of the Openreach network, you can shop around for the best deal to meet your needs.

^ Back to the process steps

Enter a phone number or postcode below to find out the current status of the line or premises in question.

Register your interest

Check availability using the checker above (we will use that information) then enter your details below:

Why Openreach

Why Openreach image

More communities are getting together to bring superfast to their area

Why Openreach image

We’re working with more communities to help get them superfast broadband

Why Openreach image

They weren’t in any national fibre rollout so we’re pleased to help them

Why Openreach image

Thousands of people are getting superfast broadband because we’ve partnered with them to help

Why Openreach image

If a new fibre infrastructure also serves the local school that doesn’t get superfast, communities can get a grant of up to £20,000

FAQs

When should a community consider a Community Fibre Partnership? +-

A community would typically look at a partnership when it is:

  • Not in our fibre roll-out plans, in BDUK plans or is too far away from a fibre cabinet
  • Keen to have fibre and would consider generating the necessary funds to cover the gap in the cost of the fibre solution

Find out how we have already been working with communities by reading the case studies.

What is a Community Fibre Partnership? +-

A Community Fibre Partnership is where we we work with a local group – this could be the residents of a rural village or a block of flats in a city centre or even a group of business owners in an industrial park – that isn't covered in an existing fibre upgrade plan to find a solution to bring fibre to their area. 

We fund the costs to bring fibre to a community in line with our commercial model and the community clubs together to fund the costs on top of this, we refer to this as 'the gap'.

 

How does a Community Fibre Partnership work? +-

A Community Fibre Partnership is when we work together with a local community (that's not in our commercial or BDUK fibre roll-out plans) to develop a solution to bring fibre to their community. There usually needs to be a joint funding arrangement, where we cover the costs in line with our commercial model used throughout the country and the community has the option to self-fund the remaining gap. We always look for solutions to be as affordable as possible.

What are the next steps to take? +-

If you decide a community fibre partnership is the way you'd like to proceed, check the availability checker against your post code or land line to make sure you're not already covered by the rollout or that there isn't an existing co-funding initiative in your community.

If your property isn't covered contact us (link to this) and provide the details of the property you're enquiring about for fibre broadband, and an associated landline number. Once we've received that, one of our team will get in touch.

If you’re interested in a Community Fibre Partnership, how do you find out what’s possible? +-

First check with your local council and - if one exists in your area - your BDUK authority to see if your community is included in their fibre plans. If not, contact us with us providing the contact details of the people wishing to explore a community fibre partnership solution, and who would lead the local side of any potential co-funding arrangements to bring fibre to the community.

Show more FAQs
Why should communities work with us? +-

Having a community partnership with Openreach means your community will be connected to the national fibre network. This brings some key benefits:

  • Choice: healthy competition between service providers providing choice for you, the customer
  • Value: as a number of internet service providers will be able to access the network they can offer a range of packages and bundles at competitive prices. Hundreds of communications providers are currently trialing or offering fibre broadband over our Openreach network
  • Sustainability: a long term solution for fibre broadband provision for the UK
How long does it take to get fibre broadband once you’ve agreed a Community Fibre Partnership? +-

The average lead time from contract signature to enablement (of the infrastructure to enable service) is approximately twelve months. This will all depend on the amount and complexity of the infrastructure that needs to be deployed.

How much will it cost my community? +-

This depends on the amount of infrastructure that needs to be deployed, so naturally will differ from community to community. Once an application is assessed, we'll provide costings.

What is crowdfunding? +-

Crowdfunding is a way to raise money, awareness and support for a project, from the people around you. It's a means of funding that allows individuals to make their ideas a reality with the power of the crowd. It is based on the idea that a number of people can split the cost of something – in this case broadband infrastructure, with multiple people contributing an amount, rather than any one person footing the whole bill.

Do different technologies have different costs? +-

Yes, we'll explain the different costs as part of our discussions with you. Different technologies require different amounts of infrastructure to be installed and the level of network equipment and labour needed to provide the technology will also determine the costs.

This is dependent on the amount of infrastructure that needs to be deployed. And this will differ from community to community. A community will only be asked to cover costs above those of our commercial model. Once agreed, 50% of the gap funding must be paid prior to work starting - when you sign a contract to proceed - and the final 50% on completion.

 

Will my community have a choice of which voice and fibre broadband supplier they have? +-

Yes, Openreach provides access to its network to all service providers, on an equal basis. This means that wherever we deploy fibre, a whole range of different service providers can offer broadband, bringing plenty of choice to consumers and local businesses.

What bandwidths will be available? +-

For most solutions, using fibre to the cabinet, bandwidths will range up to 80Mbps. Final speeds are dependent on each property's distance from the fibre cabinet but you can typically expect a minimum of 24Mbps at a range of approx. 1200 metres from the cabinet. The nearer the property is to the cabinet, the greater the speed.

 

We also provide fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.  

Can a community select the type of fibre technology deployed? +-

We're open to exploring different types of fibre solutions, but what we can provide will depend on the existing communications infrastructure in your area. We'll examine this at the application stage of each request.

We make our fibre solutions to be as affordable as possible, and can deliver fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

What is the grant I can apply for? +-

This is an exclusive grant that's available to communities whose co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school that doesn't have access to superfast fibre broadband (typically <24Mbps).

A further list of FAQs about our grant scheme can be viewed here.

Show more FAQs More

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Contact Us

If you represent a community or are simply an interested party and would like more information about co-funding fibre broadband to your property then please get in touch with us.

register your interest >