Open Letter to the residents of Bottisham and Lode

As you may be aware, Cambridge Fibre has applied to the government for funding to construct a Gigabit full-fibre network in Bottisham and Lode. If this project goes ahead, then all homes with vouchers will have been connected free of charge by 24th September 2022 at the very latest.

The government department (DCMS) has agreed to provide the funding for Bottisham and Lode, but the scheme can only go ahead if there are sufficient pre-orders in the villages.

In addition to Bottisham and Lode, Cambridge Fibre have also been engaged with the residents of a number of other surrounding villages. Those other villages are now scheduled to have full-fibre delivered to them in the coming year.

This is a summary of the status of these projects:

Village Funding Approved Pre-order Threshold Passed Construction Status
Milton YES YES Complete
Stow Cum Quy YES YES In Progress
The Wilbrahams YES YES In Progress
Bottisham and Lode YES NO Planning
Horningsea and Clayhithe PENDING YES Planning

As you can see above, all villages in the area with the exception of Bottisham and Lode have passed the pre-order threshold. We expect the funding for Horningsea and Clayhithe to be secured in the next few days.

When this happens, and if we continue to have insufficient pre-orders from Bottisham and Lode, then these will be the only villages in the area not to have fibre installed in 2022.

Whatever happened to the Openreach full-fibre vouchers?

Openreach attempted to run a similar voucher scheme for Bottisham and Stow Cum Quy early in 2021. Although government funding was available, this initiative failed and was abandoned by Openreach due to a lack of interest.

This is not to say that Openreach will never install fibre to these villages. In the fullness of time they will, but that could be 5 years away. A voucher scheme would have (and must) deliver services within 12 months of the voucher being issued.

We’re very happy to say that we have succeeded in Stow Cum Quy where Openreach failed. The demand is clearly there, and we are happy to confirm that we will deliver our services to everyone in Stow that has already pre-ordered. Given the level of interest is Stow, we can only assume that Openreach’s initiative failed due to a lack of awareness amongst residents of the scheme.

Although we have leafleted every home in Bottisham and Lode, and we have taken tens of pre-orders, we have yet to see sufficient interest in Bottisham or Lode. Our working assumption is that this is due to a lack of awareness, either that the service is being offered, or the reason why anyone might want to upgrade to a full-fibre service.

Overview of the project

Please see our original project overview here:

Questions and Answers

In order to best communicate how the scheme will work, we’d like to invite residents of Bottisham and Lode to a Q&A Zoom meeting.

Cambridge Fibre is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Bottisham and Lode Full-Fibre Meeting
Time: Tuesday Sep 14, 2021 at 7PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 992 8380 7974
Passcode: E8tvBv
One tap mobile

Dial-in option:
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 992 8380 7974
Passcode: 910901