Establish Demand

Survey

The community survey will determine demand which in turn will stimulate supplier interest and provide a basis for funding determination.

The survey form should be:

  • Short and precise
  • Ask relevant and vital information
  • Be non-technical and easy to understand by the average person
  • Easily produced and deliverable

The survey should be used to measure demand at a residential and if appropriate business level.

It is not uncommon for communities of more than 1000 homes to include up to 50 or more small businesses.

Funding is often matched to demonstrable business demand.

Some suppliers look towards business demand to mitigate investment cost.

Collating your survey responses

Information from the survey should indicate broadband demand.  Remember the higher the demand the more interest it is for potential suppliers, the better the commercial offer and the better the chances of obtaining grant funding.

Share your findings with the:

  • Parish Council and Borough County Councillors
  • Community via notice boards, web sites and village magazines
  • Borough, District or County broad band officer.  This may be the relevant business regeneration officer
  • RBP portal.

Survey Good Practice Tips

There are some useful tips for your survey;

  • In carrying out the survey consider using potential suppliers to assist with the production and collection costs (freepost etc.).
  • Ensure the survey flyer is community relevant and does not look like a supplier hand out.  Inclusion of a prominent parish logo often makes a difference.
  • The survey team must have a delivery co-ordinator.  Assign each delivery volunteer a realistic and manageable area.  Include outlying community properties and businesses
  • Ensure there are multiple collection points and collection methods – local shop or pub or church drop boxes and door survey collection volunteers etc.
  • Keep the survey completion dates short.  This helps avoids misplaced or forgotten responses.
  • Set your expectations regarding the survey response i.e. a 10%, 20%, 50% return of total community households.
  • Representation by street or area is just as important as the number of returned completed survey’s
  • Engage shops, pub’s and village halls to act as as completed survey drop off points

Web based survey

A web based survey may prove useful but should not be the only means of determining demand.  Web based surveys are successful only if they are well publicised, the web site is easy to navigate, the estimated number of site visitors would warrant the production cost of the web based survey.  Any web based survey takes time to set up and can be counter-productive when compared to the expected web visits by the community.

Web based survey templates

There are web survey templates some of which are free to use i.e. Survey Monkey – which might be useful however the advance and hence more useful features are chargeable items.

Likewise there is plenty of useful reference material to help analyse your survey response by for example typing “broadband survey results” into your web search engine.

Collation of survey responses

Information from the survey should indicate broadband demand.  Remember the higher the demand the more interest it is for potential suppliers, the better the commercial offer and the better the chances of obtaining grant funding.

Share your findings with the:

  • Parish Council relevant Borough/District or County Councillors
  • Community via notice boards, web sites and village magazines
  • Borough, District or County broadband officer.  This may be the relevant business regeneration officer

Survey Engagement with Potential Suppliers

It is unlikely that a supplier will know your community as well as you do.  Encourage potential suppliers to “tour the community” with a project team member.

Use the tour to help identify the following

  • Service main delivery locations
  • Identify locations for Community Access Points
  • Show the supplier the location of schools, village halls, churches and prominent buildings or barns etc.
  • Local terrain is an important factor within wireless broadband delivery.  Point out the community high spots and valleys where delivery might prove a challenge.

Ask the supplier what they envisage may be the implementation challenges.  This can be a useful pointer to the depth of supplier experience.  Future service installation issues may be avoided by carrying out a comprehensive tour of the community.

Expect suppliers to carry out more than one community tour.  Mapping tools are available for suppliers to investigate and formulate outline service connectivity to their network.  Expect suppliers to confirm their initial theoretical calculations with a physical community survey using mobile and or extendable masts.

Remember to update your project status on the RBP portal on completion of this stage.

Typical Survey Examples

Typical survey form examples are included within this web site.  It is worth remembering that a survey form that has an element of community feel will likely be better received by the community members than one that looks like any other commercial flyer.  Adding a village or community logo and specifically detailing the broadband  issues  experienced within the community carries more weight when compared to a survey that does not.

Remember to add appropriate contact details for interested parties and the collection location(s) for completed forms.  It is vital that you add a return date for completed forms.

If your community has its own community web site, then do not assume that a web based survey on its own, will fulfil the community demand criteria.  Most of us tend towards laziness and or we lead busy lives.  A knock on the door from a local resident on the survey team, enquiring as to whether the survey has been completed, will often greatly increase the number of completed survey forms return .